Between new locations, expanding programs and an ever-growing list of community service initiatives, Touro University is becoming one of the nation’s leaders in medical and health science education in myriad ways.
The New York City-based institution, with campuses across the country, is also celebrating its 50th anniversary—and University President Alan Kadish, M.D. expects there to be no slowing down when it comes to improving the quality of the education Touro provides and fulfilling its mission.
Here, Dr. Kadish talks post-pandemic takeaways, higher education and more.
1. What’s the biggest takeaway from the pandemic that medical and health science education providers need to consider?
“While digital and remote modes of learning cannot be used alone to educate future doctors and health care professionals, we have learned that they can be effective when added and integrated into a curriculum in ways we might not have previously anticipated.
For example, when it comes to clinical rotations, we can now offer interactive clinical cases that are digitally available and can supplement clinical training. There may be a situation that students need to know about and understand, such as tuberculosis, because of the demographics of the hospital where they will be training and it’s something they’ve never seen. Now, we can create a digital case of TB to make sure they have exposure in the first two years of their training in the classroom. This can be done for medical school and health sciences training.
We also offer digital lectures (flipped classroom) which we have done previously at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Middletown campus, where they read all the material first, then have small group discussions in the classroom.”
2. What should medical and health science colleges and universities prioritize to stay relevant, current and better serve patients in the coming years?
“Make sure that technology advances are integrated into the curriculum. Students should be trained on how to do telemedicine and telehealth (for mental health practitioners and other health science professionals) and use all available digital tools as well as AI.
Touro College of Dental Medicine is at the forefront of training students using digital technology, who will be prepared for the future of dentistry.
Additionally, all medical and health science students must have public health training and preparation. We need to teach them the history of pandemics—how they happen, the issues involved in dealing with them, addressing them and studying the solutions that have been used historically during various pandemics to help inform what works and current solutions.”
3. How has Touro University recently expanded its own medical and health science offerings?
“Educating nearly 8,000 students annually in medicine and the health sciences, Touro is fast becoming one of the largest healthcare educational systems in the U.S. This year, we are expanding that footprint across the country with several new programs. Our goal is to continue creating opportunities in a multitude of exciting and growth-oriented fields and to prime our students for successful careers.
Adding to its existing portfolio of top-tier medical schools, Touro broke ground on a new medical school in Great Falls, Montana. The new school—Touro’s fifth college of osteopathic medicine campus—will address the state’s physician shortage and help increase access to healthcare. Touro College Montana will train osteopathic physicians, with a particular emphasis on practicing medicine in underserved communities and increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in medicine. Approximately 30 percent of the current student body in Touro’s osteopathic medical schools is comprised of underrepresented minorities and 55 percent of graduates practice in underserved communities.
The PsyD program at the School of Health Sciences of Touro College was created in response to the country’s mental health epidemic. The five-year program combines academic, research and clinical experiences to prepare graduates to become licensed clinical psychologists in the State of New York. Students work directly with culturally, ethnically and racially diverse populations across the life span and learn about healthcare disparities and how to bring this understanding into clinical practice. Ultimately, our graduates will have a significant influence on the health of their communities.
The New York College of Podiatric Medicine has signed a letter of intent to join the Touro College and University System in July 2022. The first and largest college of podiatric medicine, it remains at the forefront of podiatric medical education. Adding podiatric medicine to our existing network of medical and health science schools and programs will serve to augment and strengthen our academic offerings. By combining outstanding classroom instruction with clinical training in one of the world’s largest foot care clinics, students learn to become dedicated health care professionals who set the standard for excellence.
To expand our capacity to make a difference in the health and lives of Americans, Touro is acquiring Lovelace Biomedical Research Institute, a private contract research organization in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Lovelace Biomedical team includes experts for every step of the preclinical research process, from analytical chemists who develop precise formulations and assays to quantify drug distribution, to veterinarians who determine the best animal models to address scientific hypotheses. With this acquisition, Touro will be able to bring in-depth understanding into potential health risks, optimize the efficacy of pharmaceuticals and create new advances in science.”
For more information on Touro University and its most recent milestones, visit touro.edu.