On July 31st, Greenville Hospital System and the University of SC opened the doors to the first group of students to the new, accredited USC School of Medicine Greenville. 75% of the 53 students are South Carolinians - a great opportunity to keep the best and brightest of our future doctors in our area. "This is more than a new school. It's a new school of thought."
This partnership was first broached by GHS several years ago as a unique opportunity to create a medical school capable of educating a new generation of physician leaders for the Upstate. USC President Harris Pastides wanted a school that was "different and special."
Founding Dean Jerry Youkey M.D., a member of the Greenville Hospital System medical staff since 1998, believes that they have created something that will make Pastides and the Greenville community proud. "We have succeeded in establishing the 'new school of thought' on the Greenville Memorial Hospital campus that is innovative and forward-thinking in nearly every aspect."
Why do we need a medical school in Greenville? The Upstate area is the home of global companies like BMW, Fluor, and Michelin, as well as countless smaller companies. With the constant influx of new residents coming for the great opportunities in business and living conditions in the Upstate, adding to the present population, we are in need of more quality doctors and cost-effective healthcare. Offering the chance for students to start and finish their long road towards becoming physicians in the same locale is a strong chance to keep them here, where they began.
What will make this school different? According to Dr. Youkey, some of its unique features include:
• Faculty teaching as a team, linking discussions of science to patients, which will promote retention of information.
• A high-tech learning center for medical students and other healthcare disciplines that allows technology to link lecture halls, classrooms, labs, distance learners, and lecturers.
• A state-of-the-art simulation center and virtual patient environment that allow students to perfect their clinical and communication skills before interacting with live patients.
• Clinical education beginning with six weeks of emergency medical technician training to equip students with basic clinical skills, instill empathy, and connect them with our community.
• Learning to leverage technology to achieve better patient care and outcomes.
• Achieving all this without using public dollars.
We applaud the Greenville Hospital System and USC for beginning this process several years ago so that everyone in the Upstate will now begin to benefit in the new future from their foresight.