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Mayo medical school part of $52.5 million initiative

The Mayo Clinic School of Medicine has been selected to take part in a new national collaborative aimed at transforming medical education.

The $52.5 million initiative called the Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Institute for the Transformation of Medical Education (Kern Institute) was announced Thursday with seven of the nation's top medical schools collaborating to "transform medical education across the continuum from premedical school to physician practice," Mayo said in a release.

The other schools taking part include: Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth; University of California; San Francisco School of Medicine; University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical Center; University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health; and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Wisconsin hosts the Kern Institute and will lead the collaboration.

"We must redefine medical education and advance innovative medical education models if we are to meet the needs of patients and society in the 21st century," said Dr. Fredric Meyer, Juanita Kious Waugh executive dean for dducation at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science. "The Kern Institute and the National Transformation Network demonstrate the transformative impact that strategic philanthropy, dedicated leadership and aligned infrastructure can make in advancing innovation in medical education."

That ambitious goal has been debated across the country since it was first pushed forward by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in 2008 under the guise of Triple Aim . The program sought to advance three main priorities: enhancing patient experience, improving population health and reducing cost.


Some feel Triple Aim helped shape the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The new Kern Institute initiative seeks to apply similar principles — character, competence and caring — to medical education.

Mayo says that the collaborating schools "believe these elements of physician development are critical to partnering with patients, families, and communities for compassionate, evidence-based care that is delivered with integrity."

"We are delighted to be working with our colleagues at the Kern Institute and the Network schools," said Dr. Stephanie Starr, who is leading the collaboration for Mayo Clinic School of Medicine. "Together, and with the support of the Kern Family Foundation, we have a unique opportunity to ensure all graduates from our seven schools possess the character, competence and caring approach that every patient can and should expect. This initiative expands on our core Mayo Clinic value: The needs of the patient come first."

The Mayo Clinic School of Medicine was established in Rochester in 1972. It now boasts campuses in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota and is ranked among the Top 20 medical schools in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. It's considered one of the toughest medical schools to gain admittance.

Funding for the new collaborative is being supplied by a combination of gifts from the Kern Family and Kern Family Foundation, along with monetary support from the seven collaborating schools and other philanthropic support.

The Kern family has previously donated $100 million to Mayo Clinic , including $87 million to fund the creation of the Center for Science of Health Care Delivery, which was named in honor of Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern.

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