Breaking Ground on a New Era of Medical Education
March 16, 2020, is a day we’ll never forget. It’s the day we moved all medical students out of hospitals and clinics. In response to COVID-19, learning medicine suddenly became virtual. And in-person clinical training temporarily stopped.
Two months later, students returned to clinical settings at a critical moment. They helped with patient care when our health system was under tremendous strain.
Our resilient medical school community rallied together to weather this storm. We made sure every student completed their requirements and graduated on time.
Navigating these circumstances caused us to reflect. “If we had the chance to start over, how would we change medical education?”
Pre-pandemic, we embarked on a five-year plan to re-envision our MD program. Post-pandemic, we moved ahead with renewed purpose and resolve.
Then something spectacular happened. Our medical school received an historic $110 million gift from the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation and the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation.
Today, we broke ground on the new Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine at the University of Utah. The building will open in 2025. The promise of a new home is driving innovation in our MD program.
Design with a Purpose
We are creating a new culture of learning at our medical school. This culture emphasizes group and individual learning, relationships, and professional identity. Flexibility and community became guiding design principles for our new 185,000-square-foot facility.
Traditional amphitheater-style lecture halls were a one-size-fits-all approach to education. The Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine features adaptable spaces and technology.
New learning studios promote team- and case-based learning. The studios divide and sub-divide for large and small groups. These flexible spaces support greater collaboration and cross-disciplinary opportunities across health science professions.
A modern gross anatomy lab and advanced simulation center will be steps away from learning studios.
We are expanding training opportunities in under-resourced communities throughout Utah. New integrated technology meets the needs of students wherever they are—on or off campus.
In addition to flexibility, the design includes common areas for socializing. These spaces will help faculty and students build relationships in a new way. Stronger faculty-student relationships lead to better student performance.
Relationships across generations of students are also critical to learning. Currently, a limited number of students can gather at once. In our new home, all four medical school classes can share the same space.
A Home Suitable for Its Occupants
Facilities like the Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine propel our work. But it’s our people who make us a nationally ranked program.
We are nothing without the students who come to our medical school and the faculty and staff who support them. And we are nothing without our inspiring donors, local leaders, alumni, and friends.
We look forward to welcoming our people to a place where they are proud to work, learn, and train every day.
Michael Good, MD
Michael Good is Executive Dean of the Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine at the University of Utah, CEO of U of U Health, and A. Lorris Betz Senior Vice President for Health Sciences. Good ensures the professional and educational success of more than 20,000 talented faculty, staff, and students who make U of U Health one of the nation’s premier academic health systems. He received an MD from the University of Michigan and completed residency and a research fellowship in anesthesiology at the University of Florida.
Sara Lamb, MD
Sara Lamb is the Vice Dean of Education at the Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine at the University of Utah. Lamb oversees ongoing reform of the new medical school curriculum. She continues to care for patients as a hospitalist within the Division of Inpatient Pediatrics and a primary care internist in the Division of General Internal Medicine, while teaching medical students and residents in the classroom and at the bedside. Lamb received an MD at Michigan State University and completed a residency and internship in internal medicine/pediatrics at the University of Utah.
Wayne Samuelson, MD
Wayne Samuelson is the Dean of Medical Education at the Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine at the University of Utah. Samuelson joined the faculty of the Division of Respiratory, Critical Care, and Occupational Pulmonary Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine in 1995. He is a professor of medicine with clinical interests in the management of asthma patients. Samuelson received an MD at the University of Utah and completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in pulmonary disease at Duke University Medical Center.