Fall 2015

Chances for Renewal

Harris BermanA core mission here at our school has to do with preparing students to be excellent physicians in service to the world. To do that, we are continually trying to provide students with new and better opportunities, expanding their horizons in every meaningful way we can. Our guiding belief is that they will benefit from this exposure in ways that make them better doctors.

In this spirit, I’d like to highlight two new options that may interest you, at whatever stage of your career you find yourself.

First is the MAVEN Project (Medical Alumni Volunteer Network), which you may have heard about already through an email we sent out earlier this year. Tufts is proud to be one of the founding medical schools—together with Harvard, Stanford, UCSF and UCLA—to be affiliated with this venture, for which our recent graduate, Lisa Shmerling, M.P.H. ’14, M.P.H. ’14P, serves as executive director. The driving idea here is to use telemedicine to connect the nation’s medical school alumni with opportunities to volunteer their knowledge and expertise to sites around the country where it is most urgently needed. Experienced primary-care doctors and specialists of all kinds can lend value to situations where professional resources are slim.

Why not tap some of the accrued medical wisdom that doctors have acquired and spread that knowledge around? That’s MAVEN in a nutshell. Len Rothman, ’66, who retired from his ob/gyn practice 17 years ago and lately has been actively promoting the idea among medical colleagues throughout his California, reports that his overture is getting an enthusiastic response.

This should appeal to many doctors I know. The time commitment for volunteers is small, as little as four hours a month, and can be tailored to fit your schedule.

MAVEN is in a formative stage. Three pilot sites for the program, two in Massachusetts and one in California, were launched in late July. “We have the clinics [lined up]. We have volunteers now. We’re working out logistics on the technology side,” Shmerling relates. Anyone intrigued by the prospect of signing on should contact erin.morgan@tufts.edu for more information.

A second tantalizing prospect that your medical school has created concerns the need that all of us share regarding adding critical skills and capabilities as we move through life.

Tufts has teamed up with the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University to offer a new degree program called the Executive M.B.A. for Physicians (PDF). Designed for practicing physicians who are—or seek to be—in positions of management or leadership, this is an accelerated 16-month program that integrates the physician’s medical expertise with emergent knowledge in areas ranging from health policy and economics to operational systems management.

Because we have partnered with Brandeis previously on our M.D./M.B.A. degree program for students and enjoy a positive working relationship, the Heller School has agreed to offer a generous 50-percent tuition scholarship to any of our alums who enroll in the program beginning in January 2016. Talk about a deal! This could be a golden opportunity for you to further develop your education and career. For details, please contact kara.ray@tufts.edu.

Like anybody else, doctors need renewal from time to time. I invite you to take advantage of these opportunities.

Finally, I urge you to have a look at the stories in this issue about Te-Wen Chang (“Laboratory Ace”) and Stuart Levy (“Resistance Fighter”). These two are among the three members of the Tufts family due to receive Dean’s Medals in a special ceremony honoring their respective achievements on November 5. By a nice coincidence, Sherwood Gorbach, our third medal recipient, appears in the Chang feature as well.

Harris A. Berman, M.D., Dean, Tufts University School of Medicine

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