The Power of the Patient-Doctor Bond: A Conversation with Michael Clearfield, DO

michael clearfield

Some people develop the passion for medicine at an early age. Michael Clearfield, DO, was not one of them – but once he did find that passion, he ran with it for miles.Although he’d been interested in science and math throughout college, and had a vague feeling that “something in healthcare would be something I’d be interested in,” it was ultimately a personal experience that cemented his future career goals. “Some personal issues happened in our family, where people got ill, and I was able to experience the healthcare team as it impacts you as an individual,” he told SDN at last year’s UC Davis Pre-Health Conference (UCDPHC15), where he delivered a keynote on opportunities in osteopathic medicine. “There were some very startling revelations to me; some positive, some negative – seeing how the system worked, and how it didn’t – and I decided that [medicine] would be a career that I would like to try and make a difference in.”

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A Better Method for Medical Education?

Do students like this new model of medical education being delivered at A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona?  SDN interviews current students.

A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA) is changing the way medical students learn. Called a clinical presentation curricular model, their new teaching method is based on the ways patients present to physicians.

Approximately 120 presentations comprise the curriculum, which ATSU touts as a union of both basic and clinical science, with the clinical presentations organized based on the organ system to which they most logically fit (abdominal pain is covered in the gastrointestinal course). According to ATSU, this creates a complete set of organ-system based courses during the first two years of the curriculum.  The curriculum also contains courses in medical skills, osteopathic principles and practice.

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