It has certainly been an interesting winter in Colorado and
as we move toward spring, I have a renewed sense of optimism as I assess the
current landscape of the Department of Medicine and the challenges we
face. I am encouraged by our
opportunities and sincerely believe that the upcoming changes will strengthen
our department and broaden our impact.
departure of Bruce Schroffel and the decision of Dean Krugman to step down have
created an opportunity for new leadership and a renewed commitment to
excellence. While transitions are never
easy, UCHealth is committed to an exciting vision for integrated healthcare
delivery and a unique approach to community-University partnership. The School of Medicine remains dedicated to
outstanding achievements in each of our missions: education, health care
delivery, research, and community service.
New leadership will bring fresh ideas and perspectives to these
well-established paths of development. I
believe the partnership between UCHealth and the School has emerged from a
strong working relationship between Bruce and Dick and will only be
strengthened by new leadership.
Clinical Growth: The
clinical activities in the department and across the medical center have continued
to expand rapidly. This growth brings
some challenges. A critical challenge
has been the recruitment and retention of faculty that support our clinical
opportunities. Our Division Heads have
done an outstanding job of bringing new faculty into the Department; last year
we recruited more than 60 new faculty members.
In addition, with the support of UCH and UPI, we have created an
incentive program to support the clinical work of our non-procedural specialties. In this new arrangement, our
non-proceduralists are incented to provide clinical care and move toward a multi-specialty
Education: As we
continue our strong tradition of excellence and innovation in training, we are
mindful our focus will not be solely on traditional team models. Our new Medicine-Pediatrics Residency
Training Program expands these horizons by developing future physicians who
span the child-adult continuum. Further,
we are working to strengthen our Physician-Scientist Training Program for those
who are drawn to the interface between medicine and science. We continue to develop initiatives to
increase efforts to recruit under-represented minority students to our training
programs. Another important initiative
is the mentoring program in the Department of Medicine. This ensures that our junior faculty have the
guidance and support they need to make the right decisions and develop career
pathways that are ultimately fulfilling.
ongoing constraints in NIH funding make it increasingly challenging for our
investigators. The bridging programs supported
by the Department of Medicine and School of Medicine help those researchers
requiring gap support for their research.
The Outstanding Early Scholars Program (OESP) focuses on early
investigators and invests in their future.
Joining our previous group of five awardees are the newest OESP
recipients: Sachin Wani, MD, of Gastroenterology and Hepatology and Brian
Graham, MD, in Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine. I would encourage you to read more about this exciting program. In addition to these programs, the Department
is making strategic investments in faculty that span our traditional
Community: I am cognizant of the necessity of reaching
out to the community which surrounds the Anschutz Medical Campus. This is our new home. Outreach and involvement of the community as
a whole can only help enhance the support for our work. We are actively working with faculty and
trainees to develop meaningful programs that address real needs of our
I realize we must partner across our missions – clinical,
education, research, and community – to strengthen our department and expand
the career development opportunities for our faculty and trainees. While I believe we’re moving in the right
direction, there is so much more to be done and your input is essential. Please let me know your thoughts.
David A. Schwartz, MD