Dr. Saul Weiner spoke to TCU faculty and students at an open forum on Jan. 20 about his plans for the new joint medical school (Briana Jones/TCU360).

The second candidate for the deanship of TCU’s new medical school spoke in an open forum Jan. 20 about his idea to change the way medical students are trained to treat patients.

Dr. Saul Weiner explained his plan to educate students on contextualizing care. Weiner said he wants students to focus on the context of a patient’s condition, such as finances and home life, rather than just the obvious symptoms.

“Physicians have this highly biomedical focus,” Weiner said. “Even when they’re given information by the patient that could be critical to the care plan, it tends to get deprioritized.”

Weiner said the idea of contextualizing care may seem unconventional, but it shouldn’t.

“The idea of basically incorporating critical thinking into medical education should not be controversial,” Weiner said.

Weiner is currently a professor of medicine, pediatrics and medical education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He also serves as the Vice Provost of Planning and Programs at UIC.

Weiner received his Bachelor’s degree from Harvard College, M.D. degree from Dartmouth and completed his residency at the University of Chicago.

Weiner has done extensive research regarding the relationships between patients and their health care providers and said his findings have heavily influenced his vision for the new medical school.

The open forum is part of the process to find the inaugural dean for the joint medical school between TCU and the University of Texas Health Science Center. Last week, Dr. Stuart Flynn was the first of four to speak in one of these forums.

Weiner complimented the compatibility between TCU and UNTHSC and said the schools are doing a great job in making sure the joint medical school will reflect both institutions.

“The two institutions are working very hard to make sure this a collaborative agreement,” Weiner said.

The third dean candidate will speak on Jan. 21 in Sid Richardson Lecture Hall 2 at 3:45 p.m.

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