CHM: 50 Years (And Beyond) of Innovative Thinking

Today marks the last day of 2014, officially closing out a very special year for the MSU College of Human Medicine (CHM)—our 50th Anniversary.

Green. White. Golden.


MSU College of Human Medicine 1964–2014 from MSU MD on Vimeo.

As national pioneers of community-based medicine, the trait that Dean Marsha Rappley feels is most commonly associated with the College is innovation. And through innovative thinking, our goal has always been to prepare future physicians to meet the ever-changing needs of the medically underserved.

A main way to do that is naturally through curriculum. With so many medical advancements in the last half-century, CHM has always understood that thoroughly preparing our students means being continuously self-aware in regards to updating the curriculum through time.

From emphasizing new angles on primary care and family practice to growing the concepts of problem-based learning, medical students have had the opportunity to get actively involved in consuming the sciences with clinical content at affiliated campuses across the entire state. Even in 2014 are great minds discussing new curriculum designs, meant to prepare ambitious students as well as possible.

Beyond the classroom, CHM has always been active with administration too, utilizing faculty and staff who've consistently promoted what is, for their time, uncommon of academic establishments. A solid foundation for female faculty, staff and, students is one initiative among others seeded in our history to ensure geographic, cultural and socio-economic diversity.

Since 1964, CHM has been about opportunity. As CHM has expanded, so has our will to be further embedded in the community. The Secchia Center was built in 2010 on Grand Rapids' medical mile, allowing the College to increase our research portfolio. This, in turn, now allows collaborations with the likes of respected organizations like the Van Andel Institute and Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital.

Recently, another opportunity to strengthen our communities arose closer to eastern shores. We had the opportunity in November to expand our medical education and public health programs in Flint.

Our sites in Flint and Grand Rapids are just two examples of opportunities that stemmed from the past yet are advantageous to many more in the future, such as the plan to further make an imprint in Grand Rapids with a new biomedical research facility.
"We felt, as we still do, [that] medicine is human life. And to understand how to be a good doctor, you have to understand how people live and how people think and how people live in communities."
-Art Kohrman, MD
 Associate Dean for Educational Affairs (Retired)
Times change. People change. Schools change. But our propensity for innovative thinking will not. We are still committed to community-based medicine. What has guided us from day one...will continue to do so.

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