This past weekend, the annual meeting of the Association of American Medical Colleges brought together 4,500 attendees from medical schools and teaching hospitals all across the country to discuss the transformation of our nation’s health care through education, research and patient care. I was extremely proud that colleagues from our medical school and from VCU Health had prominent leadership roles and key presentations at this AAMC meeting. Our colleagues represented with distinction and pride the high quality medical education that you all deliver on the MCV Campus.

Chief among our presenters was Marsha Rappley, M.D. In addition to serving as our vice president for health sciences and CEO of the VCU Health System, Dr. Rappley served this year as chair of the AAMC board of directors. In that distinguished role, Dr. Rappley shared the stage with AAMC president and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, M.D., and she gave an outstanding Nov. 5 keynote address.

Dr. Rappley challenged an audience of academic leaders across U.S. medical schools and teaching hospitals to ensure access to medical education, research and care for all by addressing the issue of cost – cost both for our students and for our patients. You can read or watch her presentation online.

Other colleagues were also recognized at AAMC for their leadership and contributions. Craig Cheifetz, M.D., was honored by the AAMC for his exemplary service in fostering information sharing, communication and discussion of key issues relating to regional medical campuses. Alan Dow, M.D., serves on the advisory board of the Council on Faculty and Academic Societies, and was active on two of its subcommittees. Teresa Knott, M.L.S., director of the Health Sciences Library, represented us as one of five mentors in a leadership fellows program affiliated with the AAMC, and Amy Grover, M.D., who is associate director for the general surgery residency program, was active in the Group on Women in Medicine and Science. We also had representation on the Council of Deans administrative board, where I lead the Council of Deans fellowship program.

In addition to this presence, our faculty gave important presentations. As an example, Chris Woleben, M.D., who serves as board chair of the Electronic Residency Application Service, shared data on the current ERAS application cycle. He also presented preliminary findings from a working group that’s conducting research on the use of standardized video interviews for applicants to emergency medicine residency programs showing the SVI does not discriminate amongst applicants based on gender, race or ethnicity. It was also gratifying that Sally Santen, M.D., Ph.D., our newly arrived senior associate dean, had nearly a dozen meeting contributions to her credit. The topics reflected her broad interests, ranging from USMLE Step 1 performance to a competency-based fourth year. We also had the opportunity to highlight VCU Health’s selection as a 2017 Baldwin Awardee and our research work investigating vitamin C as a treatment for sepsis.

These collective contributions were also recognized at a VCU School of Medicine reception on Nov. 4. There, our alumni gathered with peers from the AAMC and other medical schools. Dr. Rappley and Ms. Deborah Davis, CEO of VCU Health System Hospitals and Clinics, both spoke to the impressive culture of innovation at VCU. Our distinguished alumnus Dr. Chris Colenda, of the Class of 1977 who also currently serves as a special AAMC liaison with the VA, spoke on behalf of our alumni and he expressed his pride in our accomplishments and in the prominence of our School of Medicine. I’m grateful to Ms. Priscilla Wiggin for providing this special opportunity to interact with our alumni.

As you know from your own activities and presentations at national organizations and conferences, opportunities like these are immeasurably important in raising the profile of our School of Medicine.

My compliments to all on such a great showing for our school!

Warm regards,

Peter F. Buckley, M.D.
Dean, VCU School of Medicine
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, VCU Health System