Guest Columnist: Steven J. Scheinman, MD, President and Dean, The Commonwealth Medical College
Happy New Year!
The coming of a new year is a time of hope for fresh beginnings and, for many of us, resolutions to take better care of ourselves. At The Commonwealth Medical College, 2013 promises to be a very significant new year indeed.
On “Match Day” in March, our charter class, who are now seniors, will learn where they will be doing their residency training. We already know that they are doing very well in getting invited for interviews, and are getting honors grades in the elective rotations they are doing at other medical schools. Our two seniors with military obligations have already had good news in the “Military Match” which takes place in December. Trevor Echelmeier, from Ardmore, matched at Madigan Army Medical Center, and Scott Dalane, from Philadelphia, matched at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. These were the first choices for both Trevor and Scott.
On May 11, the vision of the founders of TCMC will be realized with the graduation of our first MD class. Our accrediting agency, pleased with our success, has approved expansion of our MD class to 100 members. The class of 2017, who are being selected now, will enter TCMC in August.
We are very proud of our students, whose passing rate on board exams has exceeded the national average for both of our first two years. Seventy percent of them are from Pennsylvania, more than at any other medical school in the state. Students in all four classes engage in community service projects and research projects in community health throughout the region. Many of them will be contributing to this column throughout the coming year. Lani Hossain is president of the TCMC Journalism Club and the recipient of the first annual Healthcare Journalism Award. Lani will be the first of our medical student journalists who will publish in “Health & Exercise Forum” in The Times-Tribune this year.
We have reached a point where we now have objective corroboration that our innovative curriculum is serving our students so well. This is a remarkable achievement in which the founders of the school, and its faculty and staff, can take justifiable pride. But producing new doctors for northeastern Pennsylvania is only one part of our mission. Our aim is no less than to transform medical care in the region. That may seem a tall order for an independent medical school without its own hospital or practice plan. We will do this through partnerships.
We have begun by convening leaders from hospitals, healthcare systems, physicians, residency programs, and others from across our 16-county region on a collaborative plan to improve healthcare quality. While we are fortunate to have wonderful hospitals in this region, every healthcare institution strives to deliver care that is excellent and error free. By convening this set of partnerships, and coupling it with degree programs and research around healthcare quality, we can accomplish much more together than any single hospital can do alone.
We are starting to plan for a mental health initiative. There is no greater medical need in this region than mental health services and unfortunately, no need that is timelier. This program will be broad and ambitious. A third initiative will be a focus on research and programs related to cancer. We look forward to reporting on these efforts as they move forward.
TCMC was created by this community, many of our students are from this community, and our mission is to serve the community. We see 2013 as an “inflection point” with many of our growing pains behind us and tremendous opportunities for success and service ahead. We are excited for the future of the school, our students, and this region, and we hope that this excitement will be contagious.
Best wishes for a healthy and happy New Year.
Guest Columnist: Steven J. Scheinman, M.D., President and Dean, The Commonwealth Medical College
Read Dr. Mackarey’s Health & Exercise Forum – Every Monday in the Scranton Times-Tribune. The Next Two Mondays will feature TCMC 2nd Year Medical Student, Lani Hossain.
This article is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. If you have questions related to your medical condition, please contact your family physician. For further inquires related to this topic email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul J. Mackarey PT, DHSc, OCS is a Doctor in Health Sciences specializing in orthopaedic and sports physical therapy. Dr. Mackarey is in private practice and is an associate professor of clinical medicine at The Commonwealth Medical College.