Friday, May 25, 2007

Blanket Email from Senior Vice President for Health Sciences
Kudos and Questions for Proposed Medical School

This blog has previously posted on the possible establishment of a new medical school in the Twin Cities by the University of St. Thomas and Allina.

The following blanket email has been sent to BigU AHC faculty. Mr. Bonzo posts it without comment at this time. An earlier blanket email by MedSchoolDean at BigU has also been posted.

Frank B. Cerra Fri, May 25, 2007 at 12:05 PM
Reply-To: "Frank B. Cerra"

Dear Colleague -

May is a remarkably productive month in the Academic Health Center. By the end of last week, we graduated 224 new physicians, 134 new nurses, a record class of 157 new PharmDs, 138 new dentists, 91 new veterinarians, and 187 public health graduates prepared to improve the health of our communities.

All of you deserve a strong pat on the back for the work you've done in preparing this next generation of more than 900 health professionals to care for Minnesotans. This has been our commitment since the University was founded 154 years ago.

For the past couple of weeks, I've been reflecting on that historic commitment as colleagues in the community discuss the feasibility of starting a new medical school. The stated rationale for this fledgling partnership between Allina and the University of St. Thomas is the impending shortage of primary care physicians to care for our aging population.

Much of our work at the University is designed to respond to workforce needs in various health professions. Whether it is a need for pharmacists in rural communities, advanced practice nurses to manage chronic care for patients, training all health professionals to move care upstream into prevention, or modeling new cost effective ways to achieve health, our schools have been responsive with innovative programs and expansions of existing programs to meet workforce needs of Minnesota.

As one who has managed the complexities of this Academic Health Center for more than a decade, I do have some questions that will need to get into the dialogue about this new school.

--Is another medical school truly the solution to the need for access to healthcare for aging Minnesotans?
--Are there other models of care that are more fiscally responsible for the future care of chronic conditions?
--Given the available capacity in our state's training programs, would it be more prudent for the community to work with us to find ways to attract students into health careers who are committed to primary care?

As the state's only public research university, we stand ready to help the community as they pursue the feasibility of starting a new school.

Frank B. Cerra, M.D.
Senior Vice President for Health Sciences
McKnight Presidential Leadership Chair

A public dialog and discussion on this matter is certainly in order. Perhaps some competition from St. Thomas would be good for Bigu? If this dialog does occur, Mr. B. would certainly like to contribute to the conversation.

On this Memorial Day weekend: memento mori.


No comments: