Department of Medicine
Dear Colleagues,

Happy April 1, and CONGRATULATIONS to our residency, fellowship, and training programs!

We are eternally privileged to get the opportunity to work with trainees—bright young people who are eagerly learning and seeking to find their way to make a difference. 

Let’s start with current interns, residents, and fellows. Today we stood together in our white coats for the annual housestaff photo, which will be unlike any others on the walls of the Department office suite. We will be masked, and we will be separated in ways that we have never been before. I am glad that this year’s photo will demonstrate the differences that mark this year, because we have endured an unprecedented number of challenges, and yet have navigated a pandemic with outstanding patient outcomes, enabled our region to edge toward recovery, and identified strengths within ourselves we did not know we had. Our residents and fellows will forever mark this year as one in which they were called upon to serve on the front lines, and to fill the needs of non-COVID patients as well in record numbers. They learned the science and the art of medicine over zoom, and from attendings and chiefs in masks and wearing eye protection. Kudos to all of our trainees for maintaining a spirit of patient-centered curiosity and cooperation.

On to the Match. Not that our current group can be much improved upon, but we had a fantastic Match. The incoming class broke every record we keep—scores, awards, diversity, and rank. Coming in at an even gender balance, and 36% of the class self-reporting as underrepresented in medicine, this class promises to bring a level of diversity that will begin to approximate what we expect in our new steady state. This year we were confronted with clear indicators of racism and bias, and we will be grappling with these issues to ensure that our Black, Hispanic, Latino, Muslim, Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern, disabled, disadvantaged, and LGBTQ+ colleagues have equal footing, feel welcome, and know that they are equally valued. Increasing the diversity of groups is a well-documented way to improve team performance. This struggle is a long one, but the strides we have made in the department to create equal opportunities are real and ingrained. We will also make mistakes, as we did today when we failed to recognize the need for ramp access for our photo—and we will own our errors and work to rectify them with teamwork as we did today. We learned in this pandemic that we need every willing and capable individual; we cannot afford to overlook or exclude anyone. This Match is a testament to that goal, including matching 7 Harrison scholars, and many more who are invested in changing the world: through science, policy, communication, and healthcare.

And finally, our national reputation. It is so rewarding to see the Internal Medicine program rank at #9 in US News and World Report. Our School of Medicine climbed to #13 among research institutions, and this pipeline further strengthens our position. The quality of our medical students is directly correlated to the attributes of our residency program. Our residents are incredible in the way they approach and solve problems, and apply a collegial attitude. Our exceptional faculty also deserve recognition for their work, and the commitment that they feel to training the next generation of physicians. Congratulations, everyone. These rankings are evidence of tremendous focus and hard work, by a talented group of individuals. Kudos to Dr. McPherson, Dr. Sergent, the associate directors, and the residency office staff.

Thanks all, hats off to you. 

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* Continue to review myVUMC and the COVID website for institutional information.

* For information on how faculty members can support students in traumatic times, see article published by the Chronicle of Higher Education, "Coping with Coronavirus."
Carleen Sabusap, PhD
Research Assistant Professor
Please Join us virtually for a special ceremony celebrating the momentous occasion:
Contact: Nikki Hirsch for more information

Mission Statement

Our Mission is to inspire interest in the prevention of disease and the promotion of human health, to cultivate biomedical discovery, and educate tomorrow's leaders for internal medicine. We especially seek those physicians who provide compassionate care while translating new knowledge into meaningful improvements in health outcome.

This application of science to medicine is enhanced by interdisciplinary collaboration, fiscal responsibility, advancement of social and intellectual diversity, commitment to self-learning, and a professionalism dedicated to teamwork and collegiality. These values promote the best interests of internal medicine at Vanderbilt and further strengthen our social contract with the community we serve.

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