Dean's Weekly Message

August 10, 2015


Dear colleague: 

Last week was a busy week for welcoming new students to our School and to the Anschutz Medical Campus. On Friday, about 300 people gathered in Education 2 South to celebrate the white coat ceremony with the 44 new students in the Child Health Associate/Physician Assistant program. Also on Friday, the 184 students in the School of Medicine’s MD Class of 2019 gathered on campus last to begin their orientation to medical school. The 24 students in the Colorado Springs cohort of the class got a jump start with meet-and-greet events in Colorado Springs on Thursday. On Monday and Tuesday this week, the new MD class will go to the mountains to relax, meet one another and gather some essential skills for the year ahead, such as advice on how to survive anatomy class. The MD Class of 2019 is an impressive group. At the monthly meeting of the School’s associate and assistant deans last Thursday, Nichole Zehnder, MD, assistant dean for admissions, said that we’ve recruited another strong class from diverse backgrounds. This incoming class also brings to our School the highest-ever average MCAT score of 34. We are looking forward to them joining us on campus in the pursuit of medicine, science and health. A reception for the new students to meet the faculty is set for 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 12, in the Krugman Conference Hall. Matriculation will be 8:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 14, on the Boettcher Commons.

The School of Medicine also received good news from the Medical School Graduation Questionnaire, administered by the Association of American Medical Colleges, in which our most recent graduating class were asked about their experiences here. One of the School’s top priorities in recent years has been to reduce instances of student mistreatment in the learning and working environment. In this most recent report and for the second year in a row, there was a significant decrease in the number of students reporting that they felt they had been mistreated in some way during their time at the School. Making this a better place to learn and work will remain a priority and we commend all those who have worked so hard to make these improvements happen. I am confident that the Office of Professionalism will help us maintain this momentum.

There was significant construction news from one of our affiliates, Denver Health Medical Center, which last week began demolition of a vacant building at Sixth Avenue and Broadway to launch a five-year plan to improve outpatient services on its campus in downtown Denver. A new six-story building housing hospital administration and physician offices. With the construction program, Denver Health is planning to consolidate its outpatient services into a new building.

Last Friday afternoon in Academic Office 1, Congresswoman Diana DeGette of Denver and the Global Down Syndrome Foundation held a town hall briefing on the 21st Century Cures Act and its potential for positive impact for people with Down syndrome. The legislation, which Rep. DeGette is sponsoring with Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan, would boost funding for the National Institutes of Health and advance medical research across the country. Global Down Syndrome is supporting the bill as is the Association of American Medical Colleges. 

Marian “Emmy” Betz, MD, MPH, associate professor of emergency medicine, and Garen Wintemute, MD, MPH, director of the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California Davis Health System, were the authors of an article, “Physician Counseling on Firearm Safety,” published in last week’s Journal of the American Medical Association. Emmy was also recently featured in a TEDxMileHigh talk, “How To Talk About Guns And Suicide.” Emmy notes that there are nearly twice as many deaths from suicide each year compared with car crashes and that it is important to ask people about their access to guns because suicide is usually an impulsive act.

Congratulations to Fred Hirsch, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and pathology and member of the CU Cancer Center since 1999, on receiving the 2015 Addario Lectureship Award from the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) at the 16th International Lung Cancer Congress meeting in Huntington Beach, Calif. Fred was honored for his lifetime contribution to lung cancer research and his engagement in promoting international collaborations in lung cancer research and education. The foundation noted that Fred’s research on a diagnostic tool known as fluorescent in situ hybridization, or FISH, has led other leaders in the field to nickname him the “Big Fisherman.”

Mini Med School II The Clinical Years is an excellent community service provided by the School of Medicine and our faculty. CU Mini Med School is a free eight-week program that offers lectures to the public by School of Medicine faculty on scientific and medical topics. This year’s line-up includes lectures and question-and-answer sessions on genetics, caring for seriously ill and dying patients, hypertension and glimpses in the daily life of a pediatrician and an Ob/Gyn physician. The weekly lectures, which begin 7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 2, are held on the Anschutz Medical Campus and are seen by live video feed to other sites across the state. To attend, registration is required. 


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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