California Northstate University College of Medicine (CNUCOM) was founded by investors who, as community leaders, had previously established a successful College of Pharmacy within the Sacramento, California region. The investors include individuals who are developers, former governmental officials, active medical practitioners, and pharmacists. The institution is "proprietary" and community-based with a budgetary model that ensures sufficient resources for a new, innovative system for training future physicians and for the development of its faculty to explore new innovative educational techniques.
There is a nationwide shortage of physicians in primary care, but this shortage is particularly acute in California. The Board of Trustees of California Northstate University (CNU) proposed to establish a second college, a College of Medicine, four years after funding and founding the College of Pharmacy. The pharmacy college has demonstrated that it can provide innovative training and be financially solvent while providing a modest return to the investors. Most public and private universities that provide medical and pharmacy training do not have the capital or space to increase the number of physicians needed by this state and the country. In contrast to the government, the private sector has the resources to achieve this human resource growth, particularly since we are entering a third year of recession with the resultant stresses on governmental budgets.
Much of the preliminary design of the structure of the College of Medicine and its curriculum was in place by June/July 2011. As part of this process, community leaders in medicine within the Sacramento Valley were engaged in a series of evening and weekend meetings to plan the outlines and address the key issues to be covered in the medical school curriculum. This committed core group established the broad outlines of the curriculum and structure of the College of Medicine and also served as members of the Institutional Self-Study Task Force. They were visionary and demanded that this new school stress areas of training frequently ignored or understated by many medical schools. Many brought 20-30 years of experience in direct medical practice in the highly competitive Sacramento region to provide insight on how to best train future physicians. They noted that our nation is poised to institute new schemes for providing universal health to its citizens and, at the same time, provide care that is high quality, cost-effective and evidence-based. This is evident in our mission statement:
Description of Coursework and Integration
The California Northstate University College of Medicine's preclinical curriculum is carefully selected to provide the student with the necessary biomedical science foundation while integrating these traditional sciences with clinical medicine. The curriculum development team and associated faculty members formulated the basic requirements for medical students while researching contemporary medical training programs to generate a comprehensive educational experience. The LCME guidelines described in the Functions and Structure of a Medical School and the educational requirements stipulated in the California Business and Professions Code (Article 4, Requirements for licensure have both been taken into consideration to ensure that the appropriate content and mandatory hours of training have been accounted for. Ultimately, the CNUCOM curriculum covers not only the foundations of medical education, but will expand medical instruction by incorporating discussions on related topics like medical jurisprudence, economic principles, and global health issues using information technology platforms.
The California Northstate University College of Medicine (CNUCOM) curriculum is designed to help students become active, self-directed and lifelong learners. The four (4) year curriculum is designed to facilitate and optimize student learning in a progressive and integrated manner both in didactic and experiential courses.
The curriculum is completely integrated between the basic and clinical sciences and is based on a series of 120 clinical presentations (CP) that are organized by a knowledge scheme in the form of an algorithm (or branching flow chart) designed to facilitate the understanding of the appropriate clinical approach to that CP. Each of these schemes is supported by a process worksheet, worked case examples and the associated Medical Skills laboratory.
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