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Home / Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine

Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine in Pasadena Welcomes First Class

Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine
The Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine welcomes its inaugural class of students today, on July 27, 2020. – Courtesy photo

The KaiserPermanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine welcomed its inaugural class of50 students as they commence their medical journey “focused on becomingclinicians and advocates for change within the medical profession and insociety,” according to a press release sent out to local media Monday.

Opening aschool of medicine can be a daunting experience at the best of times but as Dr.Abbas Hyderi, senior associate dean for medical education says, opening duringa pandemic added a whole new set of challenges for the faculty and staff aswell as the medical students themselves.

As a directresult, the school will integrate COVID-19 into its case-based curriculum byexamining the biology of the virus itself, addressing clinical implications ofCOVID-19 as it presents, and integrating it into the context of racial andethnic disparities, public health surveillance, vaccine development anddelivery, and the impact of the economy on health.

Theimpressive, elaborate building on the southeast corner of Green and Los Roblesfeatures the permanent installation of “Bridge (Science of Speed)” in theatrium by Los Angeles conceptual artist Glenn Kaino. The piecewas created in collaboration with former Olympian Tommie Smith, one of the twosprinters who raised a black-gloved fist on the medal podium at the 1968 MexicoCity Olympics in non-violent protest against oppression.

Theexpansive, undulating Bridge has been exhibited at the High Museumin Atlanta, the San Jose Museum of Art as well asin Chicago and Washington D.C. Its permanent site-specificplacement of 90 arms at the medical school in Pasadena “will serve as an imageof continuity between Smith’s protest and the present of Black Lives Matter andthe renewed discussion on race in America,” according to another release sentout by Kaiser via PRNewswire on July 20.

The new medical school provides robotic dolls such as this newborn baby to help medical students during their training to become doctors. – Photo by Terry Miller / Beacon Media News

The newschool offers high ceilings, a lot of natural light, unique art in the lobby alongwith exceptionally high tech training/simulation rooms for OBGYN and ORfacilities where the students can attend to “patients” which can be activatedrobotically to simulate a lifelike response.

“All of us at the school are excited to welcome 50 phenomenal students who are compassionate, mission-driven, collaborative, and very smart and are poised to become the next generation of leaders in medicine,” said Mark Schuster, founding dean and chief executive officer of the Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine. “As our nation grapples with a devastating pandemic, long overdue attention to social injustice, and entrenched disparities in health and health care, we are excited to train students who will become outstanding clinicians and skilled advocates for patients and communities. I am thrilled about our incoming class as well as the faculty and staff who have come together to participate in their education.”

The school’s curriculum is built on the three pillars of biomedical science, clinical science and health systems science. Students will learn in an environment that reflects the changing demographics of America and the multi-faceted health care issues facing society. The school has woven equity, inclusion, and diversity into all aspects of its design. Student well-being is built into the school’s fiber with a dedicated course focused on supporting well-being and building resilience skills; sessions with a clinical psychologist; and robust academic support. This is all accomplished in a variety of settings, from the technology-enhanced classrooms in its new education building, to clinical settings that span in scale from large hospitals and outpatient facilities to community-based, federally qualified health centers.

Plansfor the school began more than a decade ago, and formal development was put inmotion by the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Kaiser FoundationHospitals Boards of Directors in 2015. The school’s Board of Directors wasfirst convened in September 2016. After former Chairman andCEO Bernard J. Tyson unexpectedly passed away in November 2019,the school’s board renamed the school after Tyson to honor his commitment tothe school and his work on behalf of health equity and the health ofcommunities.

Lastyear, the school announced full tuition waivers for its first five classes entering2020 through 2024, for all four years of their education. In the school’s finallead-up to opening, the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the school to adapt to thenew environment. These included the need to recruit the first class of admittedstudents virtually, refine the curriculum to support a hybrid approach, withsome parts taught in person, following public health guidelines such asdistancing and masking, and other parts taught virtually, and implement stricthealth, safety, and facility cleaning standards. The school will integrateCOVID-19 into its case-based curriculum by examining the biology of the virusitself, addressing clinical implications of COVID-19 as it presents, andintegrating it into the context of racial and ethnic disparities, public healthsurveillance, vaccine development and delivery, and the impact of the economyon health.

Prospectivestudents for the school’s second class can submit their primary applicationby Oct. 1, 2020. For more information, visit the school’s admissions webpage at medschool.kp.org/admissions.

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