Steven B. Abramson, MD, senior vice president and vice dean for education, faculty and academic affairs, professor of medicine and pathology, and director of the Division of Rheumatology, was appointed permanent chair of the Department of Medicine at New York University Langone Medical Center. Dr. Abramson is only the fifth chair to serve since 1938. The Department of Medicine comprises twelve divisions and is home to over 1,200 full-time and clinical faculty members, trains hundreds of residents, fellows, post-doctoral fellows and graduate students in all areas of clinical medicine, and plays a vital role in all four years of the medical school curriculum.
Since being named interim chair in December 2012, Dr. Abramson formed three task forces in the areas of clinical care, research and education to plan for the Department of Medicine’s future. The task forces defined goals and common strategies that will enable the department to reach academic excellence, create growth opportunities for physicians, and develop a unifying vision to become a national leader in academic medicine and translational research. The task forces also recommended establishing three new vice chair positions in the department to aid in its governance, alignment of strategic objectives and program development across the three mission areas of education, research and clinical care. It was Dr. Abramson’s intention to present the new chair with the task forces’ findings. However, that work sparked his interest in leading the department on a permanent basis.
Dr. Abramson will continue to serve as vice dean, a role he has filled since 2006, where he guided the major medical education reform that created Curriculum for the 21st Century (C21). The School is now considered a leader in transformative curriculum reform. C21 offers one of the only three-year pathways to a doctor of medicine degree in the country and five new dual master’s degrees, and the development of an 18-month pre-clerkship curriculum and integration of basic and clinical sciences has resulted in a dramatic shift from a passive learning model to an active learning model. Dr. Abramson has assembled a highly talented education team—and will identify an individual to oversee the three-year MD program—to ensure that C21 will continue to thrive and set a new standard for medical education, and he plans to do the same for the Department of Medicine by attracting new talent and developing leaders from within the institution.
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