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AI Meets Med School

AI Meets Med School

Inside Higher Ed

Lauren Coffey
September 25, 2023
Beyond the bustle of med school classes and socializing, Aaron Fanous spent his free time reading up on artificial intelligence and computer science. Balancing it all was an undertaking, but in addition to medicine, he’s always had an interest in technology.
“I saw how influential software was in the medical world, and a lot of context was missing from it,” Fanous said. “The reality is, technology will come into medicine—it will be in most fields—and knowing what can be done with it will open so many doors to improve the entire system as a whole. That’s too big to ignore.”
Fanous is one of the first students enrolled in a new dual-degree AI-focused medical program, which launched last week. The program, jointly offered by UT Health San Antonio and University of Texas at San Antonio, is among the first in the nation to combine artificial intelligence with medicine.
The program comes as many universities are pouring money into AI, with some spending millions on initiatives to equip students with what many believe will be critical skills for the future.
Interest in AI’s impact on medicine has ramped up recently, with researchers citing potential benefits in treating, diagnosing and caring for patients.
“There has been a lot of conversation everywhere about AI and, in particular, the large language model,” said Dr. Alison Whelan, chief academic officer at the Association of American Medical Colleges.
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