September 07, 2017

Michael Englesbe, MD: Changing med ed for the greater good

Health and wellness of patients and society at large are at heart of clinical training

Dr. Englesbe with a medical student who was shadowing him during a kidney transplant surgery.

Mike Englesbe, M.D. wears many hats at Michigan Medicine. In addition to his duties as a busy transplant surgeon, Dr. Englesbe is very involved in medical education of learners at many levels. As the director of the Branches, he has championed and currently leads the transformation efforts and implementation of changes to the final phase of the curriculum that students enter in the third year of medical school.

Here, Dr. Englesbe answers 6 questions about his current role and his vision for the future of med ed.

What is your mission when it comes to your role in the Branches?

As the Branch director, my role is to drive change within the curriculum. I seek the vision of a wide range of stakeholders including students and faculty, and I facilitate the design of the curriculum that optimizes this vision.

What appealed to you about taking on this position?

I have always been inspired and excited by the curiosity and energy of Michigan medical students. Some of my professional opportunities to work closely with students have been among the most rewarding of my career. Facilitating the development of a young physician who will profoundly impact the health and wellness of society is an important job that motivates me every day. The team within the Office of Medical Student Education at Michigan is second to none. I joined this team because I wanted to be part of this positive energy.

What do you think appeals to med students about the Branches concept?

I think every student has certain unique areas of genius. The Branches offer students opportunities to not be bound by conventional curricular requirements, but to explore new opportunities and to expand on areas of strength in an effort to profoundly impact health.

Many of the best ideas within the Branches have been developed and improved by the students. I have enjoyed learning from the students and benefiting from their energy.

What is next for the Branches?

We are working to develop an extensive portfolio of non-clinical advanced degrees for our students. These span the arts and humanities, engineering, business and innovation, as well as a range of science fields. The challenges of the health and wellness of society demand individuals to have a broad view of complex problems. We are committed to providing all of the tools necessary to achieve these goals.

What do you like about working with med students?

Students make me a better scientist and physician.

How would you describe the benefits of the Branches to someone who is considering the University of Michigan Medical School for their medical education?

Great medical schools develop physicians who will change the practice of medicine and broadly improve the health and wellness of society. This is not an aspirational goal at Michigan - this is an expectation. Michigan students are given every opportunity to achieve these ambitious goals.