About the School of Medicine

2014 Annual Report

New Curriculum Takes Shape

Embracing the University’s role as the leadership academy of the military health system, the School’s Department of Military and Emergency Medicine is implementing a new leadership curriculum: “Military Medical Practice and Leadership.”

Army Colonel (Dr.) Francis G. O’Connor, chair and professor in the Department of Military and Emergency Medicine, retired Lieutenant General Eric Schoomaker, former Army surgeon general and professor and vice chair for centers and programs in the department, and Neil Grunberg, Ph.D., professor in the department, are leading the effort.

The new leadership curriculum includes both pre  and post – clerkship blocks of instruction, along with high-impact didactic and field experiences. It is designed to establish a basic foundation in the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary to prepare students to lead clinical teams, larger units and ultimately major health care organizations. In addition to reinforcing core values embraced by the University since its inception, the curriculum adds new knowledge and research on leadership including:

  • Understanding the environment and the effects of instruments of national power
  • Anticipating and adapting to surprise and uncertainty
  • Recognizing change and leading transitions
  • Operating on intent through trust, empowerment and understanding
  • Making ethical decisions based on the core values of the medical, nursing and dental professions and the profession of arms
  • Thinking critically and strategically in applying health services support to joint warfighting principles and concepts of joint operations.

The curriculum is built on the Air Force’s “PITO” model, which focuses on developing leadership in four dimensions of expandingscale: Personal, Interpersonal, Team and Organization. Each level builds upon theothers throughout the three phases of USU’s medical school curriculum:

  • Pre-clerkship phase: Military Medical Practice and Leadership
  • Clinical clerkships: Emergency Medicine
  • Post-clerkship phase: Advanced Military Medical Practice and Leadership (including Medical Field Practicum 201: “Bushmaster”)

In the April 2014 issue of Military Medicine, the program’s leaders wrote: “We must produce health care professionals who are ready and able to function as high performing team members, leaders of small groups and, ultimately, directors of large and complex health care organizations. At USU, we don’t consider leadership development a privilege reserved for a chosen few; it is a responsibility for all. At the leadership academy of the Military Health System, nothing else will do.”