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COM Students on GSM's Medical School Task Force Provide Double Perspective
The UT Graduate School of Medicine has created a task force to explore offering a four-year medical school on its campus by expanding the UT Health Science Center College of Medicine from 165 students to 195 students or more. The task force, chaired by Eddie Moore, MD, Associate Dean and Designated Institutional Official, includes UT Health Science Center College of Medicine fourth-year student Lindsay Luttrell and third-year student Eric Tiner, who have been completing their third- and fourth-year curricula at GSM. As part of the task force, Luttrell and Tiner provide students' perspectives on the benefits of offering four years of medical school in Knoxville, and they are also learning more about the challenges of initiating a four-year medical school curriculum.
Luttrell and Tiner agree that Knoxville and specifically the University of Tennessee Medical Center is an ideal location for a medical school.
Luttrell said, "Medical school in Knoxville would have been my number one choice had it existed when I was applying. I was born and raised in East Tennessee and am planning on ultimately practicing medicine in this area.
"I also would have chosen Knoxville due to the vast pathology and disease processes present at UT Medical Center. Although the new first- and second-year curriculum has not yet been determined, I am confident the Knoxville campus will be a great place to study the basic sciences. For example, Dr. Bass is a world renowned forensic pathologist with UT's Forensic Anthropology Center, which would be a great resource for learning pathology."
Luttrell and Tiner also agree that in addition to the resources at the Graduate School of Medicine, Knoxville is an ideal setting for medical school because of the extracurricular activities available such as hiking in the Smoky Mountains or going to Vols sporting events. They also said that Knoxville is a safe and friendly place to live, making it ideal for medical school.
By participating on the task force, Luttrell and Tiner have also learned more about the challenges involved with starting a four-year program.
Luttrell, who is on the Student Services Committee with Missy Maples, Student Affairs Coordinator, has been focusing on the needs of future students, including facility needs, financial aid, health and counseling services, student assistance programs and more. She said that through the task force she has learned about Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) restrictions and requirements on medical education.
She said, "UT students (in general) believe that our current education curriculum is an excellent program based on the class average [U.S. Medical Licensing Examination] board scores and residency placements and match rates. However, despite the school's success, LCME is requiring every medical school conform to certain guidelines which will greatly alter our current educational process."
Tiner is working with Mitchell Goldman, MD, Assistant Dean for Research and Surgery Chair, to analyze the necessary addition in library resources that would be needed to support first- and second-year medical students. He said while the task force has made clearer to him the logistical and economic issues associated with laying the foundation for a medical school, working on the task force has shown him these are hurdles that can be surpassed.
The Task Force also includes Jerry Epps, MD; John Lacey, MD; Cristis Lockridge, MD; Murray Marks, PhD; Karla Matteson, PhD; Steve Ross, DPh; David Stockton, MD; Nirmala Upadhyaya, MD; and Jonathan Wall, PhD.
|Graduate School of Medicine
University of Tennessee