Message from Dean Goldschmid, March 2012

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Greetings College of Medicine alumni!

The UA College of Medicine has much to be proud of and it was my honor and pleasure to host most of the UA deans on a tour of the college and our teaching hospital, The University of Arizona Medical Center – University Campus, during a dinner meeting on March 5. The tour group visited many areas, including the newly remodeled medical student lounge (if you haven’t yet done so, stop by and see it); the Arizona Simulation Technology and Education Center, where they participated in simulation exercises; the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center; the Virtual Microscopy Lab; and The University of Arizona Medical Center - Diamond Children's, where dessert was served in the colorful and interactive lobby.

Diamond Children's Video Tour

Match Day 2012 was a success on the Tucson and Phoenix campuses. On Friday, March 16, 149 students in the Class of 2012 learned where they will be going for their residencies. Sixty-nine graduates will pursue residencies in primary care (family medicine, pediatrics and internal medicine). Several graduates earned places in prestigious residency programs. About a third will remain in Arizona. We are proud of our students as they move on for the next stage of their learning.

During Global Health Week, March 19-23, our students highlighted international health-care needs and raised money to sponsor projects. They educated their peers about health-care systems and medical issues affecting people in a variety of countries and cultures, while showcasing the international efforts of the college and faculty.

The MD-PhD Program of the College of Medicine – Tucson accepted two new students: Bianca Elena Barcelo and Alex Sandweiss, who will begin their medical studies in August. Designed for students planning careers in academic medicine and biomedical research, the MD-PhD Program was established in 1990 as a collaboration of the UA College of Medicine and the UA Graduate College. In addition to attending medical school, students receive extensive research training. Doctoral studies are pursued through a number of graduate and interdisciplinary programs.

Spring is a season of growth and change in nature and also at the College of Medicine, especially in April. Clint McCall was named senior director of development for the Tucson campus, where he will oversee development, alumni relations and special events. Clint has been with the UA for 18 years, spending the last seven-and-a-half years as development director with the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center. Lynn S. Grennan, CPA, joined us as interim executive director. The search for a director for The University of Arizona Cancer Center also began. Search committee members include Serrine S. Lau, PhD; Mara G. Aspinall, MBA; G. Timothy Bowden, PhD; Shane C. Burgess, PhD; Carolyn Compton, MD, PhD; Anne E. Cress, PhD; Art F. Gmitro, PhD, MS; Emmanuel Katsanis, MD; Ann McGrath, MBA; Roy Patchell, MD; Eric Reiman, MD, and Diego Martin, MD. In addition, Judith DiMarco, PhD, will join the college May 29 as associate dean for administrative affairs and chief of staff. Dr. DiMarco previously was with the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.

Two reconstructive surgeons have joined the Department of Surgery, offering specialized expertise in the transplantation and replantation of severed digits or extremities and microsurgical reconstruction of damaged areas of the body from injuries or cancer. Tolga Turker, MD, and Jiyao Zou, MD, assistant professors in the Division of Reconstructive and Plastic Surgery, are specially trained to perform advanced free or pedicled flap transfer (moving tissue from one site on the body to another), bone and soft tissue reconstruction and composite tissue allotransplants (the transplantation of tissue or limbs from deceased donors).

On the research front, Fernando Martinez, MD, was awarded $4.4 million by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to study “Childhood Predictors of Airway Structure, Function and Disease in Adult Life;” Carol Gregorio, PhD, was awarded $1.9 million by the National Institutes of Health to “Decipher the Role of the RNA – Binding Protein, FXR1, in Cardiac Muscle Assembly;” and Harrison Barrett, PhD, was awarded $1.8 million by the National Institutes of Health to study “SPECT Imaging and Parallel Computing.”

Congratulations also go to:

Emmanual Katsanis, MD, who was named director of The University of Arizona Cancer Center Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program. This marks the first time that the Cancer Center’s adult and pediatric programs will be under consolidated leadership, which spans the UA Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics, as well as the Sections of Hematology-Oncology and Pediatric Hematology-Oncology. (Also of note, The University of Arizona Cancer Center and its clinical partner, The University of Arizona Medical Center, are included in Becker's Hospital Review's list of 70 hospitals and health systems with “great oncology programs.”)

John A. Szivek, PhD, who was honored with a Peter W. Likins Inclusive Excellence Award for the 2011-2012 academic year. Given annually by the UA President's Office, the awards recognize UA individuals, teams or organizations that have helped create a diverse campus community through inclusive programs or leadership. Dr. Szivek is a senior scientist with the University of Arizona Arthritis Center, professor of orthopaedic surgery, director of the Orthopaedic Research Laboratory and chair of the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Interdisciplinary Program at the UA College of Medicine - Tucson. He has mentored more than 75 minority undergraduates, supported by 136 grants. Many of these students have gone on to become scientists and physicians after performing research in his lab.

Nicole G. Stern, MD, who was named president-elect of the Association of American Indian Physicians. Dr. Stern is an assistant professor of medicine in the UA Department of Medicine, Section of Geriatrics, General Internal Medicine and Palliative Medicine. She practices internal medicine at The University of Arizona Medical Center - Wilmot Clinic and sports medicine at The University of Arizona Medical Center - Alvernon Clinic. She also is a junior faculty fellow for the American Indian Research Center for Health 5 grant through the Native American Research and Training Center in the UA Department of Family & Community Medicine.

Paul Gordon, MD, MPH, who was elected to a one-year term, effective January 1, as chief of staff at The University of Arizona Medical Center - University Campus. Dr. Gordon is a professor in the UA Department of Family and Community Medicine.

Donald J. Green, MD, who was named president of the Tucson Surgical Society, a 70-member not-for-profit professional organization of physician surgeons. Dr. Green, who joined the UA faculty in August, is assistant professor with the UA Department of Surgery and practices trauma and general surgery at The University of Arizona Medical Center - University Campus.

Kenneth Iserson, MD, MBA, FACEP, FAAEM, professor-emeritus, UA Department of Emergency Medicine, whose new book, IMPROVISED MEDICINE: Providing Care in Extreme Environments, has been published by McGraw-Hill. The book is directed to health-care professionals who practice in the midst of disasters or other resource-poor settings. It provides how-to treatment solutions in the absence of such traditional tools as medications, equipment and staff, as well as when care is required outside of the provider's specialty.

William A. Grana, MD MPH, who was selected as Godfather for the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) 2012 Traveling Sports Medicine Fellowship. Dr. Grana, professor emeritus, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, was given an offer he couldn't refuse: he was asked to be “godfather” to three young AOSSM physician members from academic centers around the country who are participating in this year's international traveling fellowship program for a planned tour of major sports medicine centers in Europe.

Stuart Hameroff, MD, who was featured on Arizona Illustrated. The director of the UA Center for Consciousness Studies discussed anesthesiology, how it is employed during surgery and how it helps efforts to understand consciousness.

Preparations already have begun for the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) site visit in January 2014. The Phoenix and Tucson campuses will be re-accredited together for the first time since Phoenix has offered a four-year program. An LCME team has been assembled, headed by Nancy Koff, PhD, senior associate dean for evaluation in Tucson, who led the last LCME accreditation in 2006. Dr. Koff was senior associate dean for medical student education for many years and since 2011 has been the Association of American Medical Colleges’ LCME field secretary. Her extensive knowledge of LCME accreditation requirements and long experience at the UA College of Medicine will help ensure success with the upcoming accreditation.

Steve Goldschmid, MD
UA College of Medicine Dean
Vice Chair, UA Healthcare Board of Directors