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Listening: To Colleagues

February 3, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

Sixty-five meetings and 42,000 steps. Thank you to all who have welcomed me to your departments and offices over the last few months as I have begun to learn about Yale School of Medicine (YSM) prior to my arrival this week. Thank you as well to Michael Hoepp and Lisa Egan for orchestrating these meetings and to Dean Alpern for his leadership and graciousness in the time leading to our transition.

There is much to do together, including advancing the work of the Academic Leadership, Faculty Engagement, and Clinician Well-Being committees; addressing alignment in the clinical enterprise to enhance patient care and to restore joy in the practice of medicine; capitalizing on unique opportunities to grow and better coordinate across our research enterprise; and continuing to enhance the education and training of physician scientists and leaders.

My commitment to you is that I will work to communicate effectively. This is not easy across a large organization such as a medical school. As George Bernard Shaw said, “The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” To this end, I want to share with you the types of communication you can anticipate. First, at least once a month you should expect a communication from me on an ongoing initiative that includes a discussion of the rationale and underlying values driving it.

Over the coming weeks and months, I will continue to meet one-on-one with leaders throughout YSM. In the late spring, I plan to present the State of the School at several larger gatherings across the campus to permit us to use our time in subsequent department meetings for conversation. In addition, we will be starting a new monthly lunch and breakfast series to allow me to meet with members of the staff and faculty in small groups in order to get to know you and to listen to your ideas. These meetings should not supplant communication within departments but will provide me with another venue for listening. We will develop other settings for me to meet with students. In the spring and summer months, we will be scheduling additional meetings at our network hospitals for faculty who practice there.

I am excited to be joining the YSM community and look forward to getting to know you and working together.


Nancy J. Brown, MD
Jean and David W. Wallace Dean of Medicine
C.N.H. Long Professor of Internal Medicine