Fostering talent

Fostering Our Talent and Quality In Education
December 3 , 2010

“The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.”
~Henry Kissinger

Dear Colleagues and Friends:

We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. As you well know, even though the year is winding down, we are continuing to go strong. Your continued leadership and dedication to our institution is very much appreciated. Now on to the business at hand…

Although we have had the fantastic celebration regarding the completion of the ESP initial charge and 90-day intensive strategic planning process, ESP is definitely not over. In fact, it really has just begun. The initial report has been widely distributed (for details, please see and is being reviewed by the President’s Executive Committee to assign elements to individuals and teams and to determine which opportunities will also be incorporated into the long range strategic planning. The clinical pillar was reviewed this week and clinical issues including quality and clinical growth. In the quality realm, there are 9 strategies and 45 tactics to put forth in advancing an enterprise-wide quality initiative. Drs. Kanto, and Snyder and Ms. Terri Perry and colleagues have identified ‘champions’ at each unit and our quality initiative is gaining more broad momentum. Planning has also begun for teaching quality metrics to residents and students.

We want to say thank you to Dr. Chris White and his team for their continuous effort with Faculty Development and with the Academy of Medical Educators. Applications are being accepted for this year’s cohort of exemplary educators and these will be peer-reviewed during the next six weeks. This is a wonderful program, acknowledging and further supporting excellence in teaching among our senior faculty members. Please contact Dr. White should you have any questions regarding this.

Evaluations are often dreaded and put off until the very end. However, evaluations are one of the tools that we can use to improve ourselves and the programs that we work with. Dr. Andria Thomas, our Associate Dean for Evaluation, does excellent work on education measures. She has been working tirelessly on the Assessment of Professional Behaviors (360) NBME pilot evaluation, which will begin in January 2011. This is a national pilot and we are excited to be one of just 2 programs nationally to be leading in this important initiative. Please be on the lookout for more information regarding this important tool.

We offer our congratulations to Dr. Kathryn Bollinger for being selected for one of the 2010 Mentoring for Advancement of Physician-Scientists (MAPS) Awards from the American Glaucoma Society. This program assists clinicians with overcoming barriers and hindrances in the early stages of their careers. Dr. Bollinger is off to a great start as a new faculty member in the Department of Ophthalmology and in collaboration with the Vision Discovery Institute.

As we spoke about in a previous Dean’s Diary, new ACGME duty hour requirements have been approved and will be implemented in 2011. Dr. Walt Moore will be presenting the new requirements at the next GMEC meeting. Programs will begin implementing by redistributing work efforts among the residents. This is a complex initiative and we will all need to be supportive as we begin to make preparations for the July 2011 go-live. Also, Dr. Moore is nearing the completion of our application to compete in the CMS redistribution of unused residency training slots. The redistribution of existing CMS funding for fully funded GME slots would be July 2011. We also learned this week that the supreme court has now been hearing the litigation as to whether residents are considered eligible to a ‘student exemption’ to FICA taxes. A ruling on this will likely be forthcoming by June 2011. We appreciate Dr. Moore’s diligence in keeping up with the changes and opportunities in our ACGME program and in national activities.

As you know, medical school admissions continue all through the year. Dr. Geoffrey Young and the admissions team have been working diligently to fill our Class of 2015. This is a major institutional effort each year. So far with block admissions, we have admitted 106 students. The next round of acceptances will be on December 16. Thank you to the hard work of the admissions office. January will begin a busy time of year for the students. Dr. Kathleen McKie will begin match advising sessions for the students in January as the match will be in March. Our students will also be considering option about summer activities. The Dean’s Summer Research program has received additional administrative support so that we can enhance the activities for our students. I am grateful to Dr. Richard Cameron for now advancing our efforts alongside our Discovery Institute leaders and also Dr. Jennifer Pollack who heads up our MD-PhD program. We also have several students that are preparing to apply for year-long research programs. Collectively, these efforts and the support of many will provide a broader platform to develop and nurture the research talents of our students.

Dr. Barbara Schuster and colleagues in our MCG/UGA Medical Partnership have been working with Mercy Clinic on Athens to develop a partnership night every 3-4 weeks beginning in January. The medical students will be supervised by our faculty. Also, at the Medical Partnership, Dr. Cheryl Dickson, Campus Associate Dean for Student and Multicultural Affairs is working with students on summer activities – global, clinical and research. She also recently held a primary care round table at the local hospital that was very successful. A big thank you to our entire faculty at the Medical Partnership for all their hard work in developing community partnerships that the inaugural class can be proud of.

Dr. Bill Guest, Assistant Dean for Curriculum for the Southwest (SW) Campus has developed a Physician Leadership and Advocacy course. It is going exceptionally well. The legislators from the area have met with the students. Planning is underway for a tour and review of this site for our 2nd year students in January. The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) had previously requested an update from the SW campus. We heard in mid-November that our update was accepted as reported. The LCME requests an update next year on the regional clerkship directors. The GME consortium activities in that region are also continuing. We are delighted that Dr. Reeves is now on board to develop the Northwestern clinical campus We are also most appreciative to Dr. Kathryn Martin and Dr. Wayne Rentz who continue to develop our collaborations in both the Savannah and Brunswick regions, including a new resident rotation in obstetrics and gynecology. We will continue to give updates on our GME program and our role in workforce development partnerships throughout the state.

A few weeks ago, we spoke of the MCG Student Leadership Institute led by Dr. Kevin Frazier. This pioneering program is a six week program designed to provide health professional students with the opportunity to interact with leaders and other students from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines in order to gain insights about several important healthcare and societal topics. We also presented to you the SAHS students that took part in this program. This week we would like to highlight the SOM students that were in the program. Congratulations to Chike Akoh, Cory Bryan, Laura Harrison, Brett Heimlich, George Lazari, LaShon Sturgis and Ronnie Zeidan for completing the course.

Several of us had the privilege and pleasure of attending the Patient and Family Centered Care (PFCC) reception last night. What a shining night it was. The event honored the contributions of our PFCC family members who assist us as PFCC faculty in partnering with our clinicians to provide optimum consumer focused care. Our Patient and Family Center Care program is known nationally and we look forward to building on this excellent program to also advance our clinical quality.

Last but not least, an example of our commitment to educational outreach in the community – we received a glowing letter from a business leader here in town who attended the last Mini Medical School. She spoke of how she “learned new concepts and terms” and how she “will look for the spring lineup and attend again.” It is gratifying to hear this community feedback. Congratulations also to Dr. Alan Roberts for his leadership of the Mini Medical School and our thanks to all of you for dedicating your time and effort to this important contribution.

We appreciate all your contributions to our institution and to our community.