As the largest of the 24 departments in the University of Colorado School of Medicine, we already have much to be proud of. The Department of Medicine (DOM) has about 680 faculty (including 112 PhDs and 5 M.D./PhDs), 165 residents, and 120 fellows. We are ranked 20th among the nation's departments of medicine for National Institutes of Health grants, garnering $53.5 million in research funding for 2011 alone. Our Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care is ranked Number One by U.S. News and World Report. And we are privileged to be housed at the new, 540-acre state-of-the art Anschutz Medical Campus, the only campus in the nation built from the ground-up to bring research, education, and patient care together in one seamless, visionary collaboration.
But we are just getting started. I took the post of Department of Medicine Chair in January, 2011 because I believe that medicine is at one of those inflection points, where we have the opportunity to take a great leap forward. That great leap will bring together molecular science and genetics, basic research and clinical practice, and the latest technologies for collecting and analyzing patient information in order to move us toward an era of more targeted, personalized medicine.
That can only be done at large medical centers with collaborative, forward-thinking leaders who are willing to take risks and invest in paradigm-shifting ideas. This is that place.
Within the next five years, I believe the DOM will become among the top-ranked departments of medicine in the country, both in terms of NIH funding and other national rankings. More and more of our Divisions will be recognized as national leaders. And, most importantly, our faculty will play an increasing role in changing the way we think about, prevent, and treat disease. That requires that we invest in a pipeline of young physician-scientists, and establish a framework to encourage collaboration between and among professionals at the bedside and in the lab.
Here are just come of the things in the works to make that happen:
In December, 2011, we unveiled a new Outstanding Early Career Scholar's Program providing $75,000 annually for up to five years to young faculty pursuing exceptionally innovative research.
We are establishing a new Division of Biomedical Informatics and Personalized Medicine. It will focus on integrating information from electronic medical records data with molecular data, genetic mapping, and basic biology to redefine disease and health, and fundamentally change the way we practice medicine.
We have developed a new diversity program, chaired by Associate Professor Robert Winn, M.D., to help boost the presence and leadership of women and minorities within the department.
We are actively recruiting faculty with expertise in different disciplines and an interdisciplinary approach to research and patient care.
We have developed a new, physician-scientist training program for our residents to train our future leaders.
We have developed a new quality improvement program, chair by Heidi Wald, M.D., to minimize medical errors and improve access to care.
We are working to reinvigorate philanthropy efforts within the department, reaching out to potential benefactors through various fundraising efforts.
I am grateful to be working among such dedicated, bright, easy-to-work-with, and collaborative faculty in a facility that is, by far, the best I have ever worked in.
I am also a strong believer that communication is key, and through this website I hope to keep those within the department - and well beyond - abreast of the strides we are making.
Stay tuned. Exciting times lie ahead.
David A. Schwartz, M.D.
Chair, Department of Medicine
For more information about David Schwartz, M.D., please view his profile here