Dean's Weekly Message

Nov. 6, 2017


Dear colleague: 

The Office of Medical Education hosted a half-day retreat on Monday, October 30, gathering about 150 faculty, staff, residents and students in Krugman Conference Hall to launch our School’s curriculum revision effort around the themes of Leadership, Curiosity and Commitment. To educate physicians who will be practicing in 2030 and beyond, we need to teach them with methods that reach them today and will prepare them to keep learning as they continue in their careers. While we have many strengths to build on (examples: a strong evaluation office, a breadth of clinical experiences, an institutional culture that values educational research), it also means we need a clear-eyed analysis of what we need to improve (hint: technology). To get the process started, Tai Lockspeiser, MD, discussed the “master adaptive learner” and an article by William Cutrer, MD, MEd, associate professor of pediatrics and anesthesiology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, who spoke on our campus this fall. Chad Stickrath, MD, assistant dean for the Colorado Springs Branch, presented a survey of recent curriculum reform efforts at other schools of medicine. Presently, subcommittees are forming their membership rosters and will begin the work of reviewing literature, looking for best-in-class examples of how to do things well and coming up with the uniquely CU approach of how to do this. We will also begin a regular blog/web posting to update interested parties on how the process is going and to seek input. I would like to thank everyone who participated, Deborah Stevens and OME staff and Senior Associate Dean for Education Shanta Zimmer, MD, and the rest of our top educators for getting us started on this essential project. 

Chancellor Don Elliman announced last week that Gov. John Hickenlooper has authorized an extra holiday for state employees and that University employees will be eligible for this additional holiday. Faculty and staff on the Anschutz Medical Campus may take either Friday, December 29, or Tuesday, January 2, as that extra day off, provided it meets the operational needs of your unit, whether you work in a clinic, department, center or any other operating unit on campus. The operations of the University of Colorado Hospital, Children’s Hospital Colorado and their clinics are not subject to granting these holidays. Hospital and clinic operations are as usual unless otherwise announced by those facilities. Students, faculty and staff assigned to work in any University of Colorado Hospital or Children’s Hospital Colorado space are responsible for patient care and clinical operations, so they must report to work unless the specific hospital or clinic announces a change in operations. If you are required to work on both December 29 and January 2, you may choose an alternate day off before the end of the fiscal year on June 30, 2018, with your supervisor’s approval. 

Congratulations to Jonathan Bowser, MS, PA-C, director of the Child Health Association Physician Assistant Program, on his election as president-elect of the Physician Assistant Education Association at the group’s national meeting in Denver last month. Jon has previously served three years as a director at large for the association. His term begins Jan. 1, 2018. 

Congratulations to Emily Ambrose, MD, resident in the Department of Otolaryngology, on receiving a Back to Bedside grant from the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education, at the ACGME conference in Chicago in late October. Emily’s proposal, “Time to Teach: A Time-banking Initiative to Promote Resident Led Patient Education,” was one of 30 selected from 223 submissions. Emily’s faculty mentor on the project is Cristina Cabrera-Muffly, MD, assistant professor of otolaryngology. The ACGME Council of Review Committee Residents (CRCR) designed the “Back to Bedside” initiative to empower residents and fellows to develop transformative projects that combat burnout by fostering meaning in their working environments, engaging on a deeper level with what is at the heart of medicine: their patients. 

A reception for President’s Medical Scholars was held last Wednesday, November 1, at the Denver Country Club. The event celebrates the more than 80 students we’ve recruited since the creation of the Presidential Scholarship program in 2010. The event also honors donors who have contributed to new named scholarships created since the Presidential Scholarship program was established. In 2010, CU President Bruce Benson’s office initially committed $2 million per year for five years and provided additional funding for two more years. Since then, more than 40 new named scholarships have been set up by donors.  These four-year scholarships are a vital recruitment tool to encourage a diverse group of students to choose CU rather than other medical schools and we are grateful for the support. With the support for these scholarships, our School has been able to attract more students from backgrounds underrepresented in medicine. Prior to the scholarships, about 10 percent of students in the incoming class were from such backgrounds and now about 30 percent of the classes are. This year’s group of scholarship students is impressive and we welcome them to our School.

We offer condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Patti Thureen, MD, professor of pediatrics, who died October 23. Patti received an MD in 1979 from the University of Pennsylvania and completed residency and started her academic career at the University of Wisconsin. Patti worked at Children’s Hospital of Colorado and the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, becoming a fellow in neonatology from 1988-91, after which she joined the faculty and rose to the rank of professor. A memorial gathering is planned at Trinity Lutheran Church in St. Anthony, Minn., in November and at Anschutz Medical Campus at date to be determined. 

A reminder that the campus memorial for Richard Traystman, PhD, vice chancellor for research and Distinguished Professor of the University, will be at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7, in Room 1102 of Education 2 South. 


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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