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Dean’s Message

J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD

The Class of 2010 celebrated graduation on Thursday, May 20, surrounded by friends, family, and faculty. Professor Dan Federman, senior dean for alumni relations and clinical teaching at Harvard Medical School, and one of the leading educators of our time, offered perspectives on the profession of medicine and encouraging words as this next generation joins our ranks. The enthusiasm of the graduating class was electric and I was buoyed by thoughts of their future contributions to medicine. They have been accepted to a range of wonderful residency programs across the country, including three of the eight Family Medicine slots offered by our new Feinberg program.

Each graduating class reminds us of the importance of continuous curriculum renewal. The rapid changes in medicine are sometimes startling and we must keep pace with new developments such as electronic medical records, simulation technology, genetics, and imaging. At the same time, many facets of medicine such as altruism, empathy, communication, and dedication remain unchanged, and are arguably even more important as patients navigate an increasingly complex health care system. During this 100th anniversary of the Flexner Report on medical education, it is fitting that we are deeply engaged in curriculum reform to address changing student needs. This is a major undertaking, the details of which we will continue to share as we work toward implementation for the 2012/13 academic year. The new curriculum will be built upon the solid foundation that exists in our current framework, and the Steering Committee envisions an innovative, integrated curriculum that provides students with earlier, substantive clinical experience, increased flexibility in designing a course of study, and the opportunity to explore scholarly areas of interest in greater depth. One small aspect is highlighted in the “Reform School” feature in this issue, describing the activities of our recently reinvigorated Department of Family and Community Medicine.

It is a challenging but exciting time to be in health care and medicine. With many of the changes we are currently pursuing at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, we will continue to create areas of excellence in our approach to medical education, striving to form the careers of talented clinicians and researchers, and blazing new trails for others to follow.

Best regards,

J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD
Vice President for Medical Affairs and
 Lewis Landsberg Dean