ASU/Mayo Medical School

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There have been some important recent advances in the plan for a medical school at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona. ASU president Michael Crow and Dr. Wyatt Decker, vice president of the Mayo Clinic and Chief Executive Officer for Arizona, will give us an update.

TED SIMONS: Coming up next on "Arizona Horizon," we'll update ASU's partnership with the Mayo Clinic on a new medical school in the Valley. And we'll hear from a supporter of a new national monument near the Grand Canyon. Those stories next on "Arizona Horizon."

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TED SIMONS: Good evening and welcome to "Arizona Horizon," I'm Ted Simons. Contempt of court hearings against Sheriff Joe Arpaio have been postponed. The hearings were set to resume later this month, but the sheriff's attorneys filed a motion to have District Court Judge Murray Snow removed from the case. The reason involves questions Snow asked Arpaio about an investigation that included Snow's wife, and an alleged statement suggesting that the judge did not want to see Joe Arpaio reelected.

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There's been progress in the partnership with the Mayo Clinic for a medical school here in the Valley. Here to bring us up to date is ASU President Michael Crow and Dr. Wyatt Decker, Vice-President of the Mayo Clinic. Before we get too deep here, the relationship between ASU and Mayo Clinic.

MICHAEL CROW: It's a fantastic relationship where we've taken a comprehensive research university and connected it with a national leading clinic, and we've found a way to take all the things we do and all the things they do and leverage -- it's not plus equals , it's plus equals .

TED SIMONS: Put them both together and --

MICHAEL CROW: Not just research, everything ASU does. Social sciences, educational sciences, education, bioinformatics, everything we're working on, even in the humanities and the arts. Linked with the scientists and clinicians and health specialists at the Mayo Clinic.

TED SIMONS: This has been in the works for a while hasn't it?
WYATT DECKER: We've been working closely with ASU for over years and it's resulted, as Dr. Crow mentioned, in a host of collaborations. We have a number of nationally recognized faculty that are co-hired by the two institutions. We have a fantastic ability to leverage the expertise at ASU for the Mayo Clinic to solve difficult problems in health care.

TED SIMSON: Recent development, I was reading, including licensure by the state board for postsecondary education.

WYATT DECKER: This is a medical school in collaboration with Arizona State University. There is a national shortage of physicians and Arizona ranks in the bottom percentile for physicians. We need more doctors in Arizona, let's launch another medical school. When you look at the changes in health care taking place, we think there's an even more compelling need for a medical school and one here in Arizona, a school that completely redesigns how doctors are educated and bringing the items that have be designed by ASU.

TED SIMONS: Talk about that redesign. What will be seen here that hasn't been seen before?

MICHAEL CROW: I think there's three core elements. We have two schools that will run parallel and be a part of the education ecosystem that will be available, one is in biomedical information and think of those and computation, engineering, economics, decision-making, all of the things that make medicine more effective and efficient and more successful. And that's not just medicine in the hospital, but your health outside while you're still at home so you're not going to the hospital, all of those things coming together. And the third thing we've brought to bear here is a new pedagogy for teaching. Ed plus at ASU unit has been plugged into the most significant clinic in the United States, in a way we can have the most advanced teaching, learning and projection tools that humans have ever developed now applied to a medical school.

TED SIMONS: I mentioned licensure from the state, I know accreditation. Again, you're talking about something new here that maybe some folks haven't seen before.

WYATT DECKER: Yes. Our team in collaboration with ASU was very thorough in our application. As you know, we run a sister medical school in Rochester, Minnesota. By leveraging the experts at Mayo Clinic and Mayo medical school in Minnesota, we were able to sail through the application process. There's a hunger from our nation's leaders in medical education including the national accrediting body to start creating generations of physicians who can solve our health care problems and not be victims of our health care system.

TED SIMONS: Are you getting eyes on this, are people watching?

MICHAEL CROW: We're getting lots of eyes on this. Our strategy was really to invest in our transdisciplinary way of thinking, linking engineering with science with social science with humanities, linking that with information and business and teaching. And then finding medical education, medical research organization that we could work with on a comprehensive basis. Mayo allows us to do this. The medical school is one of the products of the relationship.

TED SIMONS: People are hearing Mayo, hearing ASU, where is this going to be located?

WYATT DECKER: The home base will be on our Scottsdale campus. The medical students will be like gypsies, they will be all over the Valley in all sorts of great rotations. They will be in Tempe, the downtown campus, including underserved health clinics like Mountain Park.

TED SIMONS: Obviously you get your medical degree after a certain amount of time and practice, but I notice with this collaboration you can get a master's degree. What is that all about?

WYATT DECKER: That's right. Part of the curriculum was to free up time in the education of medical students for what we feel are elements that are as important as the traditional diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. That's still important but the reality is we have a lot of technologies that now help with that. We've freed up the curriculum, made it far more efficient leveraging the education we were talking about. Then we've layered in systems engineering, and this is where ASU's expertise is really valuable. Business community, social sciences, the physicians will, all of them in training will get some sciences of health care education. But those who choose to can do a little extra work, not a lot, and get a master's degree.

TED SIMONS: The science of health care delivery, there are programs involved here. Describe those.

MICHAEL CROW: We have in downtown Phoenix a New College of health solutions. That focuses on -- you gotta think about health outcomes and solutions as something that we're working toward. I think our objective including the Mayo Clinic's objective is to keep you out of hospital, to keep you healthy as long as possible to. Use the hospital for major repairs. Science of health care delivery, the science of health care, health delivery is all about, depending on how you look at it, all about finding ways to make your health outcomes more successful through your entire life, through data, through education, through analytics, clinical interactions with trained health professionals via advanced technology. Think of the most Advanced Technologies, the most advanced learning, the very capable clinicians and support staff coming together and creating an environment in which you, the individual, is a learner and a person benefiting from all of this, in a way where your lifetime outcomes will be enhanced.

TED SIMONS: That's me as an individual, as a patient, someone who may not necessarily be a student in the program. For students in the program, it sounds to me like they could go off and do all sorts of interdisciplinary actions. This is not just going out and wearing a white coat and doing those things.

WYATT DECKER: Exactly. One element will be interprofessional learning. We'll put the medical students together in small groups with other preprofessional students, medical, pharmacy students, it could be a patient care challenge, we'll give them problems to work out. You need to treat a population of patients, how are you going to figure this out, so they will get those management skills as well as the patient care skills.


MICHAEL CROW: One of the things that's happened is so much of our economy now is devoted to health care that it's actually becoming negative to the overall economic flexibility and economic competitiveness of the country. We want outstanding health care but at a much lower cost. The way to do that is through finding ways to tie in lifelong learning new, ways to produce doctors, new ways for the doctors to work and new ways for the doctors and nurses to solve different kind of problems. You need to do that. You need whole new methodological approaches. That's what this partnership is all about.

TED SIMONS: Sound like a lot of students that may not be in the program can touch and go in some of these classes and learn for themselves.

MICHAEL CROW: That's right.

TED SIMONS: When is it going to be up, operational and ready to go?

MICHAEL CROW: With the accreditation in place, the work is ongoing, July of the first students will start. So it seems like a ways, but a year and a half from now we'll have students showing up.

TED SIMONS: And between now and then, and even from then on forward, challenges. What do you see as the biggest challenge?

MICHAEL CROW: The real challenge is can we move fast enough to get more positive health solutions out to a population that's suffering from a range of maladies from obesity to a range of other modern maladies? How do we find a way to enhance the quality of life at the lowest possible cost? Doing that with a new kind of physician that will be produced.

TED SIMONS: And a question for both of you from different vantage points here. Are you hearing naysayers from academics?

MICHAEL CROW: There's always naysayers, they are either ill informed or just curmudgeons who are basically against everything. Mayo and ASU received a significant grant to advance this. There's been lots of seed funding coming in from different sources. Many donors are involved in helping to make this work. This is a privately financed effort that's advancing at really rapid speed from a lot of people supportive of what we're trying to do.

TED SIMONS: And the hospital world, folks raising their eyes a little bit here?

WYATT DECKER: As Michael said, there are always skeptics. We are part through an AMA grant from ASU, part of medical schools that want to change and learn from each other. We're leading the pack on innovation and how our nation's doctors are trained.

TED SIMONS: July of 2017?

WYATT DECKER: That's right.

TED SIMONS: Good to have you both here.

WYATT DECKER: Great to be here, thank you.

Michael Crow:ASU President;Dr. Wyatt Decker:Mayo Clinic Vice President and Chief Executive Officer for Arizona

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