MUSC partnering with AnMed to train medical students

MUSC medical school students will have the option of completing their first two years of training in Charleston and their final two years at AnMed Health in Anderson. (Photo/Ashley Barker)MUSC medical school students will have the option of completing their first two years of training in Charleston and their final two years at AnMed Health in Anderson. (Photo/Ashley Barker)

By Ashley Barker
Published Aug. 11, 2014

The Medical University of South Carolina will soon begin sending some of its medical students to AnMed Health in Anderson to finish their training.

The branch campus, which was approved Friday by MUSC’s board of trustees, will allow MUSC students to complete their first two years of medical school in Charleston and their final two years at AnMed, according to Dr. Patrick Cawley, vice president of clinical operations and CEO of MUSC Medical Center.

MUSC will add six medical school slots this year in anticipation of sending those students to AnMed two years from now. In 2016, the college plans to increase the program to 12 students per year. There are currently 719 medical students enrolled at MUSC and 180 incoming first-year medical students.

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“This is the first time we’ve done something like this,” Cawley said. “The key is we have to show to the accrediting bodies that the education of four years in Charleston is no different than the two-and-two program with AnMed.”

Dr. Etta Pisano, dean of MUSC’s College of Medicine, is spearheading the branch campus on behalf of MUSC. Cawley said Pisano previously worked on similar projects as vice dean for academic affairs at the University of North Carolina’s School of Medicine.

“Dr. Pisano led several of those branch campus developments in North Carolina. So the concept is not brand new, but it will be brand new for us here in South Carolina,” Cawley said.

AnMed faculty members who teach MUSC students will become dual faculty members, according to Cawley, and students who participate in the two-and-two program will still receive traditional MUSC College of Medicine degrees.

“We’ve had a good relationship with several of the teachers up at AnMed, and several of them have graduated from MUSC and used to teach down here,” Cawley said. “It’s a relationship that developed over a number of years, and we feel pretty good working with them. We think it’s a natural fit.”

Cawley said MUSC will break about even when it comes to the cost of the program, but AnMed will spend some extra money paying for teachers and providing support services for the medical students. He said he didn’t know how much money would be needed yet.

Tuition for the medical school students will remain the same whether they spend all four years at MUSC or two each in Charleston and Anderson.

"We’re trying to give them a little different flavor," Cawley said. "There are medical students and people who want to be doctors who just want to be in primary care and in the community. This would be a little different experience for them."

More branch medical campuses are not in the near future for MUSC, but Cawley said his team does have some ideas for future expansion.

“We’d like to do this one and do it well, and we would consider other branch campuses as the need arises,” he said.

Officials at AnMed were not available to comment prior to press time.

President contract finalized

Dr. David J. ColeThe board of trustees at MUSC also approved an employment agreement (.pdf) for new President Dr. David J. Cole on Friday.

Cole will be paid $890,000 per year through June 30, 2018, according to his contract. He will also be eligible for a performance bonus of up to $150,000 for any given year during the term of his contract and will be given a “suitable automobile.” The state will pay $250,000 of Cole’s salary and the remainder will come from the MUSC Foundation or other sources, the contract says.

To receive the bonus, the board will consider “MUSC’s progress toward its goal to be a nationally recognized health care leader, the fiscal fidelity of the institution, advances in the university’s academic mission and furtherance in the growth of MUSC’s philanthropic activities.”

The contract also says MUSC is in the process of developing an incentive pay plan for its senior leadership, which includes Cole, that could provide additional compensation.

As chairman of MUSC’s Department of Surgery and president of MUSC Physicians, Cole was paid a salary of around $825,000 per year, according to MUSC spokeswoman Heather Woolwine.

Cole’s predecessor, Dr. Raymond Greenberg, who stepped down in August 2013 to take a position with the University of Texas Health System, received a compensation package worth roughly $750,000 per year. Greenberg’s state salary was about $250,000 and the remaining pay was privately funded, Woolwine said.

Chief diversity officer hired

Anton Gunn was selected to serve as the executive director of community health innovation and chief diversity officer at MUSC. He will begin working on MUSC’s strategic diversity plan and will serve as an adviser to the president in January.

Gunn previously worked at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and served in the S.C. House of Representatives from 2008 to 2010. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from the University of South Carolina.

S.C. Sen. Marlon Kimpson, D-Charleston, issued a statement through MUSC saying that he looks forward to working with Gunn.

“Anton’s selection is a strong indication of the administration’s commitment to public health and community inclusion,” Kimpson said.

Board changes made

MUSC’s board also voted by secret ballot last week on new leadership.

Dr. Donald Johnson II was chosen to replace Tom Stephenson as chairman of the board that oversees the university and hospital authority. Johnson, an MUSC graduate and medical director of the Southeastern Spine Institute, was chairman of the board from 2002 to 2006.

William Bingham will serve as vice chairman, and Mark Sweatman will be secretary to the board for the fiscal year.

Reach staff writer Ashley Barker at 843-849-3144 or @AshleyNBarker on Twitter.

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