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Dr. Elizabeth Minto, assistant professor of neurology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and a neurologist with USA Health Physicians Group, recently was named director of clinical skills at the College of Medicine.
"We are extremely happy to have Dr. Minto as the new director of clinical skills. Not only is she an outstanding clinician-educator, she relates extremely well with students and serves as a competency coach and as one of the faculty mentors in our wellness program," said Dr. Susan LeDoux, associate dean of medical education and student affairs at USA.
"It is a tremendous privilege to be a part of the medical education of our outstanding body of medical students, and to help shape their development into compassionate, competent physicians," Dr. Minto said.
In her new role, Dr. Minto will develop and implement the curriculum in the College of Medicine that gives medical students the opportunity to take the clinical knowledge they learn in their basic science courses and begin to apply it to clinical situations. This is done via encounters with simulated patients (SPs), who are trained to provide medical histories suggestive of various disorders.
"This gives students real world practice in gathering history and performing the physical examination," Dr. Minto said. "These SP encounters are directly observed by the simulations department staff and myself; and students receive individual feedback on their professionalism, interpersonal and communication skills, and ability to accurately and effectively perform the various aspects of the physical examination. We are able to incorporate numerous variables into the simulated cases, including creative methods to teach concepts like cultural competency, how to deliver difficult news, and working with other members of an interprofessional team."
In addition, Dr. Minto will oversee the coordination of a career exploration opportunity for first- and second-year medical students to rotate in clinic with primary care providers and specialists both within USA Health, as well as in the Mobile medical community.
"The transition from the first two 'classroom years' of medical school to the third and fourth 'clinical' years is often stressful for both medical students and teaching physicians," Dr. Minto said. "The incorporation of the clinical skills curriculum into the first two years of medical education ensures that our students are prepared for that transition, as well as competent to interact with patients in their medical school years and beyond, in residency and clinical practice."
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