VCU's Medical College Of Virginia
School Of Medicine News

Volume 3 - Number 2 - Spring 2004

We hope that you'll enjoy these quick highlights from the MCV Campus. Please
forward this newsletter to friends who might like to learn more about the
School of Medicine!    In this issue...

Student News

Match Day!
On March 18, fourth-year students in the School of Medicine learned where they will spend the next several years of their lives. When the clock struck noon, they were handed envelopes containing the name of the residency program to which they had been matched. According to the AAMC, more than 25,246 applicants participated in the Match, competing for more than 20,000 positions. See photos and review a list (available as an MS Word document) of the students' Match destinations.

Research News

Double gifts supporting research through challenge opportunity
Alumni and friends have a rare opportunity to double the impact of new gifts made in support of research in the medical school. Through June 30, 2005, all gifts to the Dean's Discovery Initiative will be matched dollar-for-dollar from monies from a $423,000 bequest made by Ms. Thelma Sturt, until the funds are fully expended. Read more about the Challenge Opportunity or email to request the latest issue of the Dean's Discovery Report and a gift card.

Guidance on prescribing antidepressants to youths
Before treating depressed youths with antidepressants such as Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft, doctors should ask about suicide attempts, suicidal thinking and plans for suicide, according to Dr. A. Bela Sood, chair of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. In a feature article in the March issue of the journal Current Psychiatry, she writes that doctors should individualize treatment plans and carefully monitor usage in aggressive and impulsive children who might be prone to risky or suicidal behavior. Read more about the guidance provided. 

Elevated calcium levels tied to epilepsy after stroke 
Long-lasting changes in calcium levels in the brain's neurons following a stroke may play a role in both the onset and recurrence of epilepsy, according to findings reported in the February issue of Cell Calcium. "Stroke is one of the leading causes of acquired epilepsy, yet little is known about the underlying basic mechanisms leading to stroke-induced epilepsy," says neurology professor Dr. Robert J. DeLorenzo. Read more about the findings. 

Clinical News

Medical Center's MCV Hospitals named to Solucient Top 100 
MCV Hospitals of the VCU Medical Center has been recognized as one of the Solucient 100 Top Hospitals in the U.S. with the highest improved patient outcomes and financial performance over a five-year period. MCV Hospitals is one of 15 major teaching hospitals, and the only one in the south, to be recognized for the award. Read more about the recognition. 

New critical care area for children opens 
At a ribbon-cutting ceremony in January, medical center officials unveiled the new $2.3 million Pediatric Intensive Care Unit - a complete redesign and relocation of the area's oldest pediatric intensive care unit, featuring modern rooms that can enhance the delivery of family-centered care. With the help of a $1 million contribution from Food Lion, the unit has been configured to provide larger, more private patient spaces that can accommodate visitation by family 24 hours a day. Read more about the redesigned unit and view photos from the dedication. 

Faculty News

Dr. Seibel to be honored with Teaching Professorship in his name 
In celebration of Dr. Hugo Seibel's more than 35 years in the medical school, a teaching professorship is being established that will carry his name. The professorship - the first in the medical school to be created solely in support of teaching - will generate an annual award that will be used to supplement the salary of a pre-eminent teacher. The campaign has already raised more than $150,000 toward the $250,000 needed to endow the professorship. Alumni and friends who wish to honor Dr. Seibel and support the school's legacy of exceptional teaching can email Director of Development Tom Holland to request information about the Professorship 

Moderation urged in pursuit of patient safety 
In a January issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, Steven H. Woolf, M.D., M.P.H., professor of family practice, warns that preoccupation with patient safety could inadvertently harm patient outcomes if it distracts attention from other defects in health care delivery. "If failure to provide preventive care claims 100 times as many lives as lapses in safety, then a system preoccupied with safety and doing little about preventive care will see more of its patients die." Read more on Dr. Woolf's perspective. 

Alumni News

Gifts to the School of Medicine on the increase 
With $8 million in total gifts and pledges as of March 1, giving to the medical school is running about 43 percent ahead of last year's same time period. The Annual Fund - an essential source of support for about two dozen student groups as well as student scholarships and faculty research - has also seen growth with gifts of $200,000. With a goal of $250,000 by June 30, the Annual Fund is $25,000 ahead of this time last year. You can make your gift to the school online via the university's secure site. 

Reception draws Baltimore-area alumni 
In March, the School of Medicine hosted a reception that drew more than four dozen alumni from the Baltimore region. Dr. H. H. "Dickie" Newsome, dean of medicine, and Dr. Hugo Seibel, retiring associate dean of student activities, welcomed guests and made brief remarks. See pictures from the reception. A number of alumni receptions are planned for this year. Make sure that your contact info is up-to-date so that you'll receive your invitation. 

AAMC president visits medical school 
Jordan Cohen, M.D., president of the Association of American Medical Colleges, presented 21st Century Challenges for Medical Education to an audience of faculty and students from the medical school. As part of a daylong strategic planning process in the School of Medicine, he offered insights into the major challenges currently facing medical schools; barriers to increasing racial and ethnic diversity in the medical profession; and threats to medical professionalism posed by the commercialization of medicine. 

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Save the Date 
for CME:
3rd Annual Alumni Update Course 
Friday, November 12, 2004.

Check out upcoming offerings from the medical school's 
Office of Continuing 
Medical Education, including conferences in neurophysiology, liver disease, and leadership.

For More Information:

School of Medicine
MCV Alumni Association
MCV Foundation
VCU Health System