Pasadena, CA – The Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine welcomed its inaugural class of 50 students as they begin their journey focused on becoming outstanding clinicians and advocates for change within the medical profession and in society.
“All of us at the school are excited to welcome 50 phenomenal students who are compassionate, mission-driven, collaborative, and very smart and are poised to become the next generation of leaders in medicine,” said Mark Schuster, MD, PhD, Founding Dean and Chief Executive Officer of the Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine. “As our nation grapples with a devastating pandemic, long overdue attention to social injustice, and entrenched disparities in health and health care, we are excited to train students who will become outstanding clinicians and skilled advocates for patients and communities. I am thrilled about our incoming class as well as the faculty and staff who have come together to participate in their education.”
The school’s curriculum is built on the three pillars of biomedical science, clinical science and health systems science. Students will learn in an environment that reflects the changing demographics of America and the multi-faceted health care issues facing society. The school has woven equity, inclusion, and diversity into all aspects of its design. Student well-being is built into the school’s fiber with a dedicated course focused on supporting well-being and building resilience skills; sessions with a clinical psychologist; and robust academic support. This is all accomplished in a variety of settings, from the technology-enhanced classrooms in its new education building, to clinical settings that span in scale from large hospitals and outpatient facilities to community-based, federally qualified health centers.
“We proudly welcome the inaugural class to our innovative new medical school that reflects Kaiser Permanente’s deep commitment to providing high-quality, affordable health care and improving the health of our members and the communities we serve,” said Gregory Adams, Chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente. “I believe these students will be inspired by Bernard Tyson’s legacy as they gain the knowledge, skills and passion to become future physician leaders and health equity advocates who will help our diverse communities thrive.”
Students will be immersed in the clinic starting in week three of school as they learn from Permanente Medical Group physician preceptors and their care teams. Students will follow patients over time in longitudinal integrated clerkships spanning their first two years of medical school, in Kaiser Permanente’s groundbreaking integrated health care system, now in its 75th year, and one of the nation’s highest-performing health care organizations that excels in patient-centered care and population health.
“Integrating the students into our KP care teams will provide them with an innovative learning environment and a unique platform to practice Permanente Medicine which emphasizes patient-centered, equitable, compassionate, high quality, evidence-based care,” said Edward Ellison, MD, executive medical director and chairman of the Board, Southern California Permanente Medical Group; Co-CEO, The Permanente Federation. “Our physicians and care teams look forward to welcoming the students and embracing, supporting, educating, and empowering the next generation of physicians as healers, change agents, and leaders.”
Plans for the school began more than a decade ago, and formal development was put in motion by the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals Boards of Directors in 2015. The school’s Board of Directors was first convened in September 2016. After former Chairman and CEO Bernard J. Tyson unexpectedly passed away in November 2019, the school’s board renamed the school after Tyson to honor his deep commitment to the school, and his tireless work on behalf of health equity and the health of communities.
“The board is thrilled with the caliber and diversity of the student body matriculating to the school, and by the promise of these individuals to become the types of physicians that our country so ardently needs,” said Holly Humphrey, MD, President of the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation and Chairperson of the school’s Board of Directors. “The confluence of these talented people and the school’s imaginative and forward-thinking curriculum will be exciting to experience.”
Last year, the school announced full tuition waivers for its first five classes entering 2020 through 2024, for all four years of their education. In the school’s final lead-up to opening, the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the school to be creative and adapt to the new environment. These included the need to recruit the first class of admitted students virtually, refine the curriculum to support a hybrid approach, with some parts taught in person, following public health guidelines such as distancing and masking, and other parts taught virtually, and implement strict health, safety, and facility cleaning standards. The school will integrate COVID-19 into its case-based curriculum by examining the biology of the virus itself, addressing clinical implications of COVID-19 as it presents, and integrating it into the context of racial and ethnic disparities, public health surveillance, vaccine development and delivery, and the impact of the economy on health.
Prospective students for the school’s second class can submit their primary application by October 1, 2020. For more information, visit the school’s admissions web page .
About the Kaiser Permenente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine
The Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine is devoted first and foremost to offering an outstanding, forward-thinking medical education. Its curriculum is built on the three pillars of Biomedical Science, Clinical Science, and Health Systems Science. Students will think
broadly about the ways care can be more effective for everyone and learn how to advocate for better health in homes, school, workplaces, neighborhoods, and society at large. The school will incorporate many of the most innovative and effective educational practices available today and will give students the opportunity to learn from the physicians and care teams in Kaiser Permanente’s integrated health care system . This approach will provide future physicians with the knowledge and skills to play key roles in the transformation of healthcare in our nation and help people from all backgrounds and settings thrive. Learn more at medschool.kp.org.