A Transition for the Department of Medicine

June 7, 2010

From Kenneth Kaushansky, M.D., M.A.C.P.
Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and Chair

Dear Friends,

I write today to let you know of an upcoming change in the Department, effective July 19th. It has been my greatest privilege and pleasure to serve as Chair of the Department of Medicine at UC San Diego for the past 8 plus years, witnessing an incredible transition in our faculty, our leaders, our teaching programs and our clinical impact.

Since the beginning of 2002, the Department has grown from 253 to over 430 faculty, excelling in all aspects of academic medicine. Our grant portfolio has nearly doubled, including a greater than doubling of the number of career development awards to junior faculty and fellows and of complex multi-investigator program-project type awards. We have grown our residency program, in size and, I believe, in the qualities of our new recruits, and its impact. We have created four new divisions, and recruited 11 new division chiefs. And our clinical programs have grown in both impact and quality. Our patient care volume has nearly doubled, we have made major impacts on general internal medicine, both inpatient and outpatient, as well as our subspecialty services. We have created multi-disciplinary clinics within our department and with our colleagues in other departments. And we have seen numerous accolades come from all of the publicly reported assessments of hospital and medical quality. All in all, a fine 8 years of progress.

As for me, I am looking forward to the next step in my career, serving as Senior Vice President for Health Sciences, and Dean of the School of Medicine at Stony Brook University in New York. I have always admired Stony Brook, as a young medical school with incredible potential to make a huge impact on research, teaching and clinical care. Serving as Dean will afford me the opportunity to put a broader thumbprint on undergraduate medical education. For example, many of you have heard me lament that medical training is characterized by the insufficient juxtaposition of basic science and clinical care; this will change! My role as Dean will also allow sharing the successful programs we have instituted together, to a broader stage, the 25 basic science and clinical departments within the School of Medicine at Stony Brook. My serving as Vice President for Health Sciences will facilitate the institution of truly revolutionary, cross-disciplinary programs between the Schools of Dentistry, Health Technology and Management, Nursing, Social Welfare and Medicine. And I look forward to helping to guide the Stony Brook University Hospital and Clinics, further advancing the quality of healthcare delivered by our faculty and learners.

I would be remiss if I did not express my heart-felt thanks to all the wonderful people of the Department of Medicine. The faculty members here are simply incredible, and the sky is the limit for their accomplishments. Likewise, I fully anticipate equally rewarding careers for the residents, fellows and students who call our Department home. A special thanks to the 36 chief medical residents with whom I have worked, all of whom have made UCSD a very special place for me. A huge thanks also to the incredibly devoted staff of the Department, who have made it all look easy, even when it wasn’t, and have made the lives of all the members of the Department productive. And the Department wouldn’t be our Department without our Vice Chairs over the years, Drs. Roger Spragg, Chip Schooley, Jason Yuan, Elaine Muchmore, Ravi Mehta, Francis Gabbai and Dan Bouland.

In closing, it has been my great honor to serve as the Helen M. Ranney Chair of the Department of Medicine. With Helen’s recent passing, her qualities of intellectual curiosity, innovation, incredible wit and leadership epitomize all the individuals who comprise our Department. Like Helen, I will miss you all, immensely.

Cheers,

Ken

Kenneth Kaushansky, M.D., M.A.C.P.
Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor
Chair, Department of Medicine
University of California, San Diego