It is difficult to believe that we have crossed the threshold into a new decade – a decade that was predicted to include robots, space cities, flying cars and the like. Although we might not be vacationing on the moon any time soon, the last ten years have brought about significant changes and challenges that have served to reshape the landscape of academic medicine. Not the least of which was the passage of the Healthcare Reform Bill/Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2010.
Throughout the last decade, we also saw the fall, and eventual rebound, of NIH funding of scientific research. In addition, medical school admissions decreased across the country, while medical student debt increased – realities that are reflected in the comparison of our School of Medicine below.
Throughout this decade of change and challenge, we have continued to excel in all domains of our mission: research, education and service. Our School of Medicine has continued to innovate, evolve and strengthen our curriculum to prepare our students for success in the ever-changing health care environment. Our researchers have continued to find new sources of funding to help advance our knowledge, understanding and ability to uplift the health of all people in our community. Our clinicians have continued to provide the highest quality care to our patients (click here to view a timeline of just some of our clinical accomplishments). And our faculty continues to win awards and serve as leaders in local, regional and national organizations.
We are grateful to all of you who have contributed along this journey. The success and accomplishments of our school – even in the face of change and uncertainty – underpin our present and provide us with a solid foundation to face our future with confidence and with high expectations for continued advancement. I look forward to tackling the important challenges we will face in this new decade together.
With every good wish for your continued good work,
Peter F. Buckley, M.D.
Dean, VCU School of Medicine
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, VCU Health System