Week 3: Looking Under Every Stone

Our department should excel in all missions and there are numerous examples of ways in which this is true. As I continue to learn more about the work being done in the department, I will share things worth celebrating, while highlighting an area (of many) that will be a focus as our strategic vision becomes a reality. I will focus this week on research.

One of my survey questions sought to ascertain your perspectives regarding our research mission. I specifically asked if we were: Building our bench and recruiting the best. Here are the results (0 = strongly disagree, 5= strongly agree).

4PHYSICIAN SCIENTISTS –10306513111655407

Consistent with these results, I share some representative comments:

The research mission is valued, but very detached from the clinical enterprise”;

The overall sense is that the clinical mission takes priority over the research mission”;

There is a tremendous amount of research potential and ambition amongst clinicians that is going untapped;

Research faculty also deserve more recognition (culturally and materially)

So, we have work to do. As part of our longer-term strategy, we will build out the infrastructure to collate information necessary to ensure that department leadership not only is aware, but also recognizes and celebrates your research accomplishments. I will also be scheduling townhall meetings with research faculty, starting first with early career investigators (PhDs and Physician Scientists) to listen and share some ideas for enhancing the likelihood for research achievement of every faculty member in our department conducting research, irrespective of faculty rank. We will also explore ways to increase opportunities for our trainees and clinical faculty to be involved in the research mission. In the meantime, let share with you three examples across the career arc, of high-profile publications that I learned about this week that are worth celebrating. I realize that these are a few examples of many other papers published by our faculty last week.

In recognition of our clinical and education missions: I was pleased to receive complementary letters written by patients for the superb care they received by our faculty, and I personally communicated with each one of you about this. I also learned about the amazing results from our renal transplant program led by Dr. Gabe Danovitch, and international recognition of our Cardio-Oncology Program led by Dr. Eric Yang, that I will share in separate communications. I had the pleasure of meeting some of the applicants to our Internal Medicine residency program, a truly impressive group, clearly attracted by our nationally recognized training program. Hopefully my pitch will motivate them to rank us highly. I sat in on a panel discussion on Internal Medicine as a career, presented to our DGSOM medical students, spearheaded by Dr. Neveen El-Farra with input from faculty and chief residents, Drs. Rachel Brook, Jiyeon Jeong, Karissa Britten, Tyler Larsen, Olawale Amubieya and Satya Patel. I am told, there was record medical student attendance. I share with you a personal note I received from one of the Medical Students who attended this session:

I just wanted to follow up and thank you for attending the specialty spotlight event tonight and sharing a few thoughts with us! What you said about the opportunity in Internal Medicine to be able to learn about your patients' stories and be their "person" really resonated with me. I am glad to learn that the UCLA IM leadership shares this perspective! Tonight's panelists all made me even more excited about pursuing IM - I found myself smiling throughout the hour! Thanks again”.

Her note made my day.



For those tracking our moving chronicles, we found our hummingbird feeders. My wife is happy and the hummers that we can feed year-round here, even more so …

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