Week 1

I learned a lot of new things last week, such as the daily UCLA Health symptom surveys which I am cc…ed on every time a member of our department is not cleared to come into the Medical Center. I am not complaining, but use these additions to my inbox, to acknowledge that our health system is not immune from the challenges brought about by the current surge of the COVID-19 pandemic. I have been impressed by the efforts that all our clinicians and ancillary staff have made to cover each other when a colleague goes into isolation or quarantine, to ensure that we can continue to provide the best possible care to our patients. I want to give a special shout-out to our amazing house staff and our chief residents for deftly rearranging their schedules, giving up time off or elective time to ensure that all our ward services are covered. I also want to acknowledge our hospitalists and intensivists for working extra shifts and members of our research faculty who dusted off their licenses to obtain emergency credentialling to provide coverage in some of our ambulatory sites. As the pandemic grinds on, I am conscious of the fatigue that sets in, but encouraged by the resiliency that I have observed and the espirit de corps as you roll up your sleeves to support our critical missions.

I also learned that the pandemic has not restricted our other missions. I was pleased to learn of new awards and accolades to our faculty, new publications, recently funded grants and planning for new proposals. It is clear, that in contrast to many, we at UCLA not just walk and chew gum, we run! When I spoke at the DMPG annual meeting a few weeks ago, I shared some perspectives on characteristics of successful Academic Departments of Medicine in the 21st Century. I will summarize these again, when I write next week. I also stated that to secure our standing as the leading department of medicine (DoM) we will need to be strategic. As such, I will be launching a strategic planning process to crystallize how we will invest our resources to achieve our future goals. I stated that I will solicit your collective wisdom throughout this process. Strategic planning starts with self-reflection. I proposed 9 domains by which we could begin to evaluate where we are and where we need to be going. I have included a link below with a brief questionnaire to get your feedback on how we are doing in these domains. I look forward to hearing from you. It will take you less time than it took you this morning to complete your symptom tracker, to give me your valuable feedback!

Follow this link to the Survey: 
Take the Survey (Survey Now Closed)

Thanks, and best wishes,


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