To the School of Medicine Family:
I want to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a joyful and peaceful holiday season, as well as a fruitful and engaging new year.
This season is a time to reflect on the year ending and look forward to the coming year with hope.
We achieved many successes, individually and as an institution, in 2013. And we will celebrate many more in 2014.
Chief among our reasons to celebrate this year was our success in securing a second 10-year contract to host the National Institutes of Health’s Perinatology Research Branch. This is the university’s largest research contract, and it should engender pride across the campus because the competition for the contract was intense and included a number of prestigious universities. The fact that we remain home to the PRB is also great news for the mothers and mothers-to-be of Detroit and the surrounding region, and for the state as a whole. Our School of Medicine remains a worldwide center of maternal-fetal medicine and research.
This year we also brought the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences closer to home by leasing a new building designed for the present and future needs of the department. The new offices bring the faculty of the department together in a single location adjacent to the Midtown medical campus.
Progress continues with construction of the new Multidisciplinary Biomedical Research Building, which will become home to a number of our researchers and their teams in early 2015.
Our Class of 2013 chalked up a fantastic residency match rate of 98.5 percent, not only 2.5 percent higher than that achieved by the previous class, but 20 percent above the national average match rate. This achievement is a testament to the quality of our students and also our faculty, who teach and guide them to becoming physicians, our primary mission.
We accomplished all of this and more in the face of an economy that continues to regain its footing and at a time of federal funding reductions for medical research. That is expected to continue in 2014, but as Dr. Alan Guttmacher, director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, told us when he visited the School of Medicine and the PRB in November, such circumstances are cyclical, and a rebound is inevitable.
We also launched the Liaison Committee on Medical Education reaccreditation process, a massive undertaking that will continue to be a chief priority throughout the coming year.
We faced many challenges in 2013, and there will be more in 2014. It is how we face those challenges and the ingenuity that we use to overcome them that measure how well we maintain and build upon the reputation of the School of Medicine. I am confident that we will continue to push forward on every level.
Every day, I feel very privileged to lead such an outstanding faculty, research corps, staff and students who are changing the face of medicine around the world. I am thankful for each one of you who strives to improve our institution.
Enjoy the holidays, and if you are traveling, please do so safely. The School of Medicine needs you!