A few of the trials and rewards of medicine at the U of M

Friedman (UMN)

Aaron Friedman, University of Minnesota medical school dean and VP of health sciences, had a few nuggets for today’s Board of Regents overview of academic medicine:

On how long it takes to see the effects of changes made to the medical school and academic medicine in general:

“The pipeline is long. For the average decision we make today, we won’t see the results for five to 10 years.”

On the time it takes for medical discoveries to make it into the mainstream:

“The average time between a discovery and the time it becomes common practice is 17 years.”

On tensions between the U and some of the physicians it works with:

“We received an email recently saying [our students] can no longer shadow surgeons in a regional health care system because they decided that slows them down. There have always been these tensions, but they’ve been increasing somewhat. We have to do something about that.”

On the convoluted organizational structure of the U’s medical system:

“If we were starting anew, we wouldn’t build this. This was just the hand we were dealt.”

On an invitation concerning next year’s Nobel Prize:

“We’ve been asked to submit names. You can’t just submit names [on your own]. You have to be asked. So there are some people in Sweden who think we can bring them names they can consider.”

(It was unclear whether the U would act as an outside nominating party or actually be submitting its own faculty. Either way, it’s impressive. I have a call out. More later.)