First Cohort of Graduates Finish 3-Year Cleveland Medical School

First Cohort of Graduates Finish 3-Year Cleveland Medical School


CLEVELAND, OH — Eight Ohioans are ahead of schedule and one step closer to becoming primary care doctors after graduating Saturday from the accelerated Transformative Care Continuum medical school program through Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine and Cleveland Clinic.

The intensive program allows students to graduate medical school in three years instead of the traditional four and prepares them for a three-year family medicine residency, the program said in a news release.

Saturday’s graduates were: Blake Kinsel, Michael Arnold, Palmer Coleman, Olga Shirley Grech, Peris Kibera, Sharon Ware, Matthew Wilcox and Jacob Wolfe.

“We could not be prouder of these eight students for completing such a rigorous and innovative medical program,” Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis said in a statement. “The need for medical education to be more inclusive and diverse, culturally competent and relevant to the community by addressing their needs and health disparities has never been more important. The TCC has trained these students on how to better serve their communities, and I have no doubt they will be successful in doing so.”

Dr. James Young, executive director of academic affairs at Cleveland Clinic, said the Transformative Care Continuum program is designed to make wholesale changes for its students, filling specific gaps in the health care industry.

“This innovative program transforms medical education by providing hands-on experience with patients and healthcare delivery teams to train future physicians in a dramatically different way and uniquely prepare them for 21st century medicine,” Young said. “Healthcare systems need more patient-centered solutions that engage social determinants of health and collaborate across traditional silos to improve health outcomes. These students will help us lead the way to healthier communities.”

According to the release, each graduate was required to complete a self-directed community project. Among those was a partnership with the LGBT Center of Cleveland and Doctors of the Streets, struck up by Blake Kinsel, one graduate.

The school said Kinsel worked to expand HIV testing and prevention services across the Cleveland area. As a result, he received the Excellence in Public Health Award from the U.S. Public Health Service Physician Professional Advisory Committee.

“The most effective family physicians are those who build strong relationships with patients in the context of their families and their communities, so they can truly understand those socioeconomic factors that impact health outcomes,” said Isaac Kirstein, D.O., dean of the Heritage College. “Thanks to our partnership with Cleveland Clinic, our TCC students are doing that right from the start.”


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