Oct. 24, 2010 - The School of Medicine has moved. It has created a new curriculum. It’s part of a medical campus that is expanding.

The next challenge, Dean Richard D. Krugman said at his annual State of the School remarks Wednesday, Oct. 20, is clinical transformation.

“We need a coherent, effective clinical administrative structure,” one that emphasizes excellence, quality and efficiency, Krugman said.

This push can’t be just a medical school effort, he said. It must include the hospitals the school partners with and the doctors themselves. It has to be done with a sense of urgency, but also a climate of “patience and respect.”

He recounted a story he had just heard about a sub-intern from another state who praised the support that colleagues and mentors from the medical school offered.

“This is a pretty collaborative, pretty respectful place,” Krugman said.

The dean’s 40-minute address came after a year marked by advances and challenges.

The medical school is exploring the possibility of establishing a branch campus in Colorado Springs, Krugman said. Business leaders in that city want to bring an arm of the school there without using state funds.

Krugman also noted that there are more than 1 million outpatient visits on the Anschutz Medical Campus annually. UPI, the physicians’ group, has just moved into its new building, and the organization’s revenue is up by about 10 percent.  University of Colorado Hospital and The Children’s Hospital boards approved expansion of inpatient towers, which will bring the total number of beds on campus to 1,000 by 2013. Research is collaborative and going strong.

The school also has made key hires and appointments, including:

  • Dan Theodorescu, MD, PhD, Cancer Center Director
  • Andrew Thorburn, PhD, Pharmacology Department Chair
  • Ed McCabe, MD, PhD, Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome Executive Director
  • James O. Hill, PhD, Health & Wellness Center Executive Director

The diversity of the first-year medical student class has doubled, Krugman said, largely due to a scholarship fund established by University of Colorado President Bruce Benson.

The financial picture, however, remains challenging. State funding has fallen to a level last seen in 1985. The Liaison Committee on Medical Education noted in 2009 that state funding was a concern.

“It was a worry then, and it’s still a worry,” Krugman said.

And federal stimulus grants, which totaled $54 million, will be phasing out.

Krugman said that as the medical world shifts the school must shift with it.

“Health care reform will inevitably put more pressure on revenue and squeeze those not practicing safely and effectively,” Krugman said.

A task force, including clinical chairs, faculty, UPI, SOM, UCH and TCH staff, will take on this project.

“We can do this,” Krugman said.

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