The below was emailed to the faculty, staff, and trainees of our department earlier today.
Friends and Colleagues in the Department of Medicine:
After nearly six years as Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine at the Carver College of Medicine, I have made the decision to step down at the end of December. An interim Chair of Medicine will be named soon, and a national search launched for my successor.
As I reflect on the time that we have spent together I recognize how privileged I have been to lead and serve such a talented and inspiring group of colleagues. Our department by any measure is a success. We continue to be a strong example of courage, motivation, innovation, inclusion and commitment to excellence across all of our missions. At every level, you have pushed the envelope in ways that are admired by many across the country. Our training programs continue to attract the best candidates across the country, and I am proud of each resident and fellow whose tireless efforts have contributed to our reputation. Our trainees also contribute to our ability to care for some of the most challenging clinical cases that present to us, all while maintaining our patient’s dignity and supporting their families. The leaders of our education team deserve credit for setting a high bar for innovation in clinical training, which means that our graduates are heavily sought after for fellowship training slots or for permanent positions across the country when their training here is completed. You have made a mark on the Carver College of Medicine as each year an increasing number of medical students are making the choice to pursue careers in internal medicine. I have also been proud to see our clinical faculty’s focus on quality and safety, despite pressures to increase productivity. It is not surprising that each year members of our department disproportionately receive awards and recognition for service, from “you make a difference” notifications to major recognition awards from the UIP for outstanding work. As a research intensive department, we have punched above our weight. I reveled in seeing each year your success in securing grant funding, which has increased our total extramural grant portfolio by 31% from $58M in 2015 to $84M in FY21. Moreover, our faculty publish anywhere from 15 to 50 new articles each month, each paper contributing new knowledge across all aspects of medicine and science.
During some of the most trying times in recent history, such as the present COVID19 pandemic and social upheaval as racial injustice flooded into our collective consciousness, you stepped up. You have demonstrated to the world and to our community our core values of selfless service to everyone who comes to UIHC for care and our commitment, ensuring that even the most marginalized are respected and given a voice. Heartfelt thanks to my Vice-Chairs, Division Chiefs, Chief Residents, Program Directors and other department leaders who have supported me. A special shout out to our stellar administrative team; your work behind the scenes has ensured that our Department not only runs, but runs well. It takes a team and you have all embodied this eloquently. Keep doing everything that you do so well and the future of the Department will continue to be bright.
So what is next for me? In January, I will begin a new journey as Chair of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and executive medical director of the UCLA Health System’s Department of Medicine. It will be a challenging new role, but you have taught me a lot and I hope that I will make a difference there. Although I may shed layers of clothes in a warmer climate, I will forever be a Hawkeye.
Sincerely and with immense gratitude,