New ASU-Mayo Clinic initiative helps redefine field of medical education

September 27, 2011

Mayo Clinic announced the expansion of Mayo Medical School in Rochester, Minn., to Arizona, creating a branch to be called Mayo Medical School – Arizona Campus.

The expansion signals Mayo’s continued commitment to enhancing its national and international leadership in patient-centered academic excellence. It will provide Mayo with a platform to continue to redefine the field of medical education, training the medical professional work force of tomorrow in team-based, high-quality and affordable care for patients across a broad demographic. Download Full Image

The Mayo Medical School – Arizona Campus will include a key collaboration with Arizona State University. A major differentiating feature at this new branch of Mayo Medical School is that all students will complete a specialized master’s degree in the Science of Health Care Delivery granted by ASU, concurrently with their medical degree from Mayo Medical School, believed to be the first medical school to offer such a program.

“This is one of the most important and exciting initiatives we can undertake,” said John Noseworthy, Mayo Clinic president and CEO. “For Mayo Clinic, this new branch of Mayo Medical School is firmly aligned with Mayo’s commitment to patient-centered academic excellence and redefining the field of medical education. Together with ASU, we will create the health care work force of the future.”

Since 2003, Mayo and ASU have worked together on a variety of successful efforts, including a joint nursing education program, collaborative research projects, joint faculty appointments and dual degree programs.

“Mayo Medical School is believed to be the first medical school in the U.S. to offer an embedded master’s degree in the science of health care delivery,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “ASU is proud to partner with Mayo in this innovative approach to providing future physicians with the complementary competencies needed to deliver high-value care.”

“This is very good news for all of Arizona,” said Gov. Jan Brewer. “It’s a great example of how Mayo Clinic and ASU are working together to continue to raise Arizona’s profile as a national and international hub for innovation in medical education and health care delivery.”

The branch of Mayo Medical School will be based on Mayo’s Scottsdale campus in buildings to be remodeled and retrofitted expressly for this purpose. A projected enrollment of 48 students per class will allow the individual attention that has become a hallmark of Mayo’s tradition of academic excellence. Faculty will be drawn from Mayo’s deep roster of instructional resources and augmented by experts from ASU, providing a broad array of educational experiences. The curriculum will build on the recognized strengths of Mayo Medical School, including a world-class faculty, a state-of-the-art curriculum and small class sizes.

“The continuing success of our partnership with ASU allows us the collective ability to redesign medical education in ways that align with the future of health care delivery,” said Wyatt Decker, vice president, Mayo Clinic and CEO for Mayo Clinic in Arizona. “We are very excited that the expansion of Mayo Medical School to Arizona will further enhance our leadership role in training the next generation of physicians.”

The specialized Science of Health Care Delivery master's degree will address the changing needs of 21st century health care delivery through curriculum developed collaboratively by Mayo Clinic and ASU faculty and delivered within the conventional four-year medical school schedule. Curricular components will include social and behavioral determinants of health, health care policy, health economics, management science, biomedical informatics, systems engineering and value principles of health care.

Director, Media Relations and Strategic Communications


Global health student begins medical training in the 'real world'

September 27, 2011

Arizona State University global health student Blake Thomson is not only a new member of Phi Beta Kappa, but also an aspiring doctor who has already embarked on the path to his dreams of making the world a better place.

His passion for the medical field arises from compassion and interest for those in need. “Being a doctor shouldn’t just be about giving someone medicine and shots. It’s important to understand social and cultural factors in addressing health issues,” he explained. Blake Thomson Download Full Image

Thomson chose ASU because of its sense of community and the opportunities to live in and serve “the real world.” He appreciates that ASU encourages its students to make connections outside of simple theory – to use their knowledge beyond the classroom to make a direct impact on the community around them.

Because Thomson believes that global health is a growing trend, part of the appeal of ASU's School of Human Evolution and Social Change in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences was that it is one of the few schools that offer a bachelor’s and master’s program in the discipline. With the ASU mindset for surpassing the expectations of a standard classroom environment, he has also been able to take master’s-level courses while earning his bachelor’s degree. “In the U.S., people are from everywhere, so working in the medical field right here, you are working in global health,” Thomson said.

The attitude at ASU is unlike some Thomson has heard about through peers in the pre-medical field. He noted that some other big name schools don’t go beyond the theories taught on campus. Each seems to be in its own “bubble”; he feels the students don’t connect to the outside community or world’s problems at the same level that ASU students do.

“ASU is invested in the real world. It’s a diverse experience, which I really like. Here, it’s up to the student to act, but there are many resources and possibilities available,” Thomson stated.

Thomson has taken his own advice, volunteering at St. Joseph’s Hospital in the pediatric ward for a year and a half. He is a Flinn and National Merit Scholar and participated in the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates. Additionally, Thomson has just entered the Spirit of Service Scholars Program, in which he will work with one community mentor while mentoring two high school students for a year. The program assigns each group of three scholars and their mentors and mentees to a community-based project with a local nonprofit.

Thomson is also on the board of directors for U.S. operations for an international nonprofit organization called Vive Perú, which offers internships for American students in health clinics, schools and nonprofits in Peru.

After graduation, he will continue his academic career at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where he received early acceptance through the Humanities and Medicine Program. Thomson is still deciding among the areas of pediatrics, infectious diseases and health disparities in the U.S. In any subdivision of medicine he chooses, there is no doubt that Thomson will be well-prepared for the responsibilities of his profession and the opportunities the world will offer.

Victoria Dombrowski,
School of Human Evolution and Social Change

Rebecca Howe

Communications Specialist, School of Human Evolution and Social Change