Regenerative medicine is redefining clinical care—going beyond disease symptom management to addressing the underlying cause of disease to restore health. Regenerative care is expected to represent 10% of all health care in the next decade. Yet, education in regenerative medicine lags behind scientific and clinical advances. This threatens to leave physicians-in-training ill-equipped to address changing needs in patient care.
In a recently published paper, Mayo Clinic educators lay out the Mayo Clinic’s Regenerative Medicine and Surgery course, supported in part by Regenerative Medicine Minnesota, as a solution to bridge this recognized knowledge gap through an innovative curriculum and transdisciplinary training. The course serves an educational imperative to enhance the practitioners’ literacy, competency and overall proficiency in new knowledge and specialized skillsets mandated by the rapidly evolving regenerative era.
“This curriculum was collectively developed by the Center for Regenerative Medicine experts in order to build the foundation for a specialized workforce equipped with skills to distinguish safe and valid regenerative options, as well as carry out regenerative care,” says Saranya Wyles, M.D., Ph.D., course director. “It emphasizes the need for regenerative medicine to be introduced early and longitudinally during medical education in order to develop a proficient physician cohort that can advise patients to distinguish validated and robustly regulated treatments.”
This curriculum offers a comprehensive educational experience that encompasses discovery, development and delivery of next-generation patient management, while spanning technologies across relevant medical and surgical specialties. It is offered across medical training as a first-year medical student elective, fourth-year medical student clinical elective and residency selective.
“The Regenerative Medicine and Surgery course offers a patient-centric curriculum that involves patients previously enrolled in clinical trials, as well as simulated patient experiences,” says Richard Hayden, M.D., director of education for the Center for Regenerative Medicine. “This educational format is unique to Mayo Clinic, providing an educational prototype in regenerative training.”
Educators at the Center for Regenerative Medicine are continuously evolving this ‘from the patient to the patient’ training platform sharing globally the growing experience.
“Over the five-year developmental period of this course, the curriculum increased student literacy in regenerative medicine and inspired a sizeable percentage of participants to pursue expanded degree programs in the area of regenerative science and associated medical applications,” says Dr. Wyles.
In addition to the Regenerative Medicine and Surgery course, offered twice yearly, the Center for Regenerative Medicine offers education and training on regenerative medicine techniques, advances and application for learners at all levels of expertise, from online modules available to the general public to specialized training for current and future medical professionals. A recent blog post highlighted the 2019 Regenerative Medicine and Surgery course.