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Teaching tomorrow’s doctors | IU health


There is a shortage of doctors across the country. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the US could be short of 100,000 or more doctors by 2033. The severity of the problem varies between specialties. According to a Time Magazine article, “Neuropsychiatry and psychiatry, as well as pulmonary care and critical care drugs, are heading for greater shortages due to the complex, chronic conditions that the aging population has. America has to deal with.”

This is a worrying situation that can lead to poorer health outcomes for many patients. Rural communities tend to be more affected, as high educational debt tends to prompt new graduates to seek higher-paying positions in larger urban areas.

A physician at IU Health Arnett has made it her mission to change outcomes for Greater Lafayette and surrounding communities by teaching the doctors of tomorrow—Akram Al-Makki, MD, FACP, FASN .

Al-Makki joined IU Health’s Arnett nephrology department in 2004. Stephen Ash, MD, FACP and his lifelong pursuit of making hemodialysis technology simpler and safer was a factor. It was important that Al-Makki decided to move to this area. Ash is a doctor he admires and wants to learn from. Al-Makki also knew that he wanted to get more involved in academia.

“When you take the oath, part of your mission is to share your knowledge with both students and patients,” Al-Makki shares.

The path to becoming a doctor

It takes 10-14 years to become a doctor. Doctors must complete a four-year undergraduate program, add four years of medical school, then three to seven years in a residency program to study the specialty of their choice.

Since 1971, the Indiana University School of Medicine has provided medical education on the Purdue University campus in West Lafayette, Ind. Initially, medical students will study the first two years in West Lafayette, then transfer to complete the third and fourth years of medicine. school in Indianapolis.

According to Al-Makki, ball opportunities in Greater Lafayette are sparse, but that needs to change. The Graduate Medical Education (GME) program for medical students was established at Arnett Hospital in 2009 and Al-Makki volunteered as Director of the Office of Internal Medicine and Nephrology Education. In 2012, he was named Program Director—an appointment based on his support of research, passion for education, and belief in the importance of constant learning.

Medical student with doctor Al-Makki
Medical student meets doctor Al-Makki

Al-Makki shares: “I have developed vision and mission statements that I use as a guide and inspiration to strongly encourage my fellow physicians to volunteer to teach for medical students. “Policies, processes and directions have been developed. I helped advance the program and expand the number of physicians involved in medical education and rotation at IU Health Arnett.”

Increasing participation of doctors

Within two years, the number of participating physicians increased from about 40 to more than 120. Today, more than 140 IU Health Arnett physicians are involved in training medical students.

In line with Al-Makki’s vision, IU School of Medicine added a third year of medical training to their West Lafayette regional campus at Purdue in 2012 and a fourth year in 2013. Medical education and research specialist, IU School of Medicine in West Lafayette follows the school’s core statewide MD program. Like all IU Medical School campuses across the state, the West Lafayette campus offers exceptional clinical education and community engagement opportunities through student groups, a medical service learning program and other extracurricular activities, and work closely with local clinical service providers to ensure students have a hands-on experience applying fundamental science concepts to schools. actual patient case.

Keeping medical students in our community

Students at IU School of Medicine in West Lafayette can now complete all four years of medical school in Greater Lafayette. Two first-class graduates who stayed in Greater Lafayette all four years participated in local health activities in our community after completing their post-graduation residency training. Many others who graduated in 2014 have also returned to serve our community after finishing their residency training.

Al-Makki shared: “Teaching is my passion. “The best way to learn is to teach. The students enrich my experience and that of the patient. They add a lot to what we do every day, keep us up to date with technology, and they ask questions—which stimulates the brain.”

Jake Whiteside is one of the IU Medical School – West Lafayette campus medical students who completed his four years of medical school in the Greater Lafayette area. West Lafayette is a draw because his best friend lives locally. As a husband and father of three young children, he also did not want to move his family to clinical rotation during his third and fourth years of medical school.

Jake Whiteside
Jake Whiteside, medical student

Whiteside shared: “Here, I know I will be learning more face-to-face. “I appreciate being involved with patients and being able to ask questions. I also ask my mentors to challenge me.”

How did the patient react to the medical students?

Al-Makki adds: “Patients get more attention. “The addition of medical students provides a good discussion of the problem and possible solutions that help patients. I also ask the students to review the patient history with me and the patient.”

Whiteside says studying at Arnett and in the Lafayette area is a great fit for him and his family.

“My mentors and the team at IU Health Arnett are friendly, approachable, and flexible—always ready to tackle whatever I need in my personal and professional life,” says Whiteside. . “I really feel that we’re all in it together.”

Whiteside has found his passion in the field of general surgery—his previous experience in general surgery and bariatric research has contributed to his excitement to learn more about general surgery and its Its subspecialties include hand surgery, bariatric surgery, and robotic surgery, among others. Whiteside has been matched to an active surgical residency program at Wright Patterson Air Force Base/Wright State University and will begin her surgical training there in the summer of 2023.

Will he return to Indiana? He hopes so.

“It’s a great place to live and work,” added Whiteside. “The West offers a lot of flexibility.”

Al-Makki has locally expanded a statewide summer education program called Hospital Medical Education (HME) and secured funding to provide a stipend for a male and female student. members move from the first year to the second year. The eight-week program allows students to rotate through different faculties at Arnett, with the hope that students will be interested in staying in our community. The HME program has become very popular with medical students.

Al-Makki is continuously working to improve healthcare in Arnett by enhancing the training of medical students and doctors through its partnership with IU School of Medicine and priorities in the field of medicine. school curriculum. His work in increasing the involvement of medical education has resulted in higher levels of professional satisfaction among physicians through mentoring and teaching students.

Al-Makki said: “I am proud of what we have achieved.

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