Vice dean of the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine-Round Rock campus
After serving with the U.S. Marine Corps in Vietnam, Dr. Edward J. Sherwood received his medical degree from Boston University and completed his training residency in internal medicine and infectious diseases at Boston City Hospital. In 2006, he joined the Texas A&M Health Science Center, which has several campuses throughout the state. He joined the Round Rock campus in 2010 and stepped into his current role as vice dean of the College of Medicine's Round Rock campus last October. TAMHSC–Round Rock opened in 2009.
"The students who do their training here are doing just as well on standardized exams and on getting into competitive residency programs as the ones trained at the Temple campus, and Scott & White [in Temple] has been in the business for many decades," he said. "So for this upstart to do so well is a real tribute to the commitment of the community physicians that provide our faculty."
What differentiates the Round Rock campus' College of Medicine from your other health science campuses?
Each of our campuses is unique in its own way. The Temple campus is a very traditional medical school setting in a major teaching hospital that has been engaged in teaching for many decades. We have more in common with the College Station campus because we are a community-based medical school where we rely heavily, if not exclusively, on practitioners who are practicing in the community to teach our students. The major difference between College Station and here is they teach the first two years of medical school and have a huge university that has a big research program. [The Round Rock campus focuses on third- and fourth-year students].
What excites you about the College of Medicine?
First, we are scheduled to grow our enrollment on this campus with the College of Medicine. Right now we have about 40 third-year and 40 fourth-year students, and next summer that will increase to 50 or more, perhaps as many as 60. ...
The thing that especially excites me is what the curriculum committee of the College of Medicine is doing. ... Since I went to medical school, things have changed a lot. We all kept little notebooks where we wrote down the most important things we needed to know at the bedside, and we put them in the pocket of our white coat. We referred to that notebook as our peripheral brain. Now, on my iPhone I can have a whole medical library in my pocket. So the access to information is unprecedented; it's at our fingertips. The curriculum at medical schools, not at just this one, needs to change drastically to reflect that enhanced access to information.
How do plans for opening a medical school in Austin affect your school here in Round Rock? How competitive will the programs be?
There is always some element of competition, but if you think of antique stores, they compete with one another, but they do best when they are on a street full of antique stores. I think the net effect of another medical school in Austin will be very, very positive for us. It will raise the profile of Austin as a medical community, as an academic medical community. We would look forward to extensive collaboration with any medical school to the south. I learned medicine in Boston. There were two other medical schools in town. My education was much better because of the presence of two other medical schools. ... In Boston they've had 150–200 years to work together. We'll have to start that tradition from the beginning.