General Medical Disciplines Department of Medicine

Quarterly News -- Winter 2013

Mark Cullen, MD reports to you the quarterly news for Winter..

jlj Mark Cullen, MD

Over the holiday a friend back east I see every Christmas asked me how my job was going. Before I could even think about it my subconscious blurted out, “What job are you referring to?” Not before his expression signaled, “I didn’t know you’d changed jobs….” did I realize that it wasn’t me that changed this year—it was DGMD!

Consider how far we’ve come. Three big clinical “trials” have been launched—Stanford Coordinate Care, our flagship ambulatory ICU, opened its doors to widespread acclaim; we launched the first of our off-site primary care clinics in Ladera, with a full dance card before the music even started; and our expanded Hospitalist faculty introduced medical co-management in orthopedics, CT surgery and neurosurgery with hardly a hitch. Now, with concierge medicine, our on-campus “convenience” clinic and at least one more off-campus primary site slated to follow suit in the first half of 2013, it would be little exaggeration to say we are on a roll. And that’s not even to mention our fabulous new ambulatory center at Hoover into which faculties in SFM, SIM, SCC and Geriatrics have—with predictable aplomb—moved.

On the academic front the changes in 2012 have been no less startling. Over a dozen grants were submitted through the Division research team this year, with more still submitted by DGMD faculty at the VA; many are already in the funding pipeline as we move up the ranks among the better established Divisions in the Department in research funding. The resultant outpouring of papers, not only from seasoned investigators in research lines but also from our CE’s availing the newly liberalized regime and resources, has been unprecedented and already justifying the effort we spearheaded to blur Stanford’s (dysfunctional) track distinctions. It’s anyone’s bet whose paper will wind up being the DGMD “most-impactful paper of the year,” but don’t be shocked if it’s a CE.

And then, of course, there’s our traditional sweet spot—teaching.  Put aside all the prizes and courses and international conferences and hoopla surrounding our year-in and year-out efforts, and consider just this: Over a third of the 90 or so Stanford graduating class this year is applying for residency in internal medicine and family medicine, the latter with an unprecedented (and phenomenal) 10 students! Given the proportion of all in- and out-patient medicine taught by our faculty in these fields—80% of the former perhaps, 100% of the latter—it would not be unfair to invoke the old cliché about the proof of the pudding…

So thanks to an incredible faculty and staff, I told my friend that being Chief of DGMD at Stanford job is just great, thank you very much. And getting greater all the time!

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