outlines Med. School goals: boost research, retool curriculum
By Rebecca Arrington
Boosting clinical research, redesigning
the curriculum and sustaining an environment of caring and advocacy
were the main points dean Robert M. Carey mapped out in his 14th
annual state of the medical school address, titled "2000
Celebration and Call to Action."
the 790 full-time faculty members in the School
of Medicine, only 107 are clinical investigators -- two-thirds
senior faculty, one-third junior faculty. The number needs to
be higher, Carey said.
boost the ranks, he plans to establish a formal program, the Clinician-Investigator
Advancement Program, directed toward young faculty. He also announced
his appointment of Jay Fox as the new assistant dean for research
support, and noted that U.Va.'s funding from the National Institutes
of Health had risen 18 percent in the past three years.
reported that 10 students with strong research backgrounds had
been recruited into this year's entering medical school class.
He commended Gary K. Owens, professor and associate dean, for
his work in revamping the Medical Science Recruiting and Training
wants to bolster research collaborations across Grounds, too,
with such departments as biology, chemistry, psychology, physics
and the School of Engineering and Applied Science. A new incentive
program for this effort is being developed. He also noted that
the medical school is exploring research opportunities with external
addition to its research efforts, Carey said the school is redesigning
its curriculum. The aim is to integrate the basic sciences, clinical
and elective course work throughout the students' time in medical
school, rather than teach the courses as separate units -- basic
sciences in first and second year, clinical practice third year
and electives fourth year -- which is how it's done now. The changes
will give students an ongoing context in which to learn and judge
their abilities, and provide more student-patient contact and
more opportunities for medical problem-solving. They'll also have
more time to learn medical information management, according to
the curriculum committee's mission statement.
also cited a number of faculty for professional honors they've
garnered this year, noted the endowment is now $350 million, and
that the school ranks 29th in the country in number of patents.
"We have a fantastic place here. We're on our way up, and
the reason for our success is because of you," Carey told
the faculty, urging them not to lose sight of what matters most.
"We need to think about intangibles -- about how we're caring
for our patients, colleagues, co-workers, support staff. Every
individual here matters. Caring and advocacy for one another is
what matters most. It's personal association with others that
will make us want to run to work."