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Commentary: Improving Medical Education During Financially Challenging Times

Lindor, Keith D. MD; Pawlina, Wojciech MD; Porter, Barbara L. MA; Viggiano, Thomas R. MD; Grande, Joseph P. MD; Barrier, Patricia A. MD; Swanson, Jerry A. MD; Buman, Kevin F. MBA

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181e5a75c
Commentary

The expectation exists that medical education will continue to improve even during financially challenging times. The authors reviewed their recent experiences in effecting positive changes and improvements in Mayo Medical School during a time of fiscal constraint. They successfully implemented numerous changes, including a major curriculum reform, while modestly reducing overall costs of the medical school and improving student satisfaction and learner outcomes. These improvements resulted from careful alignment among the institutional mission of serving the needs of the patient, communication with the faculty, involvement of the students, and streamlining of multiple processes throughout the school. The authors sought to eliminate excessive resource utilization while retaining the essence of Mayo Medical School's education process. The authors' experience can both encourage and inspire other schools to continue to improve the educational experience for their students in concert with meeting increasing financial pressures.

Dr. Lindor is professor of medicine and dean, Mayo Medical School, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Dr. Pawlina is professor and chair, Department of Anatomy, and assistant dean, Curriculum Development and Innovation, Mayo Medical School, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Ms. Porter is assistant dean, Student and Academic Affairs, Mayo Medical School, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Dr. Viggiano is Barbara Woodward Lips Professor of Medicine and assistant dean, Faculty Affairs, Mayo Medical School, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Dr. Grande is professor of pathology and laboratory medicine and associate dean, Academic Affairs, Mayo Medical School, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Dr. Barrier is associate professor of preventative medicine and associate dean, Student Affairs, Mayo Medical School, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Dr. Swanson is professor of neurology and assistant dean for assessment, Mayo Medical School, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Mr. Buman is financial analyst, Mayo Medical School, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Lindor, Mayo Medical School, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street, Rochester, MN 55901; telephone: (507) 284-2969; fax: (507) 266-4531; e-mail: lindor.keith@mayo.edu.

© 2010 Association of American Medical Colleges