Oakland University and William Beaumont Hospitals have extended their medical school affiliation agreement through 2041.
The extended affiliation agreement, approved by the Oakland University Board of Trustees on Feb. 15 and by the Beaumont Health Board of Directors on Feb. 17, allows for Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine (OUWB) third and fourth-year students to continue their clinical rotations at Beaumont Hospitals located in Royal Oak, Troy, and Grosse Pointe.
“They are the exclusive training sites for our medical students,” Dr. Duane Mezwa, dean of the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, said. “That means that we have oversight, we have very intimate involvement with setting up an academic environment and learning environment that we assure our students are going to be comfortable learning in. It helps us govern ourselves and assure that the students coming here know they’re going to become the best doctors that they can be, and that’s why we have that agreement.”
Dr.Mezwa also emphasized that the amended agreement will make it easier for data to be shared at both sites for research purposes, and is the next step in building up a research portfolio at OUWB.
“Now, we can take full advantage of all the clinical data that Beaumont now generates with all the patients that we take care of. That is a huge advantage,” he said.
Dr. Mezwa also highlighted actions being taken by OUWB, like bringing well-funded investigators into the medical school with NIH grants, working with the Eye Research Institute at Oakland University, and concentrating on population health research.
“I think our next steps are looking at how we can collaborate with greater success across the other units at OU,” Mezwa said.
The agreement, renewed for another 20 years, Dr. Mezwa says, “ensures that OUWB will have Beaumont as its clinical partner for the foreseeable future.”
When asked about how Beaumont benefits from the OU affiliation, Dr. Mezwa underscored the focus OUWB places on creating caring and compassionate physicians.
“We actually have more hours of instruction and ethics and compassionate care than any other medical school in the country,” he said. “So, I think that makes our students different. And that is an advantage to Beaumont and the patients that we ultimately end up taking care of when our students are there.”
The focus on teaching humanism and empathy toward taking care of patients is an intrinsic part of the OUWB education for future physicians.
“Our ultimate goal is that somebody is going to be able to say — oh — you must have trained at OUWB, and if we do that — we are successful in our mission,” Mezwa said.