With America’s health-care system rapidly changing, how shall we train the doctors of the future? Writer-Producer David Grubin (the son of a general practitioner) focuses his cameras on the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ Medical School on Long Island and its innovative approach to medical education. Hofstra North Shore LIJ takes the standard medical curriculum and stands it on its head.
“My father spent his first years of medical school in the classroom,” Grubin says. “But at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ, they send the students into the field right away.” First year medical students train as emergency medical technicians and respond to emergencies, confront simulated disasters alongside the New York City Fire Department, and learn from experienced doctors in both private practices and hospitals. Students master the medical science as well, but the focus is always on the patient, emphasizing the human dimension – trust and empathy – in medical care. They learn to work in teams to practice patient-centered medicine. “Medical students certainly need to be in command of the marvelous technologies and powerful drugs available today,” Grubin says, “but they can also learn something from doctors from another era like my father who had an intimate relationship with his patients. I was amazed to see that they are actually teaching “bedside manner” at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ.”