KU School of Medicine has enjoyed a longstanding reputation for training physicians who excel in their knowledge of medicine and delivery of expert health care.
Five years ago, our curriculum was redesigned using an interdisciplinary, patient-centered model, incorporating a strong clinical foundation into the basic sciences and facilitating the development of exceptional critical thinkers who can analyze problems, formulate effective plans of action, and provide optimal clinical care. Active, self-directed learning is encouraged through a variety of teaching tools, including small group discussions, problem-based learning, electronic procedure simulators, virtual microscopy labs, and standardized patients. The different learning styles of adults are further accommodated through tablet computers and podcasting.
As the nation faces a serious shortage of practicing physicians, new medical schools are being developed, and existing medical schools are exploring ways in which they can increase the number of physicians graduated each year. To this end, the School of Medicine has expanded programs in Salina and Wichita.
The core basic science content (years 1 and 2) are identical to that of the Kansas City campus with the benefit of additional opportunities for early patient care experiences that will enhance learning the basic sciences. While curricular requirements for years 3 and 4 will be the same on all three campuses, the Salina campus focus is on delivery of health care in rural and secondary care centers. The Wichita campus focus is on primary-care medicine in community-based hospitals, and the Kansas City campus offers the full range of clinical opportunities available to students studying in an academic, tertiary health-care center. Student resources, support services and enrichment opportunities (e.g., electives, research, and international study) are similar across all three campuses.
For more than 35 years, the School of Medicine's Wichita campus has utilized dedicated volunteer and full-time faculty in all specialties to successfully provide learning opportunities for third- and fourth-year medical students. Because of its community-based setting, the Wichita program underscores the vital importance of primary-care medicine in community health and offers hands-on experiences in a variety of hospital environments.
The program is now expanded to allow students to conduct their entire four years of education on the Wichita campus. For years 1 and 2, lectures are delivered by interactive television and podcasting. Laboratory courses are offered through web-based systems, and small group learning will be taught by both clinical and basic science faculty. The use of cadaver labs will be provided through a partnership with Wichita State University. Patient-centered learning, clinical skills training, and longitudinal clinical experiences will be emphasized.
Since 2001, selected third-year medical students have completed the last 18 months of their clinical training in Salina under the direction of the Smoky Hill Family Medicine Residency Program faculty. The medical school has launched a full four-year educational program that eight medical students will undertake entirely in Salina. Interactive television and podcasting are the delivery modes for most lectures. Web-based systems support most laboratory components of the curriculum, with cadaver labs available through a partnership with Kansas Wesleyan University. Clinical faculty in Salina facilitate small group learning.
The Salina program provides a unique opportunity to earn one's medical degree in a non-metropolitan area. The program is ideal for the Kansas student who is a self-motivated, independent learner, who would enjoy working with a small group of his or her peers for the duration of medical school, and who has a strong desire to practice primary-care medicine in rural Kansas.