By Mark SheltonUMass Medical School Communications
The University of Massachusetts Medical School has conferred departmental status on the former Division of Urology in the Department of Surgery, announced Executive Deputy Chancellor, Provost and Dean of the School of Medicine Terence R. Flotte, following a trend across U.S. medical schools that now finds nearly half supporting independent urology departments.
“Quality is the catalyst driving the transition of urology into a separate department,” Dr. Flotte said in making the announcement. “Most groups of urologists at academic medical centers are relatively small, and as a consequence are often incorporated as a discipline into a department of surgery. The trend has been changing in recent years, however; as of 2011, 49 percent of accredited U.S. medical schools have independent urology departments. With this trend, a competitive dynamic has been established where the most accomplished, clinically excellent faculty in this specialty are attracted to those schools in which the discipline has departmental status.
“In establishing this department, the medical school and clinical partner UMass Memorial Medical Center will be positioned favorably to recruit outstanding faculty leadership. In turn, these faculty leaders will be able to implement strategies to enhance academic and clinical quality in urology,” said Flotte.
The creation of the new department, undertaken jointly by UMMS and UMass Memorial, is in accordance with the Academic Affiliation and Support Agreement between the partners that guides the shared academic mission. “The two institutions are exhorted to develop complementary academic and clinical strategies, including the recruitment of faculty leadership, that are linked through joint investment. The complementary relationship between the academic and clinical missions of the two institutions is clearly articulated in the joint strategic plan, which acknowledges and solidifies a shared destiny between the medical school and clinical system,” said Flotte.
Stephen E. Tosi, MD, clinical associate professor of surgery and the chief medical officer for UMass Memorial Health Care, has agreed to serve as interim chair of the new department. Dr. Tosi will work closely with his colleagues in the field and with academic and clinical leadership to define near term plans for the organization and activity of the department while a search is launched for a department chair of to lead this specialty forward.