Dear Colleagues-Friends,

This is a week of welcoming and of reaffirming our academic commitments. Monday, we had the privilege of welcoming our newest 91 fellows into the VCU community. Then on Thursday, we have the chance to honor all that this great country stands for and reflect on the opportunities living in this nation provides.

Having grown up in Ireland, I take great pride in being an American citizen. And, to paraphrase Abraham Lincoln: It’s not just important for us to be proud of where we live; we must also live in a way that makes the place proud. During the past academic year, you have done so much to make the School of Medicine proud. It is in this spirit that we wanted to take a moment to highlight some of your collective accomplishments.

Here are just a few of your considerable successes during the 2018–2019 academic year:

  • We welcomed 93 basic health science and clinical faculty, as well as 35 MCVP-affiliate faculty, strengthening our position as a preeminent urban public research university with a highly innovative curriculum for medical students and graduate students.
  • With your good work, NIH funding is up 13% from 2017 to 2018: $61,040,373 with major gains in both basic health science and clinical departments with the following departments experiencing gains of more than 10%:
    • Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
    • Neurology
    • Pediatrics
    • Pharmacology & Toxicology
    • Psychiatry
  • Several faculty members published their research in premier journals, and some of our medical students and residents experienced their first presentations at one of our research days.
  • A number of you were honored with prestigious awards and/or were selected to serve in leadership roles in national and regional professional organizations.
  • You gave compassionate care to so many Virginians, as evidenced by the many grateful patient stories and compelling feedback, while also delivering important and durable gains in patient access, efficiency and affordability.
  • During FY2019, the number of new appointments to our practice plan physicians increased by 18% with an 8% increase in visits, as well as a 4% increase in physician clinical activity and a 10% increase in APP clinical activity overall—collectively, important progress on MCVP’s wildly important goal of improving access.
  • We launched a new ambulatory executive committee overseeing ambulatory operations and process improvement, supporting the work of a recently recruited vice president of ambulatory services.
  • As a direct result of increased clinical activity, $3.5 million has been returned to support research and education collaborations for faculty.
  • We graduated 194 Master’s, Ph.D. and certificate students during the last academic year.
  • You helped propel close to 200 of our medical students into the next stage of their careers, with 97.5% matching into a PGY-1 position, including 35 who stayed with us for residency at VCU.
  • LCME recently gave us notification of full compliance for the accreditation of our medical student training.
  • A group of you helped launch our Medical Philanthropy Academy and have partnered with our development team to bring us 90% of the way toward our 1838 Scholarship Campaign goal. Because of your efforts, this fall’s incoming class will be awarded nearly $1 million in scholarships—an institutional first.
  • Many of you, as trainees or faculty members, volunteered your scarce time and tremendous expertise to help underserved people in our local community and in humanitarian work globally.

Of course, these are just a few highlights of a busy academic year and a taste of your impressive accomplishments. I wish each of you every continued success in this new academic year. We know that you will do great things and that we will have much more to celebrate in the months ahead.

Thank you for all that you do, and have a wonderful Independence Day.

Best regards,

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