Dean's Weekly Message

Nov. 26, 2018


Dear colleague: 


At the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) annual meeting earlier this month, M. Roy Wilson, MD, president of Wayne State University and chair of the AAMC Board of Directors and former chancellor for the CU Denver and Anschutz Medical Campus, offered plenary session remarks that called on listeners to focus on the pursuit of truth. “In this time of ‘fake news,’ ‘alternative facts,’ and overall distrust of science among some, there cannot be any daylight between medicine and truth. Truth must be the primary driver for our biomedical research, must form the basis for our patient-doctor relationships, must guide what we teach our learners of medicine.” His address and talks by others, including Anita Hill, JD, are posted on the AAMC website

The Fourth National Climate Assessment was published last Friday and two of our faculty are listed among the authors of a chapter in the 1,656-page report. Jay Lemery, MD, associate professor of emergency medicine, and Cecilia Sorensen, MD, faculty fellow, are authors, with co-authors from other institutions, of Chapter 23, “Southern Great Plains.” The report was mandated by Congress and it presents warnings of the consequences of climate change for the United States. The report focuses on the human welfare, societal, and environmental elements of climate change and is based on the foundational science described in a previous volume of the report. 

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, two faculty members published a guest commentary in the Denver Post addressing a recent tweet by the NRA that recommended telling “self-important anti-gun doctors to stay in their lane” when it comes to firearms issues. Emmy Betz, MD, MPH, associate professor of emergency medicine, and Catherine Velopulos, MD, MHS, associate professor of surgery, explained that preventing injury and death is a cause everyone should support. “Yes, #ThisIsOurLane – but by “our,” we mean all of us,” they wrote. “Healthcare providers and patients, gun owners and non-owners, all 5.7 million of us living in Colorado. We share the same road.” 

For all who travelled over the Thanksgiving holiday, here’s some non-required reading from the newsletter of the Association of American Medical Colleges, the AAMC News: an article about the frequency of in-flight medical emergencies. The article notes that in-flight medical emergencies are surprisingly common. According to a 2013 study in The New England Journal of Medicine found that there is one medical emergency for every 604 flights. 

The Colorado Area Health Education Center program is seeking Anschutz Medical Campus volunteers to staff a booth at the National Western Stock Show in January. Each year, volunteers from our campus provide free health screenings for adults and children attending the stock show. Students and clinical and non-clinical faculty are needed as volunteers. The screenings include blood pressure, blood glucose, vision, balance, and oral health. The National Western Stock Show draws more than 700,000 attendees and it is a major opportunity for our School to show how we support our entire state. Volunteers sign up for four-hour shifts. For more information, contact Cindy Armstrong at 303-724-8927 or 

The School of Medicine is seeking nominations for the 2019 Medical Alumni Association Awards. The Medical Alumni Association recognizes alumni for service and commitment to the practice of medicine with the Silver and Gold Award, Distinguished Achievement Award, Humanitarian Award, and the Richard Krugman Award for Distinguished Service. To submit a nomination or for more information, visit or contact the Office of Alumni relations at Nominations are due Friday, November 30. 


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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