The Florida State University College of Medicine (FSU COM) was established in 2000, the first new MD-granting medical school in the United States in over 25 years. In its brief history, the FSU COM has developed rapidly in accordance with its founding mission to meet the need for primary care physicians, especially those caring for the elderly and the underserved. The school recently received a full continuation of accreditation for the maximum period, eight years, from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education.
The authors describe FSU COM’s new, innovative educational program using community-based clinical training on six statewide regional campuses and two rural sites. Third- and fourth-year students are assigned to community physicians in a one-on-one clinical training model in all of the settings where physicians practice. Over 70% of student clinical training is in such settings. The authors describe how the model operates, including curricular oversight (which ensures quality and equivalence of the educational experience at all sites), the regional campus structure, administration, education program delivery during core clerkships, and assessment of students’ performance. Ongoing required faculty development for all clerkship faculty is an essential feature of the training program, as is tracking of all individual student contacts through an online clinical data collection system used for evaluation of the clerkship experiences as well as research.
The authors demonstrate that the school has been highly successful in implementing its mission, and that the challenge ahead is to sustain its approach to the training of future physicians.
Dr. Fogarty is professor of family medicine and rural health, and dean of the college of medicine, Florida State University College of Medicine, Tallahassee, Florida.
Dr. Littles is professor of family medicine and rural health and senior associate dean for medical education and academic affairs, Florida State University College of Medicine, Tallahassee, Florida.
Dr. Romrell is professor of biomedical sciences and associate dean for medical education, Florida State University College of Medicine, Tallahassee, Florida.
Dr. Watson is professor of clinical sciences, Department of Clinical Sciences, and executive associate dean for administrative affairs, Florida State University College of Medicine, Tallahassee, Florida.
Dr. Hurt is professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, and senior associate dean for research and graduate programs, Florida State University College of Medicine, Tallahassee, Florida. She served as director of the Program in Medical Sciences from 1991 to 2001.
Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Fogarty, Office of the Dean, 1115 West Call St., Suite 1160-C2, Tallahassee, FL 32306–4300; telephone: (850) 644-1346; fax: (850) 645-1420; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.