General Medical Disciplines Department of Medicine

Quarterly News -- Fall 2012

Mark Cullen, MD reports to you the quarterly news for Fall

Mark Cullen Mark Cullen, MD

As a result of the strategic planning effort and the rapid expansion of our missions, our SOM and SHC responsibilities and the size and breadth of our faculty, I am announcing today a series of organizational changes.

First, I am formalizing the appointments of three “deputies” who will not only assist me in managing our Division, but also represent the Division as called upon. Sang-ick Chang, MD, MPH, recently hired as Clinical Professor of Medicine and Assistant Dean for Clinical Affairs, will serve as Associate Chief for Clinical Operations, with initial responsibilities for the expansion clinics, SIM, SFM, Senior Care (see below), Executive-Concierge Medicine, Stanford Coordinated Care and the development of the recently proposed urgent care center envisioned for Hoover in 2013. You can read more about Dr. Chang here and here.

Steve Asch, MD, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Center for Health Care Evaluation at the VA, will serve as Associate Chief for Research and Research Training. Steve has been quietly doing this job since he arrived over a year ago, but with the steady growth of our research faculty—DGMD now boasts 8 UTLs, 4 MCLs, 1 NTLR faculty and 6 research-oriented instructors, with 3 searches underway and another handful pending soon—I expect this role to become increasingly crucial and visible.

Baldeep Singh, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine will, in addition to role at the helm of SIM, assume the role of Associate Chief for academic affairs. Beyond his obvious qualifications, as the first CE to assume such a vital DoM function, I view his selection as a particularly bold statement in our ongoing Divisional struggle to break down historic (and dysfunctional!) barriers among the faculty tracks.

In addition to these three “right hands”, I have formalized the Divisional role of Sumbul Desai, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor, who will serve as my Assistant Chief for Strategy and Planning in conjunction with her new role as Associate Chief of Staff at SHC.

Two other key DGMD positions have been filled this summer. Neera Ahuja, MDClinical Associate Professor of Medicine, will now formally serve as Director of the Hospitalist Program a role she has been serving in an interim capacity for some months. With about 20 faculty this group has now emerged as the largest single program within DGMD, and one with critical ties to the house-staff training program and SHC. In her new role capacity Neera will report directly to me and the Chair of the Department of Medicine. Yusra Hussain, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine and for several years the lead from the SOM side of Aging Adult Services, will now serve as the Director for the newly renamed Senior Care Center—a coordinated effort to link Geriatric Clinic (soon to be in Hoover), in-patient consulting and SNF care.

Some may question why I have not designated any specific leadership role in  education (other than research training), an issue to which I have given substantial thought. My rationale for maintaining the status quo in the end of the day is that the scope of our educational mission is so large, and we have so many leaders in DGMD aready well-positioned in the School and Department to fulfill these missions that designating a single leadership role would add no value. Consider: our faculty already play major leadership roles in the school-wide office of GME (Clarence Braddock, MD, MPH), the IM training program (Stephanie Harman, MD and Neera Ahuja, MD), POM (Preetha Basaviah, MD, Erika Schillinger, MD and Jacqueline Tai-Edmonds, MD), E4C (Lars Osterberg, MD, MPH), clerkships in IM and FM (Jimmy Chen, MD, Jacqueline Tai-Edmonds, Tracy Rydel, MD and Eva Weinlander, MD). And that, of course, without even mentioning the internationally renowned work in this space of Kelley Skeff. PhD, MD!

Finally, let me restate the obvious.  What has distinguished DGMD and accounted for its meteoric rise in prominence at Stanford over the past several years is not its leadership, but the quality and back-breaking effort of the faculty, top to bottom. From those who have weathered leaner years heroically to those who have joined in better days, and everyone in between like me, we have become suddenly not only the largest Division at the School, but are rapidly becoming the strongest, whether judged by educational productivity, grant support or patient care metrics. You have your very terrific selves to thank, and never a day goes by when I don’t thank you!

I hope you share with me the excitement of the coming season, with new faculty, new leaders, new clinics and big moves ahead. I hope you’re all ready!

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