Interim Dean’s Diary
September 10, 2010

Dear Colleagues-Friends,

I am very pleased to share with you ‘my notes’ on some of the many exciting activities that are proceeding ahead at MCG and involving us across our great state.

All evidence indicates that we are off to a great start to campuses in Athens and in Albany. Our 40 new students in Athens are settling in well, with efforts now underway to develop a student run clinic. Our senior faculty have begun meeting with local medical and administrative leadership about the development of GME in that region. In Albany, it is now week 9 with our 17 residential students and they are enjoying the excellent clinical facilities and enthusiastic teachers. There is also initial positive work regarding residency program development in that region. The theme curriculum for that campus, Physician Leadership and Advocacy, has been approved as a Certificate program by the Board of Regents and begins this month. This is the first certificate program of its type in any medical school in the nation. Throughout our system, the academic curriculum is proceeding well. We are also working on a state-of-the-art dashboard for educational programmatic evaluation to be shared later when finalized. People are enthusiastic about the forthcoming Family Day and White Coat ceremony. Thanks to all for their help in preparing for this.

Our new faculty have also been honored at several events. Additionally, our new colleagues will have the opportunity for faculty orientation at the CD-101. This is a great offering. For established educators, the announcement of the next round of applications for the Academy of Medical Educators will be out shortly. Please watch out for this. another great career opportunity.

We continue to work diligently on forthcoming internal and external RRC site visits. Your support of these is much appreciated. Also, we are awaiting ‘ruling’ on two important issues nationally – The ACGME’s executive board decision on residency duty hours reduction and management. The 2011 pending U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on whether residents are ‘classified’ as employees or students. More on these important topics later!

Our institutional SACS accreditation process is moving along well. The efforts of many to incorporate cultural competency in our curricular activities is much appreciated. This dovetails well with the diversity strategic activities that have begun in our school.

Last week, we had an uplifting visit by former governor, Mr. Roy Barnes. He was impressed with the programmatic results of the Cancer Center and by its expanding research portfolio. The Cancer Center has a new Illumine DNA sequencer which allows the sequencing of the entire human genome within a week! With all of this, we are now well poised to proceed with our search for a new Cancer Center director and we have a senior associate from a major search firm on campus next week to assist us in this key institutional search. We are also making progress on several other searches. Next week – for the first time ever – we will be participating in interviews of a cadre of external search firms in order to develop a ‘preferred provider’ model to assist in future searches. This is innovative and exciting stuff.

In the meantime, we are drawing on the considerable talents of our colleagues here. We have launched an internal search for an interim VP for Research and this will be completed shortly.

Dr. Azziz gave a clear outline of the vision for our institution at several Town Hall meetings this week. It was invigorating and our future is exciting. The SOM Town Hall was very well attended (thanks for making such an effort) and received, with an excellent Q&A session. Key components of Dr. Azziz’s presentation will also be available in appropriate format shortly.

And then of course, there’s ESP .. This is gaining momentum.Thank you for your participation and helpful suggestions. Keep them coming!

This is my first “letter” to all of you . Yes, it’s a long one! I’ll try to be shorter next time. I will try to write often.. But not too often. so that we can all be apprised of the impressive activities that are ongoing in many areas of each of our missions.

I thank each and every one of you. I have purposefully omitted citing names in each of the activities since there are so many contributors and likely I’d leave out (and offend) somebody. Please just know that the efforts of all of you are very much appreciated.

Thank you and enjoy this coming weekend.