The University of Texas Medical School at Houston
The University of Texas Medical School at HoustonThe University of Texas Medical School at Houston
The University of Texas Medical School at Houston
Aug. 20, 2010 | from the Office of Dean Giuseppe Colasurdo

Distributed every other Friday via e-mail to all Medical School employees, students, residents, and postdoctoral fellows, UT 2 Me is Dean Giuseppe Colasurdo's update of news and items of interest. He also welcomes feedback via e-mail or comments.

As we close the month of August and the fiscal year, we begin a new school year with the entering class of 2010. The last weeks of August are filled with familiar traditions yet great anticipation as we welcome a fresh group of 230 students to our school who are starting on the path of their medical education, which will become a lifelong endeavor.

As the winner of the Leonard Tow Faculty Humanism in Medicine Award, Dr. Gus Krucke delivered the keynote address at last week’s White Coat Ceremony, where students put on their coats for the first time and took the Hippocratic Oath. I know their heads are filled with the new knowledge received at orientation and that they are ready to learn much more this year.

I am grateful to Dr. Henry Strobel and his team for organizing one more time the best student retreat in the world. President Larry Kaiser and I visited Camp Allen and had the opportunity to stop by during the small group settings and also see the students take it to the field in some spirited competition, including tug-of-war and dodge ball. If they promise to have a soccer match, I will wear tennis shoes instead of cowboy boots next year. Dr. Kaiser was impressed with our students’ talents and remarked, “Can you believe what the students here do?” Yes, the students even turned Dr. Kaiser into the world’s most interesting man. You’ll have to see it yourself.

I had a nice visit with Dr. Herbert Fred recently who respectfully demanded that our educators be truly appreciated. I agree that everyone goes the extra mile when they feel they are appreciated, and that education is our most important mission.

The number of meetings with leaders of the Memorial Hermann System has increased, and recently we met to discuss the integration of our UT Physicians with physician practices in the community and other Memorial Hermann campuses. The strength of our large clinical practice married with the reach and breadth of the Memorial Hermann System represents a very competitive structure– again, physician integration, culture of service, and emphasis on access and patient quality will be critical for the success of any model of healthcare delivery. I will keep you apprised of any developments.

Craig Cordola and I have had several meetings with Dr. Michael Fallon, director of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, who joined us from one of the best liver transplant programs in the country – the University of Alabama – in 2008. He has done an outstanding job rebuilding our program, and he is a tremendous leader who cares about the quality of our academic and clinical programs. I am confident that Mike will build the best program in his field.

It was “our greatest of personal and professional pleasure” that we held a beautiful tribute for Dr. Stanley Schultz Aug. 5 to commemorate the years of service this man has given to our school. His love for education and scientific rigor is evident in everything he has done, and the pride and emotion shone from the faces of his family and honored guests. As noted in an offer letter dated Feb. 18, 1982, to Dr. Jack Byrne from Dr. Schultz, the primary responsibility of our chairs is “to recruit individuals who by virtue of their research and other scholarly activities will elevate the national and international stature of the school of medicine.”

I have engaged Dr. Byrne and Dr. David Gorenstein, of the IMM, to review our research operation to determine how the IMM and Medical School can best be networked and work together. I also have asked Dr. Jon Tyson and Dr. Eric Thomas to lead a new initiative to create a patient quality and clinical effectiveness program in each clinical department, with the goals of achieving historic patient outcomes on an inpatient-outpatient continuum.

We recently said farewell to Barrie Strickland, CFO of Memorial Hermann – Texas Medical Center. We enjoyed her academic spirit during our annual operating agreement meetings and wish her the best at UCSF.

I am very proud of the contributions of the fantastic leaders of the UT Physician Board. I encourage all faculty to join us at the upcoming MSRDP Board meetings to participate in addressing issues that affect the practice plan.

Yesterday we had an interesting, open dialogue following my usual dean’s report at the August Faculty Senate meeting. I always learn from these frank discussions, and I am happy to be in a place where the faculty don’t shy away from tough topics. I want to ensure all of our students, residents, faculty, and staff that everyone here is protected through the policies and resources we have in place – regardless of who they are. I have confidence in the people and the processes of The University of Texas Medical School at Houston. The Medical School is known for its healthy, supportive, and friendly environment – attributes that will always persevere.

Have a great weekend,


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