November 23, 2021

A Conversation with the Director of Clerkship – Tobias J. Vancil, M.D.

Tobias J. Vancil, M.D.Since 2009, Dr. Vancil has worked as a Clerkship Director for third-year medical students. He is embedded with them in the educational process and he witnesses firsthand the influence of the hospital’s teaching on future physicians.

The value of face-to-face time with the students is substantial. As a clerkship director, Dr. Vancil is able to participate in the teaching process and directly observe the efficacy of the medical school curriculum in action. He can identify what’s working and what’s not.

He also operates as a direct resource for students who need a point of contact within the academic sphere. And that’s unique for academic positions, but it’s a facet of the clerkship that Dr. Vancil feels is essential to provide the best education for the medical students at UAMS.

And, thankfully, the Internal Medicine rotations haven’t been as affected by the pandemic because so much of the teaching is grounded in clinical reasoning. That aspect of medicine can be taught and learned both in-person and online. The students have also displayed resilience and adaptation throughout the pandemic while medical training continued. The aptitude they’ve shown in meeting and surpassing educational benchmarks has encouraged Dr. Vancil that they are on the right path in pursuing academic excellence.

In the pursuit of academic growth, the curriculum is also being revised to reflect the more modern culture of medicine. Students are learning to address deficiencies in their communication and to identify implicit and explicit bias. Focusing on diversity and inclusion helps to create a more open narrative between physicians and patients, allowing for better doctor-patient relationships and for more effective analysis of what patients need and their medical problems that need to be addressed.

All of these academic goals aim to accomplish the mission statement set out in Vision 2029 and Dr. Vancil is proud of both the students and the ways in which medical education has evolved over the years.