YSM welcomes the Bicentennial class

The 100 members of the Class of 2014 donned their White Coats in August, and many plunged into clinical care within days, joining in a new program designed to show them that medical school is not undergraduate school.

Also this issue:

  • Admissions over the years
  • The Class of 2014
  • The strategic planning committee reports on curriculum
  • AYAM receptions around the country

Dear Fellow Alumni,

Greetings from New Haven!

As I enter the second year of my term, I am reminded that this marks the one-year anniversary of our first Alumni Bulletin. Anniversaries are often times of assessment and reflection, and although it is too soon to know if our alumni newsletter will pass the test of time, I hope that it provides a sense of connection to your alma mater and alumni association.

The Bicentennial class arrives
In August, the Class of 2014 was welcomed in a way that is passing the test of time—the White Coat Ceremony. You may recall that this year’s ceremony was the inaugural Bicentennial event, so I was delighted that alumni were well represented among the faculty presenters, and that the keynote speaker was an alumna, Eve R. Colson, M.D.’89.  Dr. Colson inspired everyone with her comments “On Becoming a Doctor: The Transition and the Tradition,” which seemed fitting since we may have begun a new tradition when AYAM Vice President Christine L. Walsh, M.D.’73, joined me in presenting each new student with a stethoscope on behalf of alumni donors. My thanks to all of the donors who helped make this possible.

Dr. Walsh and I were both struck by the warmth and appreciation that radiated from these aspiring physicians, and I wanted to learn more about them, so I attended the first Medical School Council meeting in September, where each year the Director of Admissions, Richard Silverman, shares anecdotes about the class.

New programs launched
Even before they’d completed their orientation, 27 members of the Bicentennial class were on the wards in Yale-New Haven Hospital, immersing themselves in clinical care under a new program known as HIP. The goal of the four-day Hospital Immersion Program, launched this year, is to emphasize that medical school is not undergraduate school. As Nancy R. Angoff, M.D. ’90, the associate dean for student affairs, expressed it, the message is that “This is different. You are now starting on your journey to become a physician.” Students joined third-year medical students, residents, and attendings on rounds and had debriefing sessions at the end of the day. “We were treated as adults and as young physicians rather than pesky, nosy students. Spending significant amounts of time in the hospital also put into perspective what it means to be a physician, to be a medical student, and to wear a white coat and stethoscope,” said Roger Kim, a program participant.

A second new program works with students who are farther along in their training and is designed to help them deal with some of the difficult and stressful situations they will experience as they care for others. The goal of RIM—Relational Impact Medicine, a comprehensive program that addresses the wellness of medical providers—is to help health care providers care for themselves and avoid burn-out. Through interventions based in narrative medicine and relational therapy, participants learn to handle traumatic situations in a health care setting. This fall, Auguste H. Fortin VI, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of medicine, invited students in medicine, nursing and the Physician Associate Program to join in a pilot RIM workshop led by course developers Ava Diamond and Jacqueline Cohen.

A report on curriculum reform
Shortly after I wrote our June newsletter, Dean Alpern met with the Strategic Planning Committee for Medical Education and I understand from Deputy Dean for Education Richard Belitsky, M.D. that the Dean was very pleased with the committee’s report. (The report is available online at https://medicine.yale.edu/education/strategicplan/index.aspx) In brief, Dean Alpern endorsed the Committee’s two fundamental priorities of creating a blueprint for curriculum reform using new educational program objectives, and elevating the status of teaching at Yale through the development of programs and initiatives to support and reward teaching. I was also delighted to read that implementation moving forward will be guided by the fundamental principles and values of the Yale System, which give our school its distinct identity and character.

Upcoming AYAM events
Dr. Belitsky will be attending the AYAM alumni reception in Washington, D.C., on November 7, where he will update alumni on the strategic plan. The reception, for local alumni and those attending the American Association of Medical Colleges conference at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, will also be a Bicentennial celebration.

Later this month, from November 11 to 13 in New Haven, the annual Assembly of the Association of Yale Alumni will discuss “Pathways to Health in the 21st Century: Medicine at Yale.” We are excited to have our school showcased in such a prominent way during our Bicentennial year. Assembly delegates from around the world will be treated to educational plenaries, campus tours and breakout sessions. Also that weekend we will be hosting a Yale Med table at the AYA Alumni Village before the Yale v. Princeton game on Saturday, November 13 at the Yale Bowl. This FREE event is open to all alumni, and we hope you will stop by and say “Hello!” For more event information see: http://www.aya.yale.edu/sites/default/files/docs/class/Yale-Princeton-2010.pdf

In Memory of Samuel Kushlan, M.D. ‘35
In closing, I add the sad news of the passing of Samuel D. Kushlan, M.D. ’35, on October 16 at the age of 98. Dr. Kushlan was a retired clinical professor of internal medicine (gastroenterology), and truly a School of Medicine presence for more than 75 years. Until the last few months of his life Dr. Kushlan practiced medicine, mentored students and residents, and attended grand rounds. In 2001, Dr. Kushlan was awarded the medical school’s highest honor, the Peter Parker Medal, and in 2003, the Connecticut Chapter of the American College of Physicians bestowed upon him its Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2007, he received the Yale Medal in recognition of his innumerable contributions to his alma mater. The medal, the highest award given by the Association of Yale Alumni, is presented annually to five alumni in honor of their outstanding service to the university. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Ethel, and family. We will all miss his gentle and thoughtful presence on campus.

Wishing you all the best for a bountiful Thanksgiving and holiday season. With Bicentennial events already under way, the next year promises to be eventful and stimulating for the School of Medicine and its alumni. For more information on the Bicentennial, visit medicine.yale.edu/ysm200.

Harold Bornstein, M.D. ’53
President, AYAM

This bulletin is distributed electronically, via email and the web, to graduates of the School of Medicine. If you did not receive this email directly, we invite you to update your contact information at https://medicine.yale.edu/alumni/stayconnected/update.aspx.