The University of Illinois College of Medicine in Peoria says it’s on track to accept students for its four-year program in 2017.
UICOMP currently enrolls second, third and fourth year students after they’ve completed their first year at the campus in Champaign-Urbana. Pharmacology Professor Steve Lasley says UICOMP is finished planning for “phase one” that focuses on those first two years of medical school.
“If this is going to occur in the fall of 2017, then students who will begin applying this summer need to know what kind of format they’re going to encounter," Lasley said. "So, we know the format, the general format, it’s been approved by the university senate of Chicago.”
Lasley says the administration will begin focusing on developing “phase two” of the program this summer. It’s aimed at third and fourth year students concentrating more on clinic-based training in preparation for residency.
Part of the restructuring effort involves adapting the curriculum to a growing shift in medical schools across the country. Many programs are relying less on lecture time. Instead, schools are focusing on integrating group activities and clinical hours earlier in students’ med-school careers.
Lasley says under this new model, students use lectures as a supplement to the hands-on learning. In the case of UICOMP, professors would be able to record their lectures that can be shared with other U of I medical campuses.
“If we need a lecture on inflammatory bowel disease, for instance, it may be someone in Rockford giving a lecture for the drugs for that condition. If we’re going to talk about drugs for diabetes, I may be giving the podcast,” Lasley said.
UICOMP spokesman David Haney says demolition is also expected to start this summer to make way for new labs, classrooms and study spaces.