CHM prepares for new departments
The College of Human Medicine, or CHM, will formally welcome three new departments starting Jan. 1, 2012, after the Board of Trustees voted to authorize their creation at its Friday meeting.
The college now will include departments specializing in anesthesia, emergency medicine and translational science and molecular medicine, with curriculum set to take effect sometime next academic year.The Department of Translational Science and Molecular Medicine will base its medical school instruction mainly in Grand Rapids, but other opportunities for involvement will be explored in East Lansing and other campuses across the state, said Jack Lipton, a professor and the director of CHM’s Division of Translational Science and Molecular Medicine.
CHM Dean Marsha Rappley said leaders for each of the three departments will be selected based on university bylaws, but it has not yet been decided whether the searches will be conducted internally or nationally.
Creating the curriculum for students also is an ongoing process, she said.
Currently, students are able to take elective courses in emergency medicine and anesthesia, which Rappley said the departments will use as a framework for other courses in the program.
Students in the College of Human Medicine do not have formal majors, but they choose a field to specialize in for their residencies. These new departments were created to meet student demand, Rappley said.
Developing an academic department in the field of emergency medicine has been a focus of leaders from four of MSU’s six community schools of medicine for some time, said Marsha Rappley, dean of the College of Human Medicine.
“There’s been a long-standing interest in a department of emergency medicine,” Rappley said. “It led to the development of a full department.”
The Department of Anesthesia, on the other hand presents a big step forward for the college, Rappley said.
“This is a new opportunity,” Rappley said. “Departments of anesthesia often are very involved in simulated experiences, and that can be a very important part of our curriculum.”
Looking into creating a Department of Translational Science and Molecular Medicine also has been a multi-year process, Lipton said.
“I’ve been working for the last two years to help … the university realize the value of having a department,” he said.
Lipton said the new department will take a multi-disciplinary approach to medicine, with about nine faculty devoted to research from a variety of fields and six faculty members devoted to teaching and mentoring CHM students.
The new department also will work closely with the MSU Neuroscience Program, Lipton said.
First-year medical student Simeen Khan said she would consider taking up a specialty in one of the three new fields once she completes her program, but said it remains to be seen what choice she might make or whether she would take courses in either of the three departments.
“I’m keeping my options open,” she said.