flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
Currently Reading

5 big trends changing the world of academic medicine

5 big trends changing the world of academic medicine

Perkins and Will | November 18, 2014
In a recent symposium hosted by Perkins+Will, experts in health sciences and education gathered for a deep dive into the evolving world of medical education and allied health/science fields. Photo: Perkins+Will

Things are changing in healthcare. Within academic medicine alone, there is a global shortage of healthcare professionals, a changing policy landscape within the United States, and new view and techniques in both pedagogy and practice.

In a recent symposium hosted by Perkins+Will, experts in health sciences and education, led by global practice leader Dan Watch, gathered for a deep dive into the evolving world of medical education and allied health/science fields.  

The group, an interdisciplinary mash-up of physicians, nurses, educators, and designers from the U.S. and Europe, discussed the “once and future” state of academic medicine. The two-day meeting—part exploratory conversation, part passionate call to action—delved into what it will take to properly educate and equip the next generation of health/science professionals in a rapidly changing environment of care and what the implications are for space, resources and sustainable solutions.

Five big ideas arose out of the robust and productive conversation.

1. Global demand for health professionals will rise three-fold. The global demand for medicine and allied health professions is exploding in certain parts of the world. It is expected that as the world’s population increases there will be a demand for over three times the number of medical schools around the globe. What does this mean to our ability to research, care, and enable practice through smart, sustainable facilities and enabling technology?

2. Learning is not listening; learning is doing. The means and methods of medical education that have been in place since the Industrial Revolution are now being called deeply into question—and in many cases supplemented or replaced entirely with active learning and simulation methodologies. More emphasis is placed on competency-based measurement and more individualized learning models. Shining a light on outcomes will likely accelerate more transparent and adaptable teaching methods.

3. Education in the age of accountable care. Shifts in healthcare policy are placing enormous pressure on the care infrastructure. A system more focused on preserving wellness and treatment in outpatient and even virtual settings means that, on the continuum of a care, patients families will ultimately have more responsibility and require more knowledge and training to help their loved-ones.

4. Team-based everything. The model of the physician as the autocratic decisionmaker and care provider is now in many cases seen as a vestige of the past. Moving forward, teams of doctors, nurses, physician’s assistants, nutritionists, therapists, social workers, and pharmacists will work in teams to provide consultative team-based care. Health science education has already responded to this by creating curricula that is increasingly more team-based and interdisciplinary and interprofessional. Schools of public health, as well as business and management curricula, will influence the future health science professionals in education and in practice.

5. If: health is the aim ? Then: healthy materials + buildings. As we redefine healthcare to deliver wellness, attention must be paid the creation of sustainable, resilient buildings and the elimination of materials known to be harmful and removing them permanently from the building cycle. A powerful cross disciplinary effort that includes physicists, materials scientists—along with healthcare and design professions—can create this sweeping change.

The confluence of change in the U.S. healthcare system, along with deep concerns related to global health crises and increased awareness of the danger of climate change, create a health science/medical education landscape that is transforming before our eyes. Specialists at Perkins+Will continue to focus and innovate along with far-sighted clients in this volatile and interdisciplinary field of practice.  

About the Author
Pat Bosch, Design Director of Perkins+Will’s Miami office, is internationally recognized for her design work. Born in Cuba and having lived in Spain, Puerto Rico, New York, Zurich and now Miami, Pat brings a global perspective to her practice. She is LEED accredited and has nearly 27 years of experience specializing in Higher Education, K-12 Schools, Science + Technology, Corporate Headquarters, and Civic buildings such as libraries and museums.


Read more posts on the Perkins+Will ideas+buildings blog

More from Author

Perkins and Will | Aug 30, 2021

The great re-shuffle & re-think

In this new hybrid environment in which we cater to how our employees work best, how will we manage new hybrid work practices and etiquette?

Perkins and Will | May 18, 2020

Global design firms collaborate on new COVID-19 mobile testing lab to bring testing to vulnerable communities worldwide

Perkins and Will, Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, and Arup Group develop scalable solutions for increased testing capacity within high-density and under-served neighborhoods. 

Perkins and Will | Jun 7, 2019

Workplace wellness: Top 3 tips for Fitwel certification

How can thoughtful design encourage healthier choices, lifestyles, and work environments?

Perkins and Will | Feb 27, 2019

ResilientSEE: A framework to achieve resilience across scales

Conceived in the Boston studio of Perkins+Will, the ResilientSEE team developed a resilient planning framework that can be applied to other neighborhoods, cities, and countries.

Perkins and Will | Nov 28, 2018

Amazon HQ2 and the new geography of work

The big HQ2 takeaway is how geography and mobility are becoming major workplace drivers.

Perkins and Will | Sep 4, 2018

It takes more than money to fund resilience

Resilient design, much like all projects in the built environment, requires funding.  

Perkins and Will | Aug 13, 2018

There's more to the open office than headlines suggest

A study found that contrary to popular belief, the open office did not encourage—but rather, inhibited—face-to-face communication.

Perkins and Will | Apr 13, 2018

Integrating many voices into a single vision

There’s no question that, as opposed to a top-down process, an open process is best for an office like ours.

Perkins and Will | Mar 22, 2018

The benefits and nuances of integrated design

Achieving integrated design usually means operating under a strong relationship. 

Perkins and Will | Mar 14, 2018

How to solve the housing crunch on college campuses

A growing number of public and private academic institutions are turning to designers and architects for alternative housing strategies—particularly in high-density areas on the East and West Coasts.

boombox1 - default
boombox2 -
native1 -

More In Category

halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021


Magazine Subscription

Get our Newsletters

Each day, our editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.


Follow BD+C: