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Revolutionising Medical, Nursing and Dental Education at Cleveland Clinic

Article-Revolutionising Medical, Nursing and Dental Education at Cleveland Clinic

A busy clinic
New Health Education Campus to open in summer 2019

Anatomy textbooks and cadaver labs will be things of the past when the new Case Western Reserve University Health Education Campus opens at Cleveland Clinic in summer 2019. So will the practice of educating medical, dental and nursing students separately from each other.

The joint venture of Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) won’t be “state-of-the-art,” says James Young, MD, Chief Academic Officer at Cleveland Clinic. Rather, it will be “state-of-the-future.”

“People often ask, ‘[How] do we know what the future is?’” says Dr. Young. “My response is, ‘Well, if you create the future, you’re going to know what it is, so we’re creating.’”

The new $515 million campus will revolutionise how the world views healthcare education, he says.

Designed for Collaboration

The centrepiece of the Health Education Campus, located on Cleveland Clinic’s main campus in Cleveland, Ohio, will be the 485,000-square-foot Sheila and Eric Samson Pavilion.

Bright, airy and spacious, the facility will unite students, faculty and staff of four schools: CWRU School of Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, CWRU School of Dental Medicine and the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at CWRU. All but the Lerner College of Medicine are currently housed on the campus of CWRU, minutes away from Cleveland Clinic.

“We’re trying to get the focus away from medical, nursing, dental — the traditional silos of healthcare — and focus on how we can interact in a better way with respect to professional education,” says Dr. Young.

While each school will have a corner of the building, with four stories of learning and administrative spaces, there will be plenty of room for interdisciplinary collaboration — a fundamental of today’s healthcare and a principle on which Cleveland Clinic was founded. In the middle of the building will be an indoor courtyard, a hub where students can associate between classes, study alongside each other and dine together. Joint courses and other activities will provide more opportunities for interaction.

By removing the walls between medical, nursing and dental schools, students can collaborate with other healthcare disciplines every day and grow to expect it in their professional practice.

Ready for the Next Innovation

Although the new campus will be ready for its first students next summer, it won’t be “finished” by then.

“One of the things we wanted to do with the building was to try to leave as much flexibility for the future of healthcare training as possible,” says Chris Connell, Chief Design Officer at Cleveland Clinic. “Nobody quite knows how healthcare will develop in the future. So, it’s very important that education, which is the core of it, is at least as flexible.”

The campus will have plenty of space for future technology, starting with cadaver-less anatomy labs. Students instead will use virtual and augmented reality tools, allowing them to investigate the human body more thoroughly. With high-tech headsets, laptops and joysticks, students will study organs, blood vessels and other structures from different angles and view bodies in motion — something they couldn’t do with cadavers or traditional textbooks. They also will “dissect” holographic images and interact with them in ways never before possible.

This type of education will be as innovative as the high-quality healthcare the world has come to expect from Cleveland Clinic.

“We do not have a model; we have created the model,” says Dr. Young.

The 2,200 students that will step onto Cleveland Clinic’s campus in 2019 will be the first in a new generation of physicians, dentists, nurses and physician assistants uniquely trained to deliver a new generation of healthcare.

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