2016 is a landmark year for healthcare in Austin, Texas.
The voters voted. The cement has been poured. The white coat ceremony is in the books. The largest public university in Texas now has a medical school.
The Dell Medical School at the University of Texas has a unique opportunity to build a medical school free from traditional didactic methods to better suit the needs of a new generation of physicians.
These students have grown up in the digital world.
The quantified self is the norm. Today's medical student will learn material differently. Textbooks may become irrelevant, replaced by more visual and experiential methods.
Will virtual and augmented reality platforms make their way into the classroom? In the future, will there even be a classroom?
The new physician will enter an evolving healthcare system that itself is increasingly digital and quantified.
As the use of electronic health records, patient portals, wearables, and social media become more widespread, patients may demand healthcare delivered through alternative points of care where technologies such as telemedicine, virtual physicians and even avatars supplement the traditional office visit.
The current medical faculty will need to adapt.
It will behoove the educating clinicians to provide perspective to medical students especially where technology may push ethical boundaries. Physician educators will need to be aware of the most current technological advances and be open to change. Our medical students will expect it.
As a new faculty member at the UT Dell Medical School, I’m looking forward to the challenge.