OU’s New Medical School Dean Shares Vision Of “Three Campuses, One College”

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As his first day on the job approaches, the new dean of Ohio University's Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine has an idea of "three campuses, one college" for the new schools in Dublin and Cleveland. Dr. Kenneth Johnson says the idea is to build off the uniqueness of each campus but really focus on connection.

The two new campuses are connected with major health systems: OhioHealth and the Cleveland Clinic.

"(This) will allow us to train people in a way that we've never been able to train our students before," Johnson said.

In order to make full use of the new campuses, Johnson is challenging people to think about developing an innovative program that integrates and links the process from the selection of students all the way through the practice of medicine.

"Traditionally… the graduate medical education is residency training; the undergraduate is the medical school training," Johnson said. "I would like to link those two together and break the firewall between undergraduate and graduate medical education and make it more an integrated seamless training from the day they walk in the door to the day they finish residency training."

Johnson says he would like to develop the program together with the partners, OhioHealth and the Cleveland Clinic, to make students transition into the practice and be able to serve patients at a higher level right after their residency instead of being retrained in a health system for some period of time.

As for the traditional way of training medical and health professionals separately, Johnson sees the opportunity in the two extension campuses to develop the interprofessional education to let the nurses and physicians train together. He says it will also help elevate the current curriculum of the Athens campus to focus a little bit more on interprofessional education.

"To take people and train them in silos and then expected them to be part of a highly-functioning team later on, it’s a little bit like taking a basketball team and not letting any of the five players on the court practice together."

He says medicine is moving forward more as a team sport than an individual sport, and it all starts with education.

"I think we can actually affect how patients are gonna be cared for and increase the patients’ satisfaction, the quality, decrease the cost, and really give the American public what they are looking for."

Johnson starts Aug. 20.