UT System grants $1.7 million to 3 faculty teaching programs

SAN ANTONIO (Oct. 2, 2008)—Three medical student and resident education programs at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio are among only six programs statewide to receive 2008 teaching grants from The University of Texas System, the System announced. The three grants totaling $1.7 million will provide or expand innovative approaches to medical education with the ultimate goal of producing physicians who are educationally outstanding, compassionate and service oriented.

The three Health Science Center programs will:

• Develop a case-based virtual education resource, including notes and tests that students may use to diagnose a patient’s disease or condition. Project leaders are Jaishree Jagirdar, M.D., and Kristin Fiebelkorn, M.D., in the Department of Pathology; the grant amount is $630,000.

• Augment community service learning activities of the Center for Medical Humanities and Ethics in the School of Medicine. Projects include service in Laredo, Corpus Christi, the Rio Grande Valley and foreign countries. The project leader is Ruth Berggren, M.D., center director; the grant amount is $630,000.

• Create an educational interdisciplinary intervention that trains residents and students in palliative care, the medical subspecialty that seeks to improve quality of life for individuals who are chronically ill or terminally ill. The project leader is Sandra Sanchez-Reilly, M.D., in the Department of Medicine/Division of Geriatrics, Gerontology and Palliative Medicine; the grant amount is $450,000.

“The UT System has made a tremendous investment in teaching at our institution,” said Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., president of the UT Health Science Center. “Nothing is more central to our mission than educating our students to be the most well-rounded and patient-centered physicians that they can be.”

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is the leading research institution in South Texas and one of the major health sciences universities in the world. With an operating budget of $668 million, the Health Science Center is the chief catalyst for the $15.3 billion biosciences and health care sector in San Antonio’s economy. The Health Science Center has had an estimated $35 billion impact on the region since inception and has expanded to six campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. More than 23,000 graduates (physicians, dentists, nurses, scientists and other health professionals) serve in their fields, including many in Texas. Health Science Center faculty are international leaders in cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, aging, stroke prevention, kidney disease, orthopaedics, research imaging, transplant surgery, psychiatry and clinical neurosciences, pain management, genetics, nursing, dentistry and many other fields. For more information, visit www.uthscsa.edu.

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