Dean's Weekly Message

March 18, 2019

Dear colleague: 

Match Day was Friday, March 15, and as has become custom, the School of Medicine hosted a ceremony for the Class of 2019 and their families and friends. As we celebrated the accomplishments of the Class of 2019 during their years with us, we also expect them to represent CU School of Medicine well in the years ahead as they apply the knowledge and skills they developed here. This year’s graduating class is the first to arrive here since I became Dean and we are confident that these future physicians will continue to distinguish themselves in their next round of even more intense training. A special thanks to the Office of Student Life faculty and staff for assisting our class as they advanced through the Match Process. Congratulations to all on this important passage and best wishes for a productive and fulfilling career. 

On Match Day, the National Resident Matching Program announced that a record-high 38,376 applicants nationally submitted program choices for 35,185 positions, the most ever offered in the match. The number of available first-year (PGY-1) positions rose to 32,194, an increase of 1,962 (6.5%) over 2018. Among the specialties with the highest demand were integrated interventional radiology, otolaryngology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, integrated plastic surgery, surgery, and thoracic surgery. Of the 32,194 first-year positions offered in the match, 15,946 were in the primary care specialties of family medicine, internal medicine, internal medicine – pediatrics, internal medicine – primary, pediatrics, and pediatrics – primary. That’s a 7.8 percent increase over the number offered in 2018. Of those, 15,355 (96.3%) were filled and 7,272 (45.6%) were filled by seniors from U.S. allopathic medical schools. 

U.S. News and World Report released its annual rankings of medical schools last week and the School of Medicine was listed No. 12 on the primary care list and No. 30 on the research list. On the listings of programs, our Department of Pediatrics ranked No. 6 and Department of Family Medicine No. 7. In a separate listing of Graduate Schools Health Specialties programs, our Child Health Associate/Physician Assistant Program was ranked No. 7. I would like to thank all who have helped us maintain high rankings among our peers, but I would further add that we do this work for reasons far more important than a magazine’s subjective ranking system. While rankings may give a snapshot of the nation’s medical school landscape, they do not reflect of the totality of any school’s work. Our rewards come from the value of the work we do by educating talented and compassionate medical professionals, providing excellent care to those who depend on us, and enlightening others and improving human health through pursuits in laboratories, policy discussions, and improvements in health-delivery systems. We prize your contributions to our School because they mean so much more than a number on a magazine list. Keep up the good work. 

The Academy for Women in Academic Emergency Medicine (AWAEM) has notified our Department of Emergency Medicine that it has been selected to receive the AWAEM Outstanding Department Award at the organization’s awards luncheon in May. The AWAEM was established in 2009 to promote the recruitment, retention, advancement, and leadership of women in academic emergency medicine. The award commends the department for its organizational initiatives to support women in academic emergency medicine. The range of these efforts in our department is extensive and its faculty members and staff are making impressive contributions to the effectiveness of the department and in collaborations throughout the School and with our clinical partners. Congratulations to the Emergency Medicine team and to Anne Libby, PhD, professor and vice chair for academic affairs for emergency medicine, who oversaw the award application. 

Heather Cassidy, MD, assistant professor of medicine, has been named the new assistant dean for community-based medical education. Heather is a primary care internist in Colorado Springs.  She serves as director of community engagement at the School of Medicine’s Colorado Springs Branch, where she works closely with medical students, faculty, and local community partners to address health disparities and advance community health.  She is involved extensively in curriculum reform, service-learning curricula, mentorship of medical students, and leadership of the longitudinal integrated clerkship for students at the Colorado Springs Branch.  As assistant dean for community-based medical education, Heather will develop and lead programs focusing on recruitment, support, and preceptor development for the School of Medicine’s 3,000 volunteer faculty members. 

A memorial service to celebrate the life of Stuart A. Schneck, MD, professor emeritus of neurology and pathology, will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 30, in the Krugman Conference Hall. Stuart died on February 18 after a long and distinguished career. Stuart came to Colorado in 1954 for his residency in internal medicine, subsequently completed a neurology fellowship, and joined the CU faculty in 1963, becoming emeritus in 1995. In addition to his faculty role, Stuart served with distinction as associate dean for clinical affairs for the School of Medicine, as president of the University of Colorado Hospital Medical Board, and as president of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He was also an active admissions committee member from 1970 to 2016. Established in 2018 in his honor, the Dr. Stuart A. Schneck Memorial Fund recognizes outstanding performance during the neurology clerkship by a graduating CU medical student.

Have a good week,

John J. Reilly, Jr., MD
Richard D. Krugman Endowed Chair
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and
Dean, School of Medicine


The Dean’s weekly message is an email news bulletin from John J. Reilly, Jr., MD, Dean of the CU School of Medicine, that is distributed to inform University of Colorado School of Medicine faculty members, staff, students and others about issues pertaining to the School’s mission of education, research, clinical care and community service.  See the UCH-Insider →

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