Dear colleagues,

Today marks the beginning of the next stage of training for our newest residents and fellows. In all, 237 new housestaff have arrived from across the country and around the world to complete their specialty training with our superb faculty. During their time here, they also will make an important impact on the care of our patients and community.

Our thanks go to the program directors, program coordinators and faculty who combed through thousands of applications and conducted hundreds of interviews to recruit this stellar group during a highly competitive match cycle. This hard recruitment work combined with the national reputation of our training programs has led to us welcoming residents from 54 different U.S. and eight international medical schools, plus many more when you include our fellows and positions filled outside of the Main Residency Match. As a prior program director, I know the effort it takes to recruit top candidates to our programs, and on behalf of the School of Medicine, I am so excited to welcome our newest colleagues into our hospitals and clinics.

Over the last month, we have enjoyed a series of tremendous graduation ceremonies where we celebrated the accomplishments of our resident and fellow graduates and acknowledged the skills and compassion they developed under our teaching and supervision. We now get to start again with our newest trainees.

To help with the transition into their new roles, our trainees spent two intensive days last week attending our Walk the Walk orientation program. Walk the Walk uses an interdisciplinary approach to introduce VCU Health’s core behaviors, including STAR service, teamwork, communication and patient safety. Pictures from this event can be found in this photo gallery on our website.

Few aspects of medical training are as intense – or as rewarding – as the years spent as a resident and fellow. Over the coming days, our residents and fellows will take on increased responsibilities and demanding schedules while orienting to a new environment and processes. We will have many people in new roles. As faculty and staff, this is a time of great excitement as we get to work with new, eager learners and a time of increased responsibility as we facilitate smooth transitions for our new trainees while simultaneously ensuring seamless, high-quality care for our patients.

We are confident our incoming residents and fellows will contribute to VCU and their specialties with the poise, curiosity, compassion and resilience that helped them succeed throughout their medical education, especially as they were forced to adapt to the challenges of a global pandemic. With your guidance and mentorship, they will realize their full potential as skilled specialists and subspecialists, scientific thinkers and community leaders.

I hope you will join me in welcoming our newest colleagues to our School of Medicine, and I thank you in advance for the role that you will play in their professional growth and development

With gratitude,

David P. Chelmow, M.D. - Interim Dean, VCU School of Medicine; Interim Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, VCU Health