There's nothing like
experience to help one appreciate the true meaning of medicine. During
the diploma ceremony on May 13, student speaker David Altman
wore a cast decorated with a puppet wearing a mortarboard as he told
the class about his recent stint as a patient, in pain and unable to
dress himself without assistance. "Never forget you're treating people,"
said David, who recently sliced his hand cutting an apple. "That's what
makes our profession sacred."
doctor was among the 103 students at Glenn Memorial who received their
MD degrees, including 10 dual-degree recipients (five MD/PhD and five
MD/MPH degrees). Dr. Judith Swain, Bloomfield Professor
and Chair of Medicine at Stanford, gave the commencement address, urging
graduates "to use their time wisely, to form a hypothesis of what they
wanted to do, and test it every day." She also suggested that they consider
career paths less traveled, such as international medicine, biotechnology,
or rural health care.
annual dean's reception on the day before commencement, several students
received honors. They included Michael Antil (the Evangeline
Papageorge Outstanding Student Award), Pierre de Delva
(the Dean's Award), Larry Chang (the Bert and Betty
Shear Book Award and the Anne Elizabeth and Harper Gaston Service Award,
the latter shared with Thomas Wallace), Carlos
Alarcon and Mark Clay (the Eldon Bolton Service
Award), and Beau Bruce (the Outstanding Achievement
in Clinical Science Award). Also, Jamie Bower, Betsey
Chambers, Jennifer McDougal, Rachel Nisbet, Kelly Skelton,
and Corrie Van Exel received the American Medical Women's
Association, Inc. Janet Glasgow Memorial Achievement Citation, which
is awarded to women medical students around the nation who place in
the top 10% of their class.
voted Dr. John Louis-Ugbo, Instructor of Cell Biology,
as their honorary class member. Medical Alumni Association President
Dr. Peggy Duke, 77M, Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology,
presented Dr. Jonas Shulman, Executive Associate Dean
for Medical Education and Student Affairs, with the Evangeline Papageorge
Alumni Teaching Award, marking the second time he has received the honor.
relatives of graduates included Drs. Dara Rastegar
(Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, daughter Ida) and
Rein Saral (Director, The Emory Clinic, daughter Alex).
Allied Health ceremony, the SOM awarded 75 master's, three bachelor's,
and 17 associate degrees in medical science, and 28 master's degrees
in physical therapy. Dr. Donna Shalala, former US Secretary
of Health and Human Services, addressed graduates and their families.
Please join me
in congratulating Dr. James Roberson as our new Chairman
of the Department of Orthopaedics. Dr. Roberson has been a respected
member of our faculty since 1982 and has served as Professor and Associate
Chairman since 1990. He graduated from the University of Texas Southwestern
Medical School and completed his postgraduate training at Emory and
the Mayo Clinic. I have deep respect for Dr. Roberson's record of leadership
and commitment to the SOM, as well as his scholarship and clinical service.
I am confident he will be an outstanding leader and look forward to
working with him in his new role. Many thanks to our search committee,
including Drs. William Wood (Chair), Claudia
Adkison (ex officio), Naomi Alazraki, Bruce
Baumgartner, Jay Berkelhamer, Angela Caliendo, Carlos del Rio, Sarah
DeRossett, Arthur English, Katherine Heilpern, Carl Hug, Richard Nichols,
Nelson Oyesiku, Grace Rozycki, Rein Saral, and Mr.
Here's an issue
that surfaced recently in The New York Times. Last month, three
physicians filed a class-action lawsuit challenging the National Residency
Matching Program (NRMP). The plaintiffs, who are basing their case on
antitrust grounds, say that the NRMP's policies allow health care facilities
to keep salaries low and working hours long. If they win the suit, teaching
hospitals may have to substantially change residency training programs
and pay substantial damages. The Association of American Medical Colleges,
which administers the program and is one of the defendants, has vowed
to "challenge this lawsuit with the utmost vigor." Emory is among the
huge class of defendants in the suit.
The NIH has designated
Yerkes as a National Primate Research Center (NPRC) to recognize its
role in and impact on research throughout the world. One of eight federally
funded NPRCs, Yerkes receives an NIH base grant awarded at five-year
intervals via a competitive renewal process. The base grant now represents
a fraction of Yerkes' $36 million in research funding for 2001, which
has tripled since 1998 and ranks second behind the SOM. In return for
the federal dollars it receives, Yerkes provides optimal research environments
for SOM faculty and serves as a resource for collaborators from other
institutions. It has nearly 85 affiliate and collaborative faculty from
Emory and scientists from 65 research institutions in and outside of
the United States.
I'm always happy to hear that a new initiative has been funded, it is
an even greater thrill to hear how the grant has been put to use. Since
beginning training sessions four months ago, the Jane Fonda Center has
taught youth workers how to counsel pregnant adolescents, helped to
develop an Atlanta-based doula program (training neighborhood women
to coach pregnant teens), and sponsored training for residential care
staff who work with adolescent mothers. Open for more than a year, the
Jane Fonda Center has partnered in the development of three health-focused
community technology centers that provide teens with information on
reducing risks and making healthy transitions to adulthood. Additionally,
the Fonda Center has worked with the Henry Grady Foundation to renovate
facilities at Grady and enhance teen reproductive health services. Now
30 years old, Grady's teen reproductive health program provides family
planning services to 1,800 school-age adolescents each year.
is funded by a gift from Miss Fonda, who provided an initial $2 million
that also established the Marion Howard Chair in Adolescent Reproductive
Health in the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Miss Fonda has
provided additional funds to expand programs and support the Center.
Dr. Marion Howard holds the chair and leads the Center,
which is located on the Briarcliff Campus. As Dr. Howard explains, "Our
goal is to advance scientific knowledge, both locally and globally,
about infancy, childhood, and adolescence and disseminate new information
and strategies for reducing risks and growing up healthy."
The Institute for Scientific
Information (ISI) lists five SOM faculty members among the world's most
highly cited scientific researchers. Drs. Mahlon DeLong
(Neurology), Michael Kuhar (Pharmacology), Kenneth
Minneman (Pharmacology), Bruce Wainer (Pathology),
and Allan Levey (Neurology) are included in www.ISIHighlyCited.com.
This new research resource chronicles the publication and achievement
records of preeminent researchers. ISI identified and evaluated approximately
19 million articles or source records by 24,000 authors between 1981
and 1999 to determine the most highly cited researchers in their respective
disciplines. Drs. DeLong, Kuhar, Levey, and Wainer are included in the
neuroscience category, which lists 110 scientists in 185 countries.
Dr. Minneman is among the 108 scientists in the pharmacology category.
has a new facility dedicated to caring for the growing number of Spanish-speaking
patients. The International Clinic opened in April to help eliminate
the language, cultural, and health care barriers that many Hispanic
patients face. Dr. Inginia Genao, Director of Multicultural Affairs
at Grady, who helped develop the Clinic, estimates that 70% of her patients
speak Spanish. "My hope is that by decreasing the language barrier alone,
the number of patients will increase dramatically to the point where
we will move out of the medical clinic and into a different site," she
serves patients 18 and older on the first Tuesday morning of each month,
as well as Tuesday and Thursday afternoons every week. Staffing includes
Dr. Genao, Dr. Stacy Higgins, and six medical residents,
all of whom are bilingual. Plans include recruiting a bilingual nurse
and staff to help run the Clinic, which is patterned after the Pediatric
Latino Clinic at Boston Medical Center.
The Emory Eye Center has
received more than $3 million from the estate of Stanley Whitaker
and his wife, Myrna Newell Whitaker. A longtime
newspaper man and former resident of Atlanta, Mr. Whitaker made the
gift through a living trust to foster research and treatment of eye
disease. During his career, Mr. Whitaker served around the country as
an executive with United Press International and was best known in Atlanta
for buying the Marietta Daily Journal in 1948. After retiring
in the mid-1950s, Mr. Whitaker became a media broker for the Blackburn
Company, a firm that sold newspapers and radio and television stations.
He was 100 years old when he died at his Florida home in 1999. This
generous gift from Mr. and Mrs. Whitaker will greatly assist our faculty
as they continue their leadership in uncovering answers to complex eye
diseases and developing innovative treatments for care.
Thomas J. Lawley, MD