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What is academic medicine & why does it matter?

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When you think of medicine and healthcare, do you typically consider how your doctor was trained? Where he or she went to medical school? Do you wonder what sort of diversity in treatments or diseases they were exposed to during, and after, medical school?

The clinical setting of your provider is important when you choose where to seek healthcare. While you may not have considered it before, being treated in an academic medical setting has more benefits than you may realize.

So what is an academic medical setting and how does it benefit you?

An academic medical setting means that doctors and medical students will treat you together, in a team environment. Therefore, when you are treated for an illness, your care is being treated not only by your doctor, but also by other eager-to-learn minds.

There are many benefits to being cared for by multiple professionals at one time. First, your issue, concern and health outcome is being analyzed and determined in a way that is much more comprehensive. At SIU Medicine, you are in the care of a strong medical team.

The second benefit to you is that many academic medical settings have access to treatments and specialty care coordination, and are continually learning.

Third, the medical team has better access to the latest medical research and clinical trials. This work that is done “behind the scenes” can make a critical difference in your healthcare outcome.

To understand the “behind the scenes” of healthcare, consider the following questions:

  • Where is the next generation of doctors, scientists and researchers going to learn? Where will they practice and develop their skills and specialties?
  • Where do medical improvements come from? How are these improvements being shared?
  • How can the space between research and education come together to improve patient care for everyone, including you and your children?

When an academic medical doctor treats you, you benefit from the latest knowledge, research, and best practices in healthcare. Because these doctors are continually teaching medical students, they tend to be more aware of the latest developments in procedures and protocols for all types of patients.

Understanding academic medicine

Academic medicine is the discovery and development of basic principles, effective policies, and best practices that advance research and education in the health sciences. The goal is to ultimately improve the health and well-being of individuals and populations. This scholarly branch of medicine takes place in medical schools and teaching hospitals around the world. These institutions attract some of the best and most highly trained doctors.

At SIU Medicine, we believe in collaborative care, based on cutting-edge research – led by a team of experienced doctors. We’re committed to using the findings of medical scholars worldwide, to explore and create the best care plan for each of our patients.

It's these areas—teaching, research, and service—combine for a perfect three-tiered approach to academic medicine at SIU Medicine.

  1. Medical education: Doctors and scientists of the future learn from their professors, bridging the gap between classroom training and real-world, real-time application.
  2. Research: Through funding and grants, researchers investigate important questions and try to find solutions or cures, advancing healthcare for the next generation. Right now, popular research areas include causes of and cures for diseases, new technologies, and more effective preventive and diagnostic services. The academic medicine setting offers a breeding ground for some of the most well-known innovations, medical discoveries and standard clinical practices.
  3. Patient care. The quality of life of the population at large is greatly dependent on the quality of care provided by the professionals taking care of them. This care is inherently improved thanks to better-trained, continually-educated doctors who have access to the latest advances in the medical field.

The unique benefits of academic medicine

Practicing clinicians have the opportunity to explore lectures, journals, conferences, and other mediums, which house the latest medical developments in the academic field. This streamlines the process of bringing innovations from the laboratory straight to the patient bedside because your SIU provider is continually studying new developments.

Academic medical settings are an important part of healthcare. These locations, like SIU Medicine, advance your health while simultaneously advancing medical research. They also provide a new standard of care and build ties that strengthen your community every day.

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