Ready to lead

Jakub Tolar Headshot

(Photo: Patrick O’Leary)

We are on the cusp of a new era in medicine. Technologies and resources are going to give patients choices and physicians the tools to provide personalized care to a degree we now only dream of. We need to be ready.

The business of health care — focused more on the logistics of reimbursement rather than restoration of health — is broken. This is unsustainable. Patients’ well-being is too important to allow us to continue ineffective practices just because that’s how it’s been done. Providers’ well-being is too important to remove the primary reason they entered health care: to help patients.

We are on the cusp of a new era in medicine. Technologies and resources like bioengineering, regenerative therapies, artificial intelligence, and big data (to name only a few) are going to give patients choices and physicians the tools to provide personalized care to a degree we now only dream of. We need to be ready. 

That’s why the Medical School has been making significant changes over the past two years and is continuing to evolve. We don’t just want to be ready; we want to lead the way. Here are some of the actions we are taking to reclaim our legacy of medical, research, and educational excellence:

  • Creating effective programs to support physician, resident, trainee, and student well-being, including providing quick access to free and confidential mental health care and more livable training schedules, and removing many of the minor frustrations of medical practice that add up to serious stress, particularly involving the electronic medical record interface.
  • Strengthening our research programs by removing barriers — both administrative and logistical. 
  • Reaching out to medical schools around the country to share our work and improve our ability to recruit their best students into our residency programs. 
  • Raising our Blue Ridge (based on NIH research support) and U.S. News & World Report rankings and continuing to work strategically to improve our national and international standings. We know that our school’s reputation influences the value of the degree our graduates work so hard to achieve. 
  • Building partnerships in new ways that allow us to focus on our strengths and provide outstanding education while reaching patients across the state.

We are also celebrating the first anniversary of M Health Fairview, a collaboration among the University of Minnesota, University of Minnesota Physicians, and Fairview Health Services that brings together the best of academic and community medicine to form our joint care delivery system. We celebrate being part of a system that respects and values academic medicine. We celebrate our work to align our academic and clinical practices, streamline administrative structures, and begin to develop a new way of practicing patient-centered, patient-driven medicine. 

We describe our transformation as “Impact Medicine.” It’s what we practice, and it’s what we hope to do.

Jakub Tolar, M.D., Ph.D.

Dean of the Medical School and Vice President for Clinical Affairs

Published on October 15, 2019