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Health Care Fort Worth M.D. school dean envisions brave new world of medicine

Fort Worth M.D. school dean envisions brave new world of medicine

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When the first graduates of Fort Worth’s new M.D. school enter the workforce, the health care industry will be virtually unrecognizable, according to the school’s founding dean.

“The young folks we train will come out into a very different environment,” said Dr. Stuart D. Flynn, envisioning the future at an Aug. 17 breakfast meeting at the Fort Worth Club, part of the Fort Worth Business Press’ Business for Breakfast series.

Replacing today’s fee-for-service payment model will be something more cost-independent for services rendered, Flynn said. He foresees physicians practicing in 2025 and beyond as focused more on chronic care than acute care due to an aging population dealing with chronic diseases.

“Things will definitely change by 2025,” said Flynn, busily preparing the school established by the University of North Texas Health Science Center and Texas Christian University to begin holding classes in fall 2018.

Since announcing plans to create the school in July 2015, officials from both institutions have been preparing existing facilities and resources at both campuses for medical instruction.

“We’re in the process of getting this school accredited,” Flynn confirmed.

Before assuming his position in April, Flynn served as founding dean of the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix and helped create its curriculum while helping secure its accreditation.

Before that, Flynn served as professor of pathology and surgery at Yale University School of Medicine. He has written more than 100 articles and books and received numerous awards. His plans for the Fort Worth M.D. school are no less prolific. Or ambitious.

“The opportunity is here,” said Flynn, explaining how such schools can enrich local economies.

When Pittsburgh’s steel industry crashed in the mid-‘80s, for example, the University of Pittsburgh’s medical center served as the city’s economic engine and helped the city recover, Flynn pointed out. He also pointed to the Phoenix school as a $1 billion annual economic driver for that city in terms of jobs and other economic opportunities.

In 2013 alone, the school made a $1.3 billion economic impact on the city of Phoenix, according to study by consulting firm Tripp-Umbach.

“We’ll make that happen in Fort Worth,” Flynn.

Key to the school’s vision is a holistic approach to medicine and technology. Several key words are critical to the former, Flynn said.

“These are totally embedded in how we train these young people: altruism, collaboration, humility, integrity, respectful, insightful balance … empathy is also extremely important. We are going to train the physicians you want to go to in Fort Worth,” Flynn said.

Not only is cultivating longstanding relationships between physicians and their patients vital – doctors who transcend clinical knowledge with a personal touch – but so is technological skill, Flynn emphasized.

For instance, medical practitioners can keep abreast of available clinical trials and treatments through software portals already gaining use in the medical community. “Nurses can put in a patients’ data, size of tumor, pathology of tumor and hit send. What comes back instantaneously are two things,” said Flynn, referring to clinical trials available on a national level and evidence-based trials, both representing more treatment options for patients, regardless of where they live.

Technology also is expected to reduce numbers of medical errors, according to Flynn. It will help predict medical errors by monitoring patients taking medication and ensure that they take no more or no less than what’s required.

“It’s the fancy work of pharmacogenomics. It’s not a one drug fits all; it’s one drug fits the individual,” said Flynn, determined to train physicians for that brave new world.

They will learn to work with pharmacists, social workers and others to learn every facet of medicine, from the lab to the bedside. “It will be a beautiful incubator,” Flynn said of the school.

The next Business for Breakfast will be in October. For more information, contact LVay@bizpress.net

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