Year 2. January 3, 2023. Weeks Become Years.
Welcome to 2023 and Happy New Year! I hope that you were able to use the year-end season to rest, reflect, recharge and prepare for the year to come. For some, the holidays can be challenging for various reasons and for others the new year is a time for resolutions. For the department of medicine (DoM), I anticipate that 2023 will be a busy and productive one. There will be milestones and transitions that are repeated each year. We will welcome new trainees to our residencies and fellowships as we anticipate the results of the residency match a few months from now, while saying goodbye to those who will graduate. We will recruit new faculty across all missions. As we recruit new faculty and trainees, we will continue to focus on seeking out talent that are not only accomplished, but diverse. For our researchers and investigators there will be grant submissions and news of grant outcomes. You will hear about grant success stories and scientific breakthroughs. However, some will receive disappointing news when grants are not approved for funding, or manuscripts are not accepted for publication. While we might not publicly talk about these, I view these disappointments as opportunities to improve our narrative, tell a better story and try again. I hope that as a community of colleagues, we will seek opportunities to support each other through the ups and downs, bearing in mind that we are stronger together.
I suspect that the emergency room will continue to be full, and for many of our clinicians, today might feel like any other recent day. By the time you read this, you might already have seen many patients in the clinic or completed your rounds. In January of 2020, merely three years ago, no one anticipated the way in which the coronavirus pandemic would upend our lives and work and the ability of our health system to fulfill its missions. So, as we begin a new year, change is inevitable and as a department, we should ensure that we foster resiliency so that whatever curveballs come our way, we will come out better than we came in.
Our department administration will continue to focus on improving internal processes, to ensure that we are effectively supporting the needs of our large and growing department. Our financial team will continue to ensure that we maintain our ability to support our missions and to competitively compensate faculty and staff in a manner that rewards and incentivizes excellence and productivity in all our diverse missions.
The department has many aspirations and plans for the new year, and I look forward to sharing these with you in my weekly reflections and other channels. Let me preview some of these goals.
- We will launch a strategic planning process, the results of which will guide our missions as a department for many years to come.
- We will recruit new leadership in the department and strengthen our senior leadership team. I look forward to welcoming new division chiefs and vice chairs.
- We will continue to focus on faculty and staff wellness, as we refine initiatives that were rolled out last year and develop additional programs.
- We will strengthen a focus on mentoring junior faculty. I personally look forward to getting to meet more of you, to understand your aspirations and challenges so that we can fulfill our commitment to ensuring that your careers thrive within the DoM.
- We will continue to seek out opportunities to expand our clinical services locally and further afield, while ensuring that these align with the ability of UCLA Health to fully support the needs of these new patients as they enter our system.
- We will continue to pursue opportunities to increase our engagement and identify opportunities to collaborate with organizations caring for the medically underserved.
So, as we launch another year, and as I begin my second year of service, I am excited to work alongside you.
Things get relatively quiet around UCLA between Christmas and New Year’s. This provides a good opportunity to catch up on some errands including another trip to the DMV, this time to file a change of address. My wife and I went armed with multiple documents showing our current address. We were perplexed that we were not asked to show anything to verify the address and did not press the issue. I was even more perplexed that my wife did not have to take a new license photo, although I was sent to get one. So, my hair cut was not in vain.
Stopped at Costco, to stock up for our offspring who are visiting. We ran into this traffic jam. Not sure if there is a sign in the DMV handbook for this. You just can’t make this stuff up.