Dear Colleagues and Alumni,
One thing is clear to me as I have been visiting with faculty in each department of the School of Medicine: without a shared mission and commonly held values, we will perish. We have amazing faculty members striving to be successful in patient care, teaching and research — but many feel overwhelmed and underappreciated because of challenges in their work environment or a sense that their efforts don’t matter to others. Oftentimes our organizational structures are products of our history rather than skeletal supports for our success.
Based on my long career at the School of Medicine and my relatively brief one as interim dean, I am confident that we can do better. We had our first town hall session in which all of the associate deans were present to be identified and helpful in responding to the concerns of our faculty. We are looking at new ways to incorporate clinical performance and teaching evaluations into the annual reviews of our faculty. We are working to make the financial investments in each of our departments mission-driven and transparent. We are striving to build stronger and more genuine ties to our partners in MU Health Care and the larger University of Missouri. We are working to be sure that our performance metrics are seen as milestones on our journey toward excellence, not ends in themselves.
As usual, this newsletter reveals the best in our wholeness: the moving Gift of Body Commemoration, a joint effort of our faculty and students, Dr. Melissa Lewis’ true community engagement research with members of the Cherokee Nation, the MedPrep program which helps us promote equity in access to our medical education, and many more stories in this issue.
We need all of us — faculty, staff, students and alumni — to make a greater impact and to better fulfill our mission to improve the health of all people, especially Missourians, through exemplary research, education and patient-centered care. Please join us for the 62nd Annual Physicians Alumni Weekend Oct. 11-12, 2019, here in Columbia.
Steven Zweig, MD, MSPH
University of Missouri School of Medicine