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Learning From the Next Generation of Health Care Leaders

By Paul B. Rothman, M.D.


In the five-year strategic plan for Johns Hopkins Medicine, one of the six strategic priorities in which we are investing our time and resources is education. Specifically, we aim to lead the world in the education and training of physicians and biomedical scientists.

This year marked an exciting milestone in this critical endeavor as our graduating class of medical students was the first to complete the revolutionary Genes to Society curriculum. The feedback we have received from them is extremely promising. 

They have greatly appreciated the opportunity to gain exposure to the clinical setting from the outset of their medical education—a fairly unique experience compared with many other medical school curricula. Johns Hopkins medical students, for example, now begin speaking with patients in the first week of medical school, rather than waiting until their second year.

Our students believe it helps to maintain a vital degree of perspective and place a focus on the patient—two important objectives that can be lost if students are mired purely in preclinical sciences during their early years here.

We’ve also gotten very positive feedback about the intense, in-depth exploration of clinical skills that they’ve received at the beginning of each of the required core rotations. Our students have told us it has been extremely helpful to get a much more advanced understanding of what will be required of them in each specific discipline.

We have always considered the members of this first graduating class to be our collaborators in refining the Genes to Society curriculum. They have improved our understanding of the overall mission on which we’ve embarked, shown us what we have accomplished so far, and given us sound ideas on improvements for the future.

We anticipate that through our medical students’ experience at Johns Hopkins under the Genes to Society curriculum, they will be able to formulate persuasive, effective treatment and research plans that draw upon a much broader comprehension of the familial and societal forces that affect the overall health of this nation and which all of us navigate every day.

Dr. Rothman Addresses the School of Medicine Class of 2013

Dean Rothman speaks to the first class to complete four years of the revolutionary Genes to Society curriculum at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine on May 23, 2013.

Additional Resources About Genes to Society