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The Zucker School of Medicine at
Hofstra/Northwell has an astounding capacity to impart knowledge and skills in
a way that allows its students to make important differences in others’ lives. Understanding
that the rapid pace of medical discovery and innovation makes the study of
medicine a lifetime pursuit, the School of Medicine places a great emphasis on
providing an intimate environment in which students direct their own learning.
The curriculum for the First 100 Weeks is grounded in consolidating the divide
between practical and theoretical knowledge, guiding students in a manner that
blends both the clinical and science aspects of medicine.

The PEARLS component of the
curriculum ties knowledge to patient cases, and its group-based approach translates
well into patient care in both the hospital and outpatient setting. In
addition, the six integrated courses that compose the first two years lead
nicely into one another and present a logical progression that examines the
body from different aspects—its growth, its acquisition of nutrients, and its
maintenance of homeostasis—as well as how it interacts with the environment, in
an integrated manner. And through each course of study, the incorporation of the
Patient, Physician, and Society unit allows students to acquire practical
clinical skills very early on, with opportunities stemming from obtaining an
EMS license and quickly evolving to include interacting with patients and
following cases in an OB/GYN practice. Furthermore, the fact that normal bodily
processes are explored in tandem with their aberrant counterparts grants
students an extremely comprehensive perspective into each ailment and allows
them to frame their thinking in terms of how each disease impacts the patient
as a whole.

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The embrace of technology and
hands-on training, of early and frequent clinical exposure, and of case-based
teaching in which students actively increase their knowledge through
discussion, greatly stresses applying information and critical thinking.
Perhaps most important, though, is the emphasis on teamwork and the adoption of
a multidisciplinary approach. Learning how to provide constructive feedback,
delegate effectively, and adjust as necessary, are integral components in
practicing medicine today, and the Zucker School of Medicine’s affiliation with
a Level I Trauma Center in Northwell Health-North Shore University Hospital—and
others ranging from Glen Cove to Southside Hospital—affords students the
opportunity to see these ideals being placed into practice. By offering such a
grand mix of settings, along with hospitals composed of varying public/private
patient insurance distributions, students are exposed to an extremely diverse
range of illnesses, as well as patients of all different ages and socioeconomic
conditions.

Finally, opportunities to provide
care outside the classroom are abundant, with projects like the
Hofstra/Northwell Free Clinic demonstrating the Zucker School of Medicine’s
commitment to compassion and service, and allowing me to aid those who can
afford it least and perhaps require it most, instilling the idea of education
with a purpose.

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