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Shifting into High Gear

A Roadmap for the Future

Innovation defines our past, and innovation will distinguish our future.

By Michael L. Good, Dean, UF College of Medicine

Over our relatively short 55-year history, the UF College of Medicine has developed into premier medical school because of innovative leaders who set our standards high from the beginning. In the past two years, as the leadership landscape has changed significantly — not just at the College of Medicine but also within the UF Academic Health Center — we have emerged from the transition period stronger and more clearly focused on our goal of becoming a national leader in scientific discovery and medical education.

Since being named the ninth dean of the College of Medicine in December 2009, I have made it a priority to recruit and retain proven thought leaders, providing them with the resources they need to build exceptional teams of physician-scientists who will make vast strides in translational research at UF. We know we are on the right track and improving programs at an extraordinary pace — NIH funding for the most recent federal fiscal year increased by 16 percent. But we will need more than federal funding to improve the quality of health care for our community and around the world.

As the College of Medicine and the rest of the nation reach a crossroad in health care, biomedical research and medical education, it will be our people — faculty, students, staff, alumni and friends — who will help us realize our vision for greatness. We will get there by revising our medical education curriculum under the direction of new senior associate dean for education affairs Dr. Joe Fantone. Leaders like Dr. Robert Hromas, who brings to UF a tremendous background in molecular genetics and DNA repair, will guide the department of medicine and strengthen our ability to translate research into discoveries that will benefit patients.

These are just two examples of the synergies that are developing within the college, and the good news is that we are not doing this alone. The College of Medicine anchors a dynamic and integrated academic health center that, under the leadership of Senior Vice President David Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., is on a trajectory to making meaningful contributions to the world’s health care problems. We have the distinct advantage of being co-located with a major research university, a large health system, UF&Shands, and the North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System. Combined with the vibrant UF&Shands Jacksonville campus, this unique proximity inherently creates robust opportunities for collaboration across UF’s 16-college campus.

This special dean’s report of Florida Physician provides a glimpse into the activity taking place on our campus that will allow us to continue our tradition of innovation through research and medical education excellence established by our founding leaders. I believe that the next great invention like Gatorade or Trusopt are in our future, that we can develop another innovative learning technology like UF’s Human Patient Simulator, which revolutionized medical education, and that UF scientists will discover the treatments for diabetes and other diseases that will change the world. That is progress through people.

Click here to view the Florida Physician Special Edition online. 

A Patient’s Perspective

The UF College of Medicine is one of the nation’s first sites to offer an accredited residency training program in addiction medicine. While the college has had fellowships in addiction medicine for years, this program is something new. Residents learn from international authorities about addiction medicine and help patients like Michele Markant recover at UF’s nationally recognized treatment centers.

A Lifesaving Application

Now you can use your smartphone to help revive a patient thaks to an application that allows you to time your breath and chest compressions and indicates the proper time to administer medication and defibrilation. A new CPR app, created by UF College of Medicine physycian-scientists geared toward first-responders, does just that. In the heat of the moment, this app could be a lifesaver.

Teaching without Risk

There is an anesthesia machine so smart that it understands 23 languages and six country-specific medical color codes. Created by physicians and scientists a the UF College of Medicine, the award-winning Virtual Anesthesia Machine is the original web-based interactive simulation of an anesthesia machine. It simulates the inner workings of an anesthesia machine and ventilator to hep educate students, residents and anesthesiology professionals all around the world.