Educational Affairs

A check-in on learning and training activity on the Jacksonville campus

By Linda Edwards, M.D.

The colleges of Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy are a major venue for education and training in the health sciences in Jacksonville.

College of Medicine

Undergraduate Medical Education

Faculty and residents continue to provide excellent education in Jacksonville for both medical and physician assistant students from the UF College of Medicine. This time of year is particularly exciting for our fourth-year medical students, as they have recently learned where they will complete their residency training. Match Day was March 17.

We are in the midst of planning for the arrival of our new class of third-year medical students in May. One of our primary goals for the upcoming year is to ensure all students are observed demonstrating appropriate history-taking and physical-examination skills on each rotation.

Graduate Medical Education

The UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville has 378 residents and fellows spanning 34 fully accredited programs (12 core programs and 22 fellowships) and 10 clinical fellowships.

The Office of Educational Affairs has had a busy academic year to date. Our programs submitted updates to the Accreditation Data System, or ADS, of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and some prepared for site visits. The Review Committees of the ACGME evaluate programs annually based our electronic submission of data through ADS as well as data from ACGME resident and faculty surveys. This process was implemented as part of the Next Accreditation System that began several years ago. Most review committees meet in the early part of the calendar year to review the data submitted by programs in their respective disciplines.

We are receiving weekly notifications of our programs’ accreditation status. Institutionally, we continue to review our ACGME-accredited programs annually and have just completed this year’s review. These robust reviews are conducted by a subcommittee of the Graduate Medical Education Committee, or GMEC, whose membership is comprised of seasoned program directors, hospital staff and a resident representative.

Our institution sponsors a number of outstanding programs whose directors ensure a quality educational experience is offered to our residents and fellows. During the annual review of programs, best practices have been identified in the use of error reporting to improve patient care and safety, methods of evaluating transitions in care (handoffs), participation in interprofessional teams to address quality improvement initiatives and patient safety, and professionalism curriculum development. One area that many programs and our institution need to further enhance is faculty development. The institution strives to provide faculty the tools they need to better teach our students, residents and fellows.

We have two programs that conducted their first self-study this past fall: diagnostic radiology and vascular interventional radiology. This is part of the new accreditation process. The self-study is an opportunity for an accredited program to self-reflect and identify its aim, strengths and areas for improvement. These two programs submitted the findings from their self-study. In the next 12 to 18 months, a full site visit will be scheduled to evaluate each program and review the progress made in addressing the opportunities identified in their self-study.

College of Nursing

In May 2016, the UF College of Nursing admitted its first cohort of the accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing, or B.S.N., degree program in Jacksonville. The accelerated B.S.N. program is offered to students who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field. The Gainesville-based program began enrolling students in 2003 and has since become one of the college’s most successful and in-demand programs. The accelerated B.S.N. is endorsed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, among others, as an innovative, efficient educational model to increase nursing workforce capacity while maintaining program quality and integrity.

The accelerated BSN program is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. All students in the cohort have been part of an innovative model of clinical education — the Academic Partnership Unit, or APU, first piloted on the Gainesville campus and now extended to the Jacksonville campus. The APU places nursing students in units to shadow and learn from expert staff nurses who are trained as clinical instructors. The APU model is a joint effort between leaders in the UF College of Nursing and UF Health Jacksonville to enhance education and integration between students and nursing staff. The APU model ensures a low faculty-to-student ratio — two students per clinical instructor — and allows for more questions, comments and hands-on patient-care experience. Students also work in the same unit for four semesters.

In addition, Jacksonville campus students have had access to state-of-the-art educational facilities, which include the UF Center for Simulation Education and Safety Research, located in a large facility spanning approximately 24,000 square feet. This location offers unique opportunities to explore a wide variety of training scenarios, including mass casualty events, multiple-patient encounters and a continuum of care from remote interventions through emergency room admissions and full surgical interventions. Nursing students and faculty have worked with pharmacy and medical students in simulation scenarios aimed at optimizing patient outcomes by improving communication and teamwork skills. It includes a comprehensive set of ready-to-use materials and a training curriculum to successfully integrate teamwork principles into any health care system.

The first Jacksonville campus class of 21 students will graduate in August. The program will double its number of students in the second cohort of 48. The campus has a designated student admissions/advising officer who will visit Jacksonville regularly to meet with students. Courses are delivered in person and online. We have enjoyed excellent collaboration with the staff of UF Health Jacksonville and look forward to enhancing our partnership in the future.

College of Pharmacy

The College of Pharmacy is in its 15th year of providing the full four-year Pharm.D. curriculum at UF Health Jacksonville, with a completely new curriculum that began in fall 2015. With approximately 200 pharmacy students on our campus, we help educate 20 to 25 percent of UF’s Pharm.D. class.

Recently, renovations on campus were completed and provide a large state-of-the-art student study and group learning facility. There is improved and expanded laboratory space to allow for more simulated patient-care experiences and OSCEs (objective structured clinical examinations), as well as increased office space for the expanding faculty numbers.

An interactive classroom, which opened in fall 2016, allows our campus to video conference with the Gainesville campus during instructional time. Interprofessional coursework and projects continue to be a focus of the curriculum, with new and innovative methods developed for this integrated form of teaching, including safety simulations with nursing and medical students.