President's Page

Changing policies in medical education and public health

Lucio N. Margallo II, MD
President, South Dakota State Medical Association

March 3, 2023

I graduated from medical school in 1970 after finishing two years, a bachelor of science (pre-med), four years of medical education proper, and one year of general rotating internship. My training and education moved on with three years of general surgery and three years of general internal medicine residency abroad and in the U.S.

To continue to improve high quality public health delivery, medical education and training are changing. Medical education promotes a commitment to learning across the professional lifespan to ensure that physicians are prepared to respond to the country’s changing health care needs. At both the national level and individual institutions, medical education is implementing innovations across the continuum of education and training to reflect the changing context of patient care, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

In 2015, 84 percent of medical school deans reported the need for specific admissions programs and policies designed to recruit a diverse student body, and the majority of respondents had established or expected programs/policies geared toward minorities underrepresented in medicine, students from disadvantaged backgrounds, and students from rural and underserved communities.

The changes in demographics, science and federal policies have had a major impact on the delivery of health care.

Medical institutions in the U.S. and the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine implement strict criteria including high academic achievements, as well as the values and attitudes necessary to become excellent and compassionate physicians with a balance of experiences, attributes and academic metrics.

USD SSOM implements an award-winning curriculum and initiatives:

• Medical student research

• Transition to residency

• Medical decision making and evidence-based care

• Interpersonal education and care

• Dual degree programming

• Telemedicine and rural healthcare

• Art and humanities in medicine

The three pillar curriculum:

• Pillar 1 (System Block) – 18 months

• Pillar 2 Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship – 12 months

• Pillar 3 Sub internships, Rural Family Medicine, Surgery Subspecialties, Emergency Medicine, Professional Development, Transition to Residency – 16 months

• The school is in the 99th percentile for graduates who are practicing in rural areas

• The school was awarded a $13.5 million external research grant in 2021

• About 2,000 South Dakota physicians are involved in medical education

Given the demographic changes taking place across the U.S.,it is great to see a commitment to developing a diverse and culturally competent student body.

South Dakota State Medical Association
2600 W 49th St Ste 100
Sioux Falls, SD 57105
Phone: 605.336.1965 | Fax: 605.274.3274

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