Medical School Dean To Take a Sabbatical

School Will Look Internally for Successor

May 08, 2000

Lowell A. Goldsmith, M.D., dean of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, will not seek reappointment to a second term as dean. Goldsmith, who has served as dean of the Medical School since January of 1996, will continue as dean until a successor is chosen, then begin a sabbatical leave.

It has been my privilege to lead the School of Medicine and Dentistry during one of the most exciting periods in its history. I’m gratified at the progress the School has made, and I look forward to the opportunity to pursue new scholarly and academic interests, Goldsmith said.

During Goldsmith’s tenure as dean, the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry launched an ambitious strategic plan to bolster its position among major American medical schools. A $500 million reinvestment in research facilities and talent has begun to pay dividends as the School moved up two positions in U.S. News & World Report’s most recent rankings of the best U.S. medical schools. In the overall ranking, which includes all 124 accredited medical schools, the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry ranked 28th best. The improved ranking has been driven in large part by the Medical Center’s 23% increase in federally funded research since 1996. The magazine also ranked the School as the 16th best for training primary care physicians.

Last September, the School cut the ribbon on its new Arthur Kornberg Medical Research Building, and earlier this year, it announced plans to construct a 143,000 square-foot addition. The new facilities have been critical in attracting international research talent to complement faculty already at the University.

In addition, the School of Medicine and Dentistry recently undertook the most sweeping change to its M.D. curriculum since the School’s inception, integrating basic science and clinical teaching over all four years of medical school. Last year the School earned full, five-year accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education with a remarkable, zero-deficiency survey. Plus, the graduate Ph.D. programs were integrated into a bold new configuration over the past four years.

Lowell is a gentleman and scholar who has brought thoughtful deliberation and sound decision-making to the School, and he has been an important part of the bold initiatives that are charting the School’s future. I’m most grateful for the contributions he has made and wish him well as he enters the next phase of his career,said Thomas H. Jackson, University president.

Given the complexity of the institution and the need for continuity to sustain the momentum with the important initiatives that are currently underway, the School will look internally for a successor, said Jay H. Stein, M.D., Medical Center CEO. Goldsmith has agreed to continue as dean through the transition period.

Lowell’s legacy can be found in the many superb chairs and associate deans he has recruited during his tenure as dean - outstanding physicians and researchers from major medical centers in the U.S. and abroad,Stein said. While I regret that he will no longer serve as dean, I am particularly pleased that he has agreed to continue to drive a project that has been his passion - making Rochester one of the country’s healthiest communities.

Upon his appointment as Dean, Goldsmith made a personal commitment to using the resources of the Medical School to improve the health status of Rochesterians. The School’s Department of Community and Preventive Medicine and the UR School of Nursing teamed with the Monroe County Health Department to establish the Center for the Study of Rochester’s Health. Through the Center, researchers examine the health of specific population segments - such as children and adolescents, women, and the elderly. Together with Rochester’s health care systems, this group then implements practical interventions to address or prevent health problems - such as curbing teen smoking or encouraging childhood vaccinations - through an initiative known as Health Action.

Goldsmith is a board-certified dermatologist, a gifted teacher and an accomplished researcher. In addition to publishing a dermatology research text, he plans to use his sabbatical to devote time to developing the healthiest community project into a national model.

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