Read the latest edition of MU Medicine magazine.
Dana Duren’s findings on accelerated skeletal maturity could help pediatric orthopaedic surgeons provide the best care to patients.
Asgar Zaheer's quest to stop degenerative brain diseases before they start leads to new study on soldiers.
Five MU Teams Receive Pilot Awards
Why I Chose Medicine
The inspiration to become a doctor is different for every medical student. We asked four students what drew them to medicine. Here are their stories.
As a 7-year-old girl, Natalie Rodriguez came to America from Peru with little more than the clothes on her back, but she had a dream to become a doctor.
Kyle Warren came to medical school for scientific reasons. He now places greater importance on building meaningful relationships with patients.
Seven years of serving marginalized groups — and serving drinks — prepared Sam McMillen for a career in medicine.
Natalie Kukulka was inspired to pursue medicine by her father, who sacrificed his own career as a doctor in Poland to create a better future for his family in the United States.
The PAWS program helps underrepresented minority students become competitive medical school applicants.
Legacy Teachers™ Program Celebrates Bond Between MU Medical Student and Tiny Patient
With the help of the Minority Medical Scholarship, Busha Hika pursues a dream that began as a child in Ethiopia.
Letter from the Dean
If you had asked me last year where my administrative career was headed, I would have predicted a direction that included more time for research, fly fishing, pampering my grandson and watching Turner Classic Movies. I had planned to retire as the chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine two years from now.
Before that could happen, I was asked to serve as interim dean of the School of Medicine. I accepted the position knowing I would not be a temporary placeholder. I would be devoted to making our school a better place so whoever follows will begin in the best possible position.
Let me begin by giving credit to the person I am following, Patrick Delafontaine, MD, who returned to Tulane University this spring. It’s clear to me that he was committed to not just talking about a more diverse School of Medicine but actually making substantial investments in diversity and inclusion. A good example is the new Pathways to Success (PAWS) program that will help us recruit the best underrepresented minority undergraduate students on our own campus to our medical school.
I’ve spent my entire career here — medical school, residency and 35 years as a family medicine faculty member, including 11 as a department chair — so I certainly have institutional knowledge of the School of Medicine and MU Health Care. But much of my first two months as interim dean has been devoted to listening to the thoughts, concerns and suggestions of students, staff, faculty and department chairs. These conversations have helped me establish priorities for my time in this role.
First, we want to ensure we distribute the money we receive in a way that is thoughtful, metric-driven and transparent. We all have a stake in the success of our school’s mission, and we want all parties to grasp why financial decisions are made and understand the expectations and responsibilities that go along with those decisions.
Second, the School of Medicine will work closely with our partners at MU Health Care to align our strategies and day-to-day operations. As an academic health system, we’re in this together. We will look for more ways to work together on human resources, development, space planning and clinical planning. Patient safety and quality care are our joint responsibilities.
Third, we will mesh our health system’s strategic plan with the campus’ strategic plan. As we collaborate more closely with MU Health Care, some of the revenue generated by clinical operations will drive School of Medicine research initiatives that are consistent with the priorities of campus leadership. Together, we can develop strategic plans that support our shared missions and the mission of our campus.
Tackling those issues should keep my fly rod in storage for the near future. When you begin a new role, it’s easy to focus on the challenges. While we face some challenges, we also find opportunities. Even more opportunities will emerge as we refine our direction and invite you to participate in the process.
Steven Zweig, MD ’79, MSPH ’84
Professor of Family and Community Medicine
University of Missouri School of Medicine