|Photo: Stephanie Diani|
There’s something special about the beginning of a new academic year, a reminder of how critical education is to our ongoing success. The arrival of new house staff, medical students and graduate students inspires great confidence in our future. Today we have cause for supreme confidence. We continue to recruit stellar students, residents and fellows. Interest among medical-school applicants continues to grow, with a 20-percent increase in applications. The David Geffen Medical Scholarships and Leaders-of-Tomorrow Scholarship have ushered in a new era that enables many of our students to pursue their passions unencumbered by medical-school debt. Our Graduate Programs in Bioscience (GPB) consortium recruited 65 outstanding students to make up the first GPB class. Additionally, GPB piloted a summer program for undergraduate research to promote the transition of underrepresented students into UCLA bioscience graduate programs.
In the area of graduate medical and continuing medical education, UCLA Health launched this year the Healthcare Improvement Institute, a program to engage our house staff and faculty in the cultural transformation of healthcare delivery through quality-improvement education and project improvement.
And our trainees continued to distinguish themselves as emerging leaders in health and science. MD and MD/PhD students mentored by our faculty received a number of prestigious awards, including predoctoral fellowships from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and several medical students have been nationally recognized for their leadership and service.
Recent leadership of our educational enterprise catalyzed broad, campus-wide discussions of the future of medical and graduate education. New leadership recruitments, including Clarence Braddock, MD, as vice dean for education, reflect renewed energy and a spirit of new ideas as we steer into the future.
This new era is embodied in the Teaching and Learning Center for the Health Sciences, a 110,000-square-foot state-of-the-art education building for which we broke ground in September 2013. As the construction takes recognizable shape, exciting conversations have begun about the new programs and teaching methods that this building will foster. Even as we await the opening of this new facility, in Fall 2016, we continue to advance the infrastructure for medical education, including the opening of our new Simulation Center and the migration to a leading-edge residency-management IT system.
Finally, in June 2014, we received our eight-year re-accreditation by the Liaison Committee for Medical Education. This critical certification validates the strength of our medical-education programs and the dedicated work of our faculty, staff and education-leadership team.
As I reflect on the path forward for our academic enterprise, even as we acknowledge the many challenges ahead, I am confident and reassured by our fantastic students and dynamic programs that our future indeed is quite bright.
A. Eugene Washington, MD, MSc
Vice Chancellor, UCLA Health Sciences
Dean, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Gerald S. Levey, MD, Endowed Chair