I am very pleased to announce that the School of Medicine has received continued full accreditation of the educational program leading to the MD degree for a full seven-year term. Word came after the April meeting of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME.) Let me take this opportunity to thank all those who participated in the planning of and preparation for the review and the LCME team visit this past January, and all the School of Medicine family for making our education of medical students so outstanding. This was an intensive, challenging, and enlightening process, which obviously paid off. The report also identified some areas that need improvement, including establishing integrated institutional responsibility for the design, management, and evaluation of the curriculum; decreasing the density of the second year of the curriculum; and expanding the information technology infrastructure. Congratulations to all. I am proud and honored to be leading such a dedicated community of educators!
On May 15, the School of Medicine will graduate 119 students, one of the largest graduating classes in recent history. Dr. J. Willis Hurst, cardiology faculty member and former chair of the Department of Medicine, will address the graduates. In addition to the conferring of degrees, the announcement of the Evangeline Papageorge Award for Teaching will be made. The commencement exercises will begin at 11:30 am in Glenn Memorial Church after the University ceremony that starts at 8:00 am. Faculty are invited to join graduates and their families at a reception on the WHSCAB plaza immediately following the University ceremony.
The School of Medicine was ranked 19th among the nation's medical schools in the US News & World Report annual ranking of graduate and professional schools. We moved up in rank from last year in the areas of student selectivity and reputation by residency directors. Our high rank in residency training reputation is particularly gratifying because our residents provide a considerable amount of care at our hospitals and affiliates, including Grady. This is a tribute to the high-quality training they receive. Congratulations also to our Physical Therapy and Physician Assistant programs, which ranked an impressive third and fourth in the nation, respectively!
Our faculty and staff at Grady now have their own specific computer-support contact. Mr. Philip Chandler, who directed the School of Medicine's Y2K compliance effort, is now overseeing all aspects of information technology for Emory faculty and staff at the Grady campus. Philip and his team will be able to assist department IT staff with the installation and initial setup of PCs, with troubleshooting and fixing desktop and LAN problems, and with specific IT needs such as specialized databases. Beyond actual software and hardware support, Philip is also able to obtain assistance in development of new initiatives, such as custom application and website development. I anticipate that over the next few months, he will significantly enhance services. Until he relocates his office and team to the Grady campus, you can reach Philip at (404) 727-9845 or email@example.com.
Our admissions office hosted the annual Woodruff Weekend last month at which 12 finalists - students already accepted to the class of 2004 - returned to campus as guests to compete for the five, full-tuition Woodruff Fellowships awarded to entering MD students. The impressive group included a Bobby Jones Scholar studying in Scotland, a student working in Cambodia with Friends Without a Border, and a Fulbright Scholar doing research on tuberculosis in Thailand. A key criterion the selection committee looks for is leadership -- either inherent or potential for the future. This was the first time in recent memory that the top five originally selected all accepted their fellowships. Those selected are Omer Burnett III (Davidson), Amir Fathi (Yale), Michelle Ludwig (Purdue), Sasapin Prakalapakorn (Duke), and Lewis Satterwhite (Emory). The remaining finalists are named Emory Medical Scholars and receive merit scholarships of one-fourth to one-half tuition for each year of medical school..
More than 100 M1 students and 50 faculty and alumni mentors participated last month at the initiation of a mentoring program for first-year students. Under the direction of Dr. Alan Otsuki, assistant dean for medical education and student affairs, the program will serve as a forum for students to receive counsel on professional, ethical, and career issues and as a means to assist them in transitioning into the community of medicine at Emory and in Atlanta. This program came into being as a result of student interest as well as the Teaching and Education Strategic Plan.
We bid a fond farewell to two very important people in the Office of Medical Education & Student Affairs. Sybil Bridges, who has handled registration and financial aid matters as assistant director of student affairs and allied health for the past nine years, is retiring after 25 years of service to the University. During her tenure here, she received both her BBA and MPH degrees from Emory. Bob Bachman, director of graduate medical education for the last eight years, has accepted a post as associate administrator for Emory Hospitals. Bob oriented new residents each summer and worked with residency program directors to process residents through their training experience at Emory. I want to express my gratitude to Sybil and Bob for their hard work and commitment to Emory students and residents.
Dr. Mike Huercamp has been promoted to the newly created position of associate director of the Division of Animal Resources (DAR.) He assumes responsibility for the section of veterinary services within the DAR, incorporating all animal health services of the DAR, including veterinary medicine, surgery, pathology, and laboratory services. Dr. Huercamp joined the faculty and DAR staff in 1987 and played a key role, with Dr. Noel Lehner, in development of the animal resources program to date. Dr. Huercamp is very active in the national laboratory animal science community and has served in leadership capacities with the American College of Laboratory Medicine, the Association of Laboratory Animal Science, and the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International.
Staff members in the Department of Radiology have donated money and and will soon be donating their time over the next several months to build a Habitat for Humanity house in southeast Atlanta. The department raised $45,000 - the amount needed to build a Habitat house - through individual donations from a "buy a brick" campaign and a silent auction at the staff Christmas party last year. Both staff and physician members of the department will have a hand in the building project, which will be completed later this year.
Phil Hills, senior director of development, reports that Charles L. and Jan Briscoe have established the Emory Multiple Myeloma Research Fund. Their gift will support clinical trial and research work being done by Dr. Tom Heffner and other faculty in hematology/oncology. This gift, along with an anticipated matching gift and other contributions, is expected to move the Winship Cancer Institute toward its goal of recognition as a world-class "Myeloma Center of Excellence."
The School of Medicine also received a recent gift to establish the Walter B. and Elizabeth R. Chandler Memorial Scholarship Fund. Given in memory of a prominent Atlanta dentist and his wife, this donation of $340,000 will provide scholarship and fellowship support for students in oral pathology and oral surgery. Scholarship support, which we recognized last month at a scholarship and stewardship luncheon for students and their benefactors, continues to be a top priority for me and a pressing need for students.
We are pleased to announce the following:
- Dr. Douglas Eaton was elected to the executive council of the American Physiological Society.
- Dr. Robert Gunn was appointed to the national organizing committee for the International Union of Physiological Sciences 2005 Congress.
- Dr. Katherine Heilpern was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha (Emory alumni status).
- Dr. Nadine Kaslow was awarded a year-long, public policy fellowship by the Health Resources and Services Administration to train as a leader in primary care policy.
- Dr. Jeffrey Linzer Sr. has been appointed to the American Academy of Pediatrics as their representative to the ICD-9-CM editorial advisory board and as a member of the AAP committee on coding and reimbursement. He also has been invited to join the editorial board of Clinical Pediatric Emergency Medicine.
- Dr. Fray Marshall was named the 2000 recipient of the Distinguished Contribution Award by the American Urological Association, Inc, for his work in treating prostate cancer.
- Dr. Gerald Vogel has received the Sleep Research Society's 2000 Distinguished Scientist Award given for significant, original, and sustained contributions of a basic, clinical, or theoretical nature.
Thomas J. Lawley, MD