I am honored to begin working with you as the new Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine. Thank you for extending such a warm welcome to me and for your continued efforts during this period of transition. It is my goal to get to know all of you. I plan to begin that process by visiting your division-level faculty meetings and to interacting in various ways with our trainees.
This Department has a rich and distinguished history stretching back to 1870. It is humbling to add my name to a long list of notable academic physician leaders who have built this Department into the largest—and one of the most accomplished—at the University of Iowa. I recognize the great responsibility that accompanies this trust as we identify ways to increase the Department’s strength and reputation both locally and globally.
In order to build on our successes, there are a number of priority areas of opportunity that we will target. Recruitment of exceptional faculty is essential to advancing our academic missions in research and education. This in turn will strengthen our ability to recruit and retain residents and fellows of the highest caliber and offer outstanding education to our students. To realize this vision, we will place a strong emphasis on mentoring, to ensure success across the entire career spectrum, as we aggressively recruit to expand our research enterprise.
We exist in a competitive landscape in terms of recruitment and retention of our profession’s best and brightest. Therefore, it will be essential to ensure that we foster an environment and culture within the Department that will enable us to grow in stature and reputation. As we work to increase our success rate in pursuit of extramural funding and clinical excellence, the Department will reward and incentivize excellence in each of these realms.
In providing care for our patients, we must be accountable for the work we do as we strive for increased quality, efficiency, and patient satisfaction. We will identify and work to diminish those barriers that prevent us from doing our best work, and we will recognize those who consistently innovate to overcome those barriers. I hope to go into greater detail about some of these initiatives at our All Faculty meeting on February 1; an invitation and an agenda for this meeting are forthcoming.
But in the coming weeks and months, I plan to use this space to update you on how all these initiatives are progressing. I will keep you as involved as I can in each new development, each new success, each new challenge that we will face together. I look forward to sharing with you, but I also want to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me with news, concerns, or ideas as we move forward.
It is because of you that I am exceedingly optimistic about the future of the Department of Internal Medicine. Though we face significant challenges, I believe the combination of creativity and talent among us ensures that our future is bright. Our only limitation might be our hesitancy to offer all of ourselves and to realize our full potential. Together we can encourage each other to tap into that greatness we all possess.