Archive for Monday, July 25, 2011

Heard on the Hill: New Salina medical school program gets national coverage; recent graduates opting for temporary work when full-time gigs aren’t available; music teaching assistant shares experience

July 25, 2011


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• KU Medical Center got a nice bit of play on the front page of the New York Times this week for its new medical school in Salina.

The article is written by a reporter based in Kansas City who covers the Midwest (and is a member of the Sulzberger family that has led the newspaper for some time now).

He spoke to Barbara Barzansky, co-secretary of the medical school’s accrediting agency. She told him that Salina, a city of about 50,000, is the smallest city in the country to host a full medical degree program.

“It’s an interesting model, and if the outcomes are good, it could be a stimulus for other schools to do it,” Barzansky told the newspaper.

The goal of the campus, as we’ve reported in the past, too, is to help generate more doctors willing to practice in rural settings, something many counties in the state badly need.

• A sweet Heard on the Hill tipster sent me this link about a recent graduate’s experience. She moved to Colorado, and snagged an internship at Vail Resorts.

My tipster was curious to know if her experience was typical, because he, too, did something similar. Last summer, he said, he worked a seasonal job at Yellowstone National Park.

“In my situation, it was more of a ‘Nobody is responding to my applications ... plus Yellowstone is amazing.’ (B)ut is it the same for everyone?” he wrote to me.

I’ve heard of many similar stories anecdotally, and I would guess that while there are a range of options, seasonal work or a paid internship is better than no work at all, and can help many recent grads boost their resumes to find a permanent gig later.

• We’ll leave with one more mention in the New York Times, with the experience of Lisa Neher, a teaching assistant in the School of Music.

She relayed information that streamlines with most of what I know about T.A.’s, namely that she got a tuition waiver (worth about $15,000, the newspaper reported) and a stipend of about $900 a month.

For that, she worked about 20 hours a week teaching a section of a music theory class that had about 18 undergraduates. She shared an office with “five other T.A.’s and a piano,” as the article pointed out.

She got accepted into an opera program in the fall, but is delaying the start of her second master’s degree for now, as she wasn’t accepted for a teaching assistanceship.

• There’s no piano at Heard on the Hill world headquarters, but I break out into song every now and again. I might sing for you if you send me a tip at Actually, I’d better revise that… I might sing for you UNLESS you send me a tip at


LJD230 6 years, 6 months ago

Are you aware that Wichita State has a program to train physician assistants, PAs, with the mission of providing medical services to underserved areas?

Where is the evidence that basic medical science can be taught and learned using long distance teaching technology Where will these kids do their post-graduatee education after finishing at Salina? Is there a guarantee the grads will agree to practice in Boondock, KS?

My hunch: these kids will crater in the USMLE exams. It will be interesting to compare their scores with those of med students at the med center or Wichita.

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