Beginning in August 2012, medical students at Ohio State University will begin  working with patients from their very first year.

Training students earlier in patient care is new for Ohio State University, as  currently students spend two years in classrooms, followed by two years of working with patients. As part of the change in curriculum, the two parts will be taught side by side for four years. Students will begin their work with patients  doing tasks often assigned to other health care workers and will be matched in their first year with a physician’s office that they will stay with until graduation. They will see the same patients over several years, develop relationships and learn to manage chronic illnesses.

“They come into medical school tremendously excited to serve others, and what we do is make them wait,” said Dr. Catherine Lucey, interim dean at OSU’s medical school. “We want our students to grow up in a team, not drop into a team,” Dr. Lucey said.