Bradley Britigan discusses the future of education at the Medical Education Research Facility

Britigan, fourth runner-up for vice president for medical affairs and dean of Carver College of Medicine, focused on his goals and missions for the University of Iowa during his open forum on Thursday.

Fourth Vice President of Medical Affairs and Carver College of Medicine Dean’s Finalist Bradley Britigan focused on the goals and missions of the University of Iowa during an open forum Thursday.

In the Prem Sahai auditorium of the Medical Education Research Facility, staff, faculty and students gathered to hear Britigan and ask questions.

Britigan is the latest candidate considered for the position held by current vice president of medical affairs and dean of the Brooks Jackson College of Medicine. Jackson will hold the position until a candidate has been chosen after announcing his departure from the position in February.

At the University of Nebraska, Britigan is the Stokes-Shackleford Professor and Dean of the College of Medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, a position he has held since 2011.

He co-oversees the University of Nebraska Medical Center Family Medicine Plan with the leadership of Nebraska Medicine and Children’s Hospital. His research interests are internal medicine and infectious diseases.

Medical education, especially undergraduate medical education, is the primary mission of public colleges, according to Britigan. A curriculum more suited to personalized learning for students is one change that can be implemented, he said.

“Technological advancements providing new learning opportunities and simulation facilities will, in my view, be absolutely essential to being able to provide the optimal type of education,” Britigan said.

Britigan also discussed establishing and improving education programs for rural and urban doctor shortages. He works with the Rural Health Opportunities Program, a high school program in Nebraska that allows students to transition into college with guaranteed admission to medical school.

He would also like to explore implementing these types of programs to the user interface, he said.

Britigan said research is important to a health system because it determines the reputation of the system. Research is transferred to clinical care and attracts patients because they seek cutting-edge research, he said.

Britigan also spoke about his research plans at UI, which potentially included building a larger research building and looking at what hospitals and clinics are doing well.

“…Take and look at what the clinical strengths of UIHC are and build research programs around them, and go the other way, so that you have this research continuity…” said British.

Britigan also discussed clinical care from the perspective of a post-COVID-19 world. He said the labor shortage resulting from the pandemic has contributed to limiting patient care capacity.

“Basically the focus would be on all the demands I’ve outlined before, but first and foremost you need to hire a CEO of health systems, it all flows from there…” Britigan said.

All in all, for the former Britigan UI professor, moving back to Iowa wouldn’t be a difficult feat.

“Hopefully as a result of this discussion, conversations that we’re going to have, and if you’re still interested,” he said. “I may be going back to Iowa and I would definitely love the opportunity.”

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