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Dr. William De La Pena

“Technological advancement, artificial intelligence and Industry 4.0 have changed medicine and the way patients are taken care of. It will radically change the production of medicine and services in hospitals, pharmacies, and clinics; therefore, universities should prepare doctors with a vision of community, humanity, and empathy, with innovative skills and research,” said Professor of Ophthalmology, founder and director of the medical group, De la Peña Eye Clinic, former President of the University of California and member of the Board of Directors at the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara (UAG), Dr. William de la Peña, during his lecture “The challenges and the evolution of medical education”.

picture of wardroom

As university officials, students and staff gathered in the classrooms of the Institute of Biological Sciences, Dr. De la Peña added that the changes that technology has driven are already palpable. He explained that in the United States, doctors use tablets to diagnose illnesses and that this “trend” of medical consultation will be aimed at to attend and expedite care; specifically in pharmacies: the patient will be diagnosed by a doctor, there will be technological equipment to take tests and patients will be able to fill their prescriptions all in the same place.

“Tablets can improve the medical field with the use of information; take electrocardiograms, for example. In the near future, consultations will be via the internet. Hospital and clinic visits are becoming more expensive and are always full of people. There is a movement that wants to change that and will eventually evolve to where the patient can have their doctor appointment from the comfort of their home,” said the expert.

Dr. William de la Peña added that the idea and understanding of medical illnesses have changed in the 21st century and now social, technological elements and medical capacity must be included to reduce the social and economic cost that illnesses cause in global societies.

In addition, he explained that patient treatment has changed and they demand safety, quality, value of medicine, fairness and accuracy; and although the patients are very similar, there have different illnesses, different needs and require the doctor’s talent and knowledge; All of the above must be considered by all current doctors and our doctors of tomorrow.

“The focus now is prevention, the rapid advancement of medicine, aging of the population, changes in the pattern of illnesses, changes in risks and vulnerability and increase in social cost that force us to see the world in a different way and to educate in a different way, “he said.

Faced with the great challenge that lies ahead, universities must make decisions and generate a disruptive change in their curriculum and the way medicine is taught. These are two actions that the UAG and the University of California (jointly and innovatively) have taken into account and have already strengthened within their campuses and medical programs. Among these, the use of simulation technology for the care of patients, transformation of their curriculum, adaptation, and understanding that the responsibility of the universities, with the medical students of the 21st century, encourage the habits of research, and continuous quality improvement focused on the patient and social justice.

He commented that solving current problems will require new discoveries and the in-depth study and development of multiple scientific areas such as: epidemiology and population sciences; engineering and the new implementation sciences; technology and information technology; Biomedical sciences; sciences that allow the transfer of scientific advances to clinical practice and immersion, understanding and application of social and behavioral sciences.

Dr. William De La Peña clicking picture with team members

“For example, part of the adaptations of the clinical microsystem curriculum is that first-year students will add value to their knowledge while they learn; works as a team; measure and improve the patient experience and learn clinical skills, with simulation first, before actual practice with patients, “he explained.

All of the above for the strengthening of the knowledge, talents, and abilities of medical students in an environment that requires not only ordinary doctors, but professionals, who go further, investigate, serve the community and, at the same time, provide society with prevention and better medical solutions to problems.

William de la Peña concluded his lecture congratulating the university officials for the technological innovation and updates made to the curriculum of the Facultad de Medicina and invited everyone to become more involved with what the UAG offers and will offer in the future.