About The College

Welcome from the Dean

This year, 2017, is a momentous one for the UA College of Medicine – Tucson: it marks 50 years since the College was founded, becoming Arizona’s first medical school.

This anniversary year follows a remarkable year of growth and success. In 2016: 

  • We had a record number of applications (6,458) for the Class of 2020. We’ve now topped that for the Class of 2021 with an 11-percent increase (7,216) while the rest of the country saw a 3-percent decrease.
  • We had a record number of students – 135 – in the Class of 2020 due to a record yield rate among those accepted.
  • We received the national Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award; 35 percent of students in the Class of 2020 are underrepresented minorities in medicine.
  • We had a record match rate for our students on our residency Match Day (97 percent).
  • Our residents and fellows had positive experiences, as an unprecedented 94 percent of our GME graduates had a “Best Possible” or “Good” opinion of our GME programs, 6 percent were “Neutral” and no one reported a “Negative” experience.
  • We had a record number of faculty promotions (40), a 30-percent increase from two years ago.
  • We had a record number of publications, patents and licensed options of our discoveries.
  • We had a record year in research and innovation, including the $43-million Precision Medicine Initiative grant for what is now known as the All of Us Research Program. This is not only the largest NIH grant in the history of the College, it’s the largest grant in the history of the University of Arizona Health Sciences.

We are transforming academic medicine, and the relationships we’re building with the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix and Banner Health bode well for continued success. 

Throughout 2017 we’ll celebrate our 50th anniversary and “50 Years of Innovation,” recognizing innovative discoveries and highlighting the bright minds and pioneering spirit that drives us today. We have significant past accomplishments – such as developing the first artificial wrist in 1974 and the world’s first successful use of a total artificial heart in 1985 – and we’ve continued these accomplishments with the record year for our students, residents, faculty and researchers. I truly believe, however, that where we’ve been pales in comparison to where we’re going.

Let’s continue this trajectory of growth and success into 2017 and beyond!

Charles B. Cairns, MD
Dean, College of Medicine – Tucson
Follow Dean Cairns on Twitter


Dean’s Society Articles on the College

Academic Medicine August 2016: A Transformative Approach to Academic Medicine

Sombrero December 2016: Building Academic Medicine's Future

Sombrero November 2016: Precision Medicine Initiative at the UA

Sombrero October 2016: Record Year at the COM-T for students, trainees, faculty promotion and research

Sombrero June/July 2016: Shaping the Future of Academic Medicine in Tucson and Beyond