Carey charted successful
tenure as dean of the Medical School
by Tom Cogill
Dr. Robert M. Carey was offered the post of U.Va. Medical School
dean in April 1986, a colleague on the faculty urged him to keep
a hand in research no matter what. Carey took the job and took
that advice to heart, working in his lab every day for 16 years.
he steps down June 25, handing the reins to newcomer Dr. Arthur
Tim Garson Jr., he leaves a vital organization, which
balances research and clinical practice, teaching and patient
tenure is one of the longest among medical deans in the country
and probably one of the most prolific.
has championed research and collaboration among his 1,000 faculty
members and has steered the school toward growth and progress,
developing 16 interdisciplinary centers and four research buildings,
with another one planned. Of the schools 29 departments,
he started five. Three departments microbiology, cell biology
and molecular physiology and biological physics are in
the top five nationally for National Institutes of Health funding.
Overall, NIH support is the highest ever, more than quadrupling
since Carey became dean.
Carey and the School
of Medicine have set the example for interdisciplinary and
interschool collaboration. For example, the school has some 12
programs involving either the College of Arts & Sciences or
the Engineering School, or both, said U.Va. President John
T. Casteen III. As he returns to the faculty full-time,
all of us in the University owe him a great debt of gratitude
for remarkable professionalism, for setting high standards
and achieving them, and for fostering a spirit of collaboration
that has permeated the entire University.
took the job to see if I could help the institution grow and build
something, said Carey, the James Carroll Flippin Professor
of Medical Science. I wanted to make decisions that have
an impact, hopefully long term. Some of that I have gotten to
see 10 or 12 years later.
has guided the school with strategic planning that changed over
time as goals were met, targeting certain broad areas in developing
basic sciences, creating disease-related interdisciplinary centers
and emphasizing the clinical side of research. Some of the centers
work on all three levels, including the Center for Cell Signaling,
the Center for Biomedical Ethics, the Office for International
Health and the Mellon Prostate Cancer Center, established recently
with a $20 million gift from the estate of the late Paul Mellon.
Careys watch, the curriculum for educating physicians has
been revamped several times, most recently by giving medical students
the opportunity to work with patients earlier and to learn state-of-the-art
information technology. He established the nationally recognized
Medical Academic Advancement Program to assist minority and disadvantaged
students and revitalized the Medical Scientist Training Program,
which combines biomedical research with the practice of medicine,
awarding joint medical and doctoral degrees. Another program he
has instituted focuses on faculty development and mentoring.
promote public service, Carey fostered the successful Mini-Med
School, a free short medical course designed for local community
members, and supported telemedicine programs that help treat patients
in remote areas around the state.
has encouraged the growth of international programs as well.
an internationally recognized endocrinologist who was head of
U.Va.s Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism from 1978
to 1986, will return to the medical faculty full-time. During
a years sabbatical, hell retool in clinical
and research skills, taking a course at Harvard and one here at
U.Va. before seeing patients again. He also will work on a proposal
for a center to advance his research on the hormonal control of
Lexington, Ky., native received his medical degree from Vanderbilt
University in 1965 and completed his residency at the New York
Hospital-Cornell Medical Center in 1970. He came to the U.Va.
Medical School in 1973.
biggest disappointment over the decade and a half? The decline
of state funding, he said. Despite a successful fund-raising campaign
that reached almost $214 million, Carey said, the next dean
will have to devote more time to fund-raising because the needs
other advice for the new dean holds more promise: Get to know
the people and programs here. That is key not only for being a
good leader, but also for being an effective fund-raiser. Then
you know what to be excited about, he said.
tenure also has been marked by a personal style and enthusiasm.
Helping others be successful if I can do that, its
energizing, he said.
Burton, his long-time administrative assistant, said: Dr.
Carey is one of the kindest individuals I have met and treats
everyone he meets with respect. He arrives at work with a smile
and leaves with a smile.