As the new deputy dean for clinical affairs, David J. Leffell, M.D., continues a task he began 10 years ago, when he added a new portfolio to his work as a dermatologist: improving the business side of medicine.

As head of the Yale Medical Group (YMG), the medical school’s 750-member faculty practice, Leffell has encouraged physicians and other caregivers to move outside traditional departmental boundaries into interdisciplinary, disease-based teams.

“Because our knowledge of disease is so much more refined, we understand that solutions to illness are not limited to a particular organ in which the disease is expressed,” says Leffell, who will oversee the growth and development of the practice in his new role.

In addition to helping move scientific knowledge from the bench to bedside, Leffell is focused on making sure the day-to-day operations of the practice run flawlessly for the sake of patients and referring physicians. Ensuring that the world-class medical care at Yale reaches patients quickly and efficiently all boils down to good communication and good coordination, Leffell says.

“To teach medical students to be doctors of the 21st century,” he adds, “and to take care of patients with new technology and medications of the 21st century, you have to have a clinical practice of the 21st century.”