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The Cutting Edge

New Learning Center Will Expand School's Capabilities

The new Teaching and Learning Center for Health Sciences will enable students from all medical disciplines to work more closely together.The new Teaching and Learning Center for Health Sciences will enable students from all medical disciplines to work more closely together. Rendering: Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA was scheduled to break ground in September for a new medical-education building. The $120-million, six-level, 110,000-square-foot Teaching and Learning Center for Health Sciences will enable the medical school to expand its educational programs and improve teaching and learning. The facility also is expected to be a boon for recruiting students, staff and faculty.

“We’re building this center not for just today,” says A. Eugene Washington, MD, MSc, vice chancellor for UCLA Health Sciences and dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “We’re constructing an edifice we believe will help shape the future.”

The Teaching and Learning Center, which is expected to be completed in 2016, will feature technology-enabled classrooms to facilitate active learning; a clinical-skills training center; innovative and flexible teaching labs that promote collaboration and interaction; as well as spaces for students to relax, room for student organizations to meet and offices for admissions, financial aid, student affairs and other student services.

“We pride ourselves on being innovators in education,” says John C. Mazziotta, MD (RES ’81, FEL ’83), PhD, associate vice chancellor of health sciences and executive vice dean of the medical school. “To really be at the forefront, you also must have state-of-the-art facilities — the best classrooms, the best clinical and teaching centers, the best open spaces in which students can learn and the best equipment.”

The center also will enable students from all medical disciplines to work more closely together — an important feature, given the increasing demand for multidisciplinary, team-based approaches to healthcare. For example, a new year-long seminar for third-year students in medicine, dentistry and advanced-practice nursing will allow them to work in groups of eight, along with two faculty members from the different schools, to address issues relevant to systems of healthcare and collaborative practice.

“The future is really about having doctors and nurses and dentists all together in the classroom much earlier on, so it’s very much about interprofessional education,” Dr. Washington says. “As we try to build a truly patient-centered approach to delivering medical care, that integration, which has been a big theme in medical schools, is going to be vital for our trainees. Our vision is to create world leaders in health, science and education. The environment in which that takes place is very important.”

 





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