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P&S Journal

P&S Journal: Fall 1997, Vol.17, No.3
Dean's Day Program

Forde & Ortiz-Neu Kenneth A. Forde'59 and Carmen Ortiz-Neu'63
Dean Herbert Pardes began the morning program with a combined state of the school and state of the American medical system address, warning that while P&S is thriving despite the unfavorable climate for academic medicine, the state of American medicine is at an all time low, jeopardizing health care delivery in the nation. "If one can describe various eras in the history of humankind," he said, "this might well be called the Managed Care Era." Dr. Pardes bemoaned that "the notions of wonderful consistency, human interaction, and quality concern were left somewhere on the way to the managed care juggernaut."

Named by President Clinton to sit on a new presidential commission on managed care, the dean condemned what he called "conveyor belt medicine" and said he hoped to work with the commission "to figure out a way to partner between the patients and the physicians" to ensure the delivery of proper medical care within reasonable financial constraints.

Contrary to his dour national prognosis, however, Dr. Pardes was enthusiastic about the vitality of P&S, in no small part thanks to its current endowment of $550 million and 70 endowed professorships. In recent years, he reported, P&S has grown by more than 1 million square feet of new or renovated space. Citing the recent splendid accreditation review of the medical school, he outlined two goals for the future: to build the endowment to $1 billion and to have no fewer than 100 endowed chairs by the next accreditation review in 2003.

"So what we're doing to face and meet the challenge of this era of managed care," he concluded, "is working with industry, fund raising, clinical trials, developing and exploiting the inventions of our scientists to develop additional streams of revenue to keep P&S strong."

Other faculty speakers representing various perspectives on P&S were Andrew G. Frantz'55, professor of medicine and chairman of the admissions committee; Ronald E. Drusin'66, professor of clinical medicine and associate dean for curricular affairs; Dr. Herbert Chase, associate professor of clinical medicine and director for the new interdisciplinary survey course, Science Basic to the Practice of Medicine; and Glenda Garvey'69, professor of clinical medicine, acting chief of infectious diseases, and course director for the third-year medicine clerkship.

Francine Wiest'98, Andrew R. Watson'98, and Davinder J. Singh'96 gave visiting alumni a picture of what life is like for today's medical students.

copyright ©, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center

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