March 31, 2022 — The UF College of Medicine community will get a firsthand look at a new course designed to familiarize clinicians with the tools and possibilities surrounding artificial intelligence in medicine at Research Day on April 6.
The course — the first of three the college community will have to learn about AI — has been in development over the past several months as part of the education pillar in the strategic plan introduced to the college by Dean Colleen Koch, M.D., M.S., M.B.A., at December’s town hall. UF is committed to the application of AI in projects including the GatorTron™ Language Model developed with NVIDIA.
Leading the AI in medicine curriculum project are Patrick Tighe, M.D., and Chris Giordano, M.D., both UF associate professors of anesthesiology, and Francois Modave, Ph.D., an associate professor and director of artificial intelligence and decision-making in the department of health outcomes & biomedical informatics.
Modave said developing a custom AI curriculum was important to emphasize the components that are relevant to clinicians and researchers in medicine.
“AI gives us the opportunity to expand our ability to analyze large heterogeneous data sets both for research purposes, but also for quality improvement in clinical practice,” he said. “We can have a strong impact on the patient community by collecting, harmonizing and analyzing data that can inform us on how to best deliver care. There are many other courses out there currently covering AI, but they aren’t focused on AI for medicine.”
The strategic plan project’s team has already developed and is pilot testing the first of three AI courses. The UF College of Education provided the platform that is being used to host the courses.
The first course will provide clinicians with the fundamentals of AI, give insight into how it can be used in medicine and show how clinicians can become involved with campuswide experts in the field. The second course, which is still being developed, will focus on the content for clinicians who want to develop their own models along with AI experts in the UF community.
“It’s very much the technical counterpart to the first course,” Modave said.
The third course will go into more depth on natural language processing in the clinical process and will include guest lessons on timely topics in the field.
“The courses are all designed to be short, online, interactive and hands-on, rather than just watching videos,” Modave said. “This is to facilitate access to busy clinicians who cannot always sit down in a classroom for 90 minutes twice a week. It will provide the content for clinicians who want to just learn enough to collaborate with AI experts as well as more advanced content for those who want to ‘get their hands dirty,’ so to speak.”
The project team is working now qualify the new courses for continuing medical education credits.
Modave said incorporating an AI-centered curriculum into the UF College of Medicine is unique across most medical school programs.
“We’re definitely pioneering the implementation of AI in medical school curricula and training in it for CME,” he said.