Dean's Weekly Message

April 26, 2021

Dear colleague: 

When the jury delivered its verdict of guilty against Derek Chauvin last week, it held the former Minneapolis police officer accountable for the murder of George Floyd and offered hope that judicial and law enforcement systems can overcome the systemic racism that has too often not provided fair treatment for Black people in our country. As Vice President Kamala Harris said: “Today, we feel a sigh of relief. Still, it cannot take away the pain. A measure of justice isn’t the same as equal justice. This verdict brings us a step closer, and the fact is we still have work to do.” Her remarks remind us that justice is a process that takes work by everyone at all times. Among the contributors to justice in this case were people who demonstrated remarkable bravery: Darnella Frazier, the teenage bystander whose recording exposed the crime; Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, who testified at the trial as a witness for the prosecution; and medical professionals like pulmonologist Martin Tobin, MD, who explained clearly that George Floyd died from a lack of oxygen, not because of other theoretical causes presented by the defense. 

Last Wednesday, I joined Chancellor Don Elliman and the deans of the other schools on our campus in making a shared commitment to the pursuit of justice and fairness. We signed a Pledge for Solidarity recognizing that we are working together for a more equitable future. It says: “As a member of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus community, I stand in solidarity with my peers and colleagues in a shared commitment: I pledge to work with my CU Anschutz community to address and heal racial and societal inequities, locally and nationally, in our health, education, judicial and law enforcement systems.” You are invited sign the pledge

The School of Medicine’s new curriculum for medical students will be fully introduced this summer when the Class of 2025 enrolls. The redesigned curriculum allows for clinical training sooner, provides more extended contact with patients, and emphasizes a more thorough understanding of social determinants of health and systems of care. This review and update of the curriculum has been a three-year project that has engaged hundreds of faculty, staff, and students. Jennifer Adams, MD, assistant dean of medical education and clinical curriculum and associate professor of medicine, and Kshama Jaiswal, MD, associate professor of surgery and surgery clinical content director, describe the new model in an article posted last week in the School of Medicine’s newsroom. 

The Office of Medical Education in the School of Medicine is seeking candidates for an Associate Director for Preceptorship position for the Developing our Clinical Skills course that is part of the medical school curriculum at CU School of Medicine. The associate director will develop and administer the preceptorship curriculum for all pre-clinical medical students, recruit and support faculty preceptors, and align assessment of clinical skills with the curriculum delivered. Applicants for this 0.2 FTE position must have an MD or DO degree and a current appointment in the CU School of Medicine. For a detailed job description and to apply, go to the posting on the CU Careers website. Application review begins on Friday, April 30. If you have questions, please contact David Ecker, MD, at

The spring issue of CU Medicine Today magazine has been published. Kia Washington, MD, professor of surgery, is featured on the cover. She is the first Black female plastic surgeon in the country to hold the title of full professor. In the article, she discusses her career path, her mentors, and her commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Other features in this issue: an article about medical students helping during last fall’s COVID-19 surge; a Q&A with Casey Greene, PhD, director of the Center for Health Artificial Intelligence; and a piece about the Charles J. Blackwood, MD, Endowed Memorial Scholarship by CU Vice President of Communications Ken McConnellogue. 

Meredith Mealer, PhD, RN, associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation, and Marc Moss, MD, professor of medicine and head of the Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine, will receive the Pioneering Spirit Award from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses in May. They are being recognized for their research about the effects of stress on nurses and for the interventions they have created to increase resilience among health care workers. 

Condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of William Droegemueller, MD ’60, former chair of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine, died at his home in Colorado on Thursday, April 15. Bill was a co-author with C. Henry Kempe, MD, of the landmark JAMA article, “The Battered-Child Syndrome,” which was one of the first biomedical descriptions of the trauma of child abuse. He was inducted into Alpha Omega Alpha in 1959. He was awarded the Gold Headed Cane for being first in academic standing in his medical school class. In 2000, he received an Honorary Doctor of Science from CU and in 2009, he was awarded the title of Distinguished Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at our school. He was chair of obstetrics and gynecology at UNC for 14 years and was an accomplished writer, including co-author of the textbook “Comprehensive Gynecology” that is in its seventh edition.

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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