Week 50: ‘Tis the Season…

Over the past two weeks, I have had the joy of celebrating the spirit of the season alongside our faculty and staff at holiday gatherings. I needed a spread sheet to keep up with the many invitations that I received. For many, it was the first time in almost three years that they’ve had the opportunity to gather with their colleagues in-person to eat, dance, celebrate the department of medicine (DoM) family, and all that we have accomplished this past year. While only a few walked away with raffle prizes, I hope that all walked away with a memorable experience, and with their hearts and stomachs full. Many of you are preparing to travel, preparing to cook holiday dishes, scrambling to purchase those last-minute gifts, or bringing the spirit of the holidays into our hospitals for patients under our care. Wherever you are and whoever you are with, I hope that you have a happy, healthy, and blessed holiday season.

You might have heard the saying “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” By now, we all know that this rule might not necessarily apply in the department of medicine, because what happens in the DoM, has a chance of making its way into my weekly reflection! Please enjoy a few snapshots captured from various holiday celebrations across the department. Many of these events provided an opportunity to recognize the staff who behind the scenes, support the many missions of our department.

A few weeks ago, we shared the results of a successful fellowship match. I would like to highlight that while the fellowship match was taking place, our education team was also busily wrapping up residency recruitment. This recruitment season, the categorical residency program achieved the following:  1080 interviews and small group sessions, for 360 applicants, from 90 medical schools. Forty applicants interviewed for PSTP. I enjoyed participating in the recruitment efforts by providing welcoming remarks at each session. I am always inspired by looking at the faces of the future leaders in internal medicine, while sharing with them the multiple reasons why we can help them achieve their long-term aspirations here at UCLA. However, I do have to give a special recognition to the many faculty, residents, and leadership who gave their time to speak with prospective categorical residents about why they should train in the department of medicine.

Seventy-five faculty from UCLA and the VA GLA participated as interviewers, which included leaders from primary care, the hospitalist section, and various subspecialists. Over forty of our residents volunteered their time after hours to attend social hours and an internal medicine conversation event, four fellows participated in the women in medicine talk. Recruitment for our primary care track included 36 primary care faculty interviewers from Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, Santa Clarita, Santa Monica and the VA GLA. As you can see, it takes a village to successfully navigate each recruitment season. This year, we were fortunate to count on the leadership of the Recruitment Committee Chair Dr. Kelley Chuang, Recruitment Chiefs Dr. Cameron HennebergDr. George TranDr. Brandon Smith (Categorical), Dr. Becca Tsevat(Primary Care), and Recruitment Coordinator Bear Waters to recruit the best and the brightest to the department of medicine.

Last week, I had the privilege of giving the State of the Department address at our Medicine Grand Rounds. It was gratifying and inspiring to review and celebrate a year of remarkable achievements, while recognizing the challenges that we must face and overcome as we chart a course for the future. It has been an honor leading such a vibrant and remarkable community of colleagues, scholars, students and care givers.



My wife and I noticed that photo booths are a common fixture of holiday parties in Los Angeles, a distinct change from the more sedate approach in Iowa. Here is an interesting one. You can see who I was backing for the World Cup finals on Sunday. Wagering only with play money of course. Seems like I picked right and will keep the trophy in this hemisphere. What a game though!

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