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Director’s Reflections: The Department Review

You may have noticed recently that our department underwent a comprehensive review, a task completed every five years for each department in the School of Medicine. I’d like to extend my thanks to the many of you who participated—whether directly or indirectly—in this Herculean administrative effort with a special call out to Holly Sellers and Amanda VanderZyl for leading the charge. The review was conducted over two full days involving sitting chairs from six major departments and a team of internal faculty from clinical and basic research departments that was led by Dr. Tina Cheng, director of the Department of Pediatrics, and Dr. Ted DeWeese, vice president for interdisciplinary patient care and director of the Department of Radiation Oncology.

While we have yet to receive the official report from the review, the committee offered a few initial thoughts, most of which were very positive. The external reviewers were very impressed by the extraordinary talent and generosity of our faculty and by their (your) success in all our academic missions.  It was clear that we are viewed as a/the leading department of medicine in the country.  They called out our efforts to become more transparent and inclusive in the way we pay our faculty, select leaders and operate programs.  I was somewhat surprised that all of our external reviewers reported that our faculty wanted an enhanced pathway for promoting clinically-focused faculty.

As a prelude to the review, the School of Medicine surveyed our faculty for internal feedback. We are still compiling these data, and we are carefully reviewing your concerns, including the slow path to promotion for our most active clinicians. I have already begun meeting with division directors and department leaders to explore these data with the goal of sharing the findings with the department and working to revise, improve and develop programs to enhance the success and well-being of our staff and faculty. This effort aligns with our Joy in Medicine initiative under the leadership of Lee Daugherty Biddison, vice chair for clinical affairs, in coordination with the Dean’s School of Medicine initiative.

I am tremendously grateful for our successes that led to such a positive review. I think we as a department have accomplished a great deal in the past few years.

  • Reorganization of department administration
  • Reorganization and expansion of Department Vice Chair structure
  • Recruited seven new division directors, including two successful national searches
  • Enhanced harmonization of East Baltimore and Bayview campus activities
  • Implementation of formal faculty development and annual CV review process
  • Institution of a regulated compensation model that includes new bonus opportunities
  • Launch of blog, established social media presence, redesign of the website
  • Resolved a long-standing salary decrease between our residencies and most fellowships
  • Launch of Physician Scientist Pathway
  • Expanded grant prereview and implemented a bridging policy
  • Extended research support to all faculty through BEAD
  • Inaugural Clinical retreat
  • Inaugural Education retreat (to be held October 30)
  • CIVIC Engagement and Journeys in Medicine initiatives
  • Formation of new department mission, vision and values

However, there is much work to be done. I am excited to review both the internal and external feedback that will come out of this review, and to work with you to map out the future of this great department.



Mark Anderson