Page Menu

Last word

Michael F. Collins, MD, Chancellor and Senior Vice President for the Health Sciences (photo: Faith Ninivaggi)

I sometimes wish, perhaps like many of you, that I had learned to play a musical instrument. Or, if you did play as a child, maybe you wish you had stuck with it. The piano would have been my choice. Observing those with musical ability, we recognize that the crescendo of an orchestra, under the direction of a maestro conductor, can bring a symphony to life and transport an audience to another world.

In our universe, as the principal investigator convenes the lab team to structure an experiment or a surgeon guides the operating room team, each, in their own right, acts as a conductor, leading many who possess individual talents, that when combined, ensure that the hum of the laboratory or procedure room moves in unison, with orchestral magnificence, all to benefit those for whom it is our privilege to help and care.

Such feats, be they in the lab or clinical setting, are not achieved solely by one exceptional individual. Truly, it takes the talents of a team, working collaboratively, to advance a higher purpose.

As we settle into the rhythms of an invigorating academic year, we are focused on the transformative power of collaboration, which at UMass Chan is not a marriage of convenience, but, rather, a value proposition and intentional commitment to a greater good. In September, we unveiled a new campaign— Advancing Together—that captures beautifully not only the special spirit that has always defined the Medical School, but what we offer to our learners, faculty, staff, advocates, partners and communities.

It’s not just what we do here: training the next generation of physicians, nurses and scientists; leading groundbreaking research and conducting clinical trials; and working to make our communities healthier. It’s how we do it. With a unique, deep and abiding commitment to collaboration that drives innovation, discovery and excellence. More and more, faculty and learners who could advance their careers anywhere are choosing to come here, where they can partner, grow, discover and, yes, even dream, together with some of the brightest minds in academic medicine.

The concept of “advancing together” is particularly relevant at this moment, as academic medicine faces increasingly complex and interconnected challenges such as the integration of technology, emerging diseases, the continued strain on financial resources to provide care for all who need it and the evolving needs of diverse patient populations. These challenges necessitate a collaborative approach that transcends individual disciplines and ensures that each member of our community contributes their unique expertise.

It's not just what we do here. It's how we do it.

In this way, our physicians, scientists, nurses, students and employees—each with their own role and unique influence—forge a symphony of minds just as solo musicians do when they come together to create the symphonic harmony of a full orchestra. We are fortunate to bring this unity of purpose to the musical composition that is UMass Chan.

Here, we are all in for Massachusetts, perennially recognized as one of the best in the nation for primary care education and proud to be a top place to work where uncommon collaborations drive new knowledge, inspire caregivers who put others first and offer hope to more people than we could ever know.

Many great minds. One UMass Chan. Advancing together. ■