Message from the Dean

Dean Flotte

Terence R. Flotte, MD
Dean of the School of Medicine
Executive Deputy Chancellor and Provost University of Massachusetts Medical School

I am pleased to welcome you to the School of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS). In these first years of the 21st century, UMMS has enjoyed unprecedented growth and prestige—and there is more to come. The bright future at UMMS continues to unfold through innovative primary care initiatives, state-of-the-art training in all the medical specialties, and cutting-edge basic and translational biomedical research, all made possible by our extraordinary faculty and students.

Long known for innovations in medical education that have consistently placed us in the top 10 percent of medical schools in the country for primary care education, as reported by U.S.News & World Report in its annual ranking, “America’s Best Graduate Schools,” we are focused on three inter- related medical education initiatives at UMMS: a major curriculum redesign; expansion of the School of Medicine class size; and enhancement of primary care training for future generalist and specialty physicians alike. These initiatives will individually and collectively address the growing short- age of primary care physicians, as called for by the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American College of Physicians. Recent health care legislation in Massachusetts identifies the School of Medicine as the commonwealth’s premier partner in addressing the health care work- force shortfall. We are privileged to have the tremendous opportunity of working in partnership with nurses and other providers in forging the health care teams of the future.

Today’s complex health care environment requires multi-faceted physicians, ones who are skilled professionals; excellent communicators; clinical problem solvers; advocates for their patients and communities; well-versed in the scientific basis of medical practice; and confident, self-aware persons. These competencies inform every aspect of curriculum development at UMMS. Embodying our reputation for collaboration, UMMS students are empowered to contribute in significant ways to their educations by serving as partners with their teachers in curriculum development.

School of Medicine students are afforded distinctive educational opportunities with the growing number of prestigious grants and awards to UMMS programs and faculty; a network of diverse hospital-and community-based training sites throughout the commonwealth; international health programs that expose students to the global community; pioneering development of effective physician-patient communication skills; a growing number of interprofessional education initiatives; and numerous innovative elective, research and extracurricular options.

Complementing excellence in medical education and research is our focus on student life. UMMS offers the tools, resources and, most importantly, personal support that lead students and faculty to describe the environment at UMMS as uniquely collaborative, supportive and friendly. As you review this catalogue, you’ll see how you can tailor your educational experience here with a multifaceted, inter- disciplinary curriculum that immediately integrates clinical experiences and community service; numerous optional electives; and an array of extracurricular activities, all offering flexibility to match your personal interests and goals. UMMS students can further shape their medical education through opportunities to participate in curriculum development and evaluation.

You are coming to this key stage in your professional development at a unique time in our history as a commonwealth and a nation—a future-looking time when the words “hope” and “change” sparkle with a promise not known to earlier generations. Medicine and science have never been more fundamental to our society’s goals; the challenges of health care have never been more stimulating; and the practice of medicine has never been more rewarding. As you embark on this career path, I invite you to consider UMMS as an equally exciting and rewarding destination for your medical and scientific training.