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March 12, 2003

Dr. Arthur H. Rubenstein Named to Advisory Board of New National Institute

(Philadelphia) - Arthur H. Rubenstein, M.B., B.Ch., Executive Vice President of the University of Pennsylvania for the Health System and Dean of the School of Medicine, was one of ten deans across the country named to serve on the advisory board of the Institute for Improvement in Medical Education. The new institute was established by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) to help improve the quality of medical education in the United States and to meet the needs of a rapidly changing health-care delivery system.

In recent years, the AAMC has focused its effort in reforming medical education on the four years of medical school. The new Institute will expand those efforts to include the next periods of medical education: residency training and continuing medical education. Over the next year, the Institute's advisory board will coordinate a comprehensive review of the current state of medical education in the country and work to set a strategic direction for reform across the entire continuum of medical education. The advisory board's findings, expected to be released by February 2004, will serve as a blueprint for the Institute's future projects and activities.

"I am delighted to serve on the advisory board of this important new institute," said Dr. Rubenstein. "The original purpose of our academic medical centers was to educate and train the next generations of doctors, and everything else that we do ultimately depends on how well we perform that educational function."

Dr. Rubenstein took office at Penn in September 2001, but his experience in medical education goes back many years. From 1997-2001, he was Dean of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, and he served as chair of the University of Chicago's Department of Medicine for 16 years. Among his many honors and awards in the educational field, he was president of the Association of Professors of Medicine and served on the educational policy committee of the American College of Physicians. He is also a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

"Improving medical education is a recurrent theme at academic medical centers, and we should never feel satisfied that we have reached the highest level," said Dr. Rubenstein. "At Penn, the last major effort in educational reform began in the mid-1990s, under Dr. Gail Morrison's direction, with our ambitious initiative called Curriculum 2000. Not only did it change what our students learn, it also changed how they learn. We are proud that Curriculum 2000 has been closely observed by our peer institutions." Dr. Rubenstein also pointed out that Penn, like other academic medical centers across the country, is presently evaluating ways to improve the process of medical residency. To that purpose, Penn's program for graduate medical education was recently reorganized.

"I look forward to sharing what Penn has learned about medical education, and I am eager to learn from my fellow deans and colleagues at other institutions," said Dr. Rubenstein.

The Institute for Improvement in Medical Education has a full agenda. It is expected to examine ways to improve the medical curricula, reform the clinical education of students and residents, enhance public health education in medical schools, promote professionalism during medical education and training, and engage in international medical education activities. In addition, because the leaders of medical education recognize that medical education has become a lifelong process in the today's rapidly changing environment, the Institute will explore ways to better meet the need for continued professional development of physicians once they enter practice.

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