It's Academic

August 2016 

UIW School of Osteopathic Medicine Reaches Next Milestone

The University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine (UIWSOM) in San Antonio reached a milestone: preaccreditation with permission to recruit immediately and provisional accreditation status, effective July 1, 2016, from the American Osteopathic Association Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation. 

“This is a crucial step in UIW’s goal of addressing the health care needs of San Antonio and South Texas. We still have much work ahead, but we are pleased that we have received the green light to move forward,” said UIWSOM Founding Dean Robyn Madson, DO. 

Schools enter the preaccreditation phase when they demonstrate the ability to initiate instruction by a specified date. With regard to UIWSOM, that date is July 31, 2017. A school demonstrating consistency in meeting standards for each class of instruction being offered will continue to receive provisional accreditation. That status involves an annual review to assess the academic progress of the first-, second-, and third-year classes through graduation. 

The UIWSOM Office of Admissions began accepting student applications on June 1, with plans for students to begin classes in fall 2017. UIWSOM anticipates an inaugural class of 150 students. For more information, email

Top of page 

Texas Senate Finance Committee to Discuss GME Support at Public Hearing

The Texas Senate Finance Committee will take testimony on the support for and enhancement of graduate medical education (GME) at a Sept. 15 meeting at the Capitol. GME is one of several topics assigned to the committee for study during the 2015-17 legislative interim.  

The committee’s interim charge is to monitor the implementation of GME legislation adopted in 2015 and consider whether additional legislation is needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation. Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) serves as chair of the committee. She authored Senate Bill 18, the omnibus GME bill adopted in 2015 that streamlined and enhanced the state’s GME expansion grant programs. The Texas Legislature appropriated $53 million to implement the provisions in SB 18 for state fiscal years 2016 and 2017.  

For more information, read “GME Milestone” in the August 2016 issue of Texas Medicine

Top of page

 UTRGV School of Medicine Founding Dean Steps Down

On July 1, Francisco Fernandez, MD, stepped down as vice president for medical affairs and dean of The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) School of Medicine. He will remain on the psychiatry faculty. As part of an interagency agreement with The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), Steven Lieberman, MD, senior dean for administration at UTMB in Galveston, will serve as interim dean.  

“I am going to follow my heart and step down to continue and focus my work on bringing health equity to the Rio Grande Valley,” Dr. Fernandez said. “This has been the most amazing journey, and I couldn’t have imagined anything more fulfilling for me.” 

Dr. Fernandez became dean in May 2014, and in 2015, he was named professor of psychiatry at the UTRGV Department of Psychiatry, Neurology, and Neurosciences. During Dr. Fernandez’s tenure as dean, he led significant strategic efforts in community outreach across the Rio Grande Valley with School of Medicine affiliates and their partners. 

His work also included the development of a successful application process for the Liaison Committee on Medical Education preliminary accreditation. Dr. Fernandez organized community leaders, faculty from across the UT System, administrators, and clinical affiliates to develop the application materials for accreditation. 

That milestone allowed the school to recruit its first class, and after 2,784 applications and 226 interviews, the first cohort of 55 medical students arrived on campus in June for orientation. 

“On behalf of the entire UTRGV community, I’d like to thank Dr. Fernandez for his tremendous service the past two years,” said UTRGV Founding President Guy Bailey. “Building a medical school from scratch is no easy task, and Dr. Fernandez has done an excellent job in getting our school up and running. We are particularly pleased with our first class of students.” 

Top of page  

Academic Leader Named President-Elect of American Heart Association

John J. Warner, MD, vice president and chief executive officer of The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center University Hospitals, is president-elect of the American Heart Association (AHA). His term as president will begin in 2017.  

“I’m honored to be selected,” said Dr. Warner, who holds the Jim and Norma Smith Distinguished Chair for Interventional Cardiology and the Audre and Bernard Rapoport Chair in Cardiovascular Research. “I’ve been involved with the AHA at every stage of my professional life, and know firsthand the contributions the organization makes to research, education, and the health and wellness of people all over the world. I am looking forward to serving the organization, and using my experiences as a clinician, clinical researcher, and health care executive in service of the missions of the American Heart Association.” 

“As a cardiologist and CEO of our university hospitals, Dr. Warner has proven himself to be a visionary and inspirational leader who has been a force for excellence in the care we deliver. I am confident that these same qualities will enable him to have great impact in his leadership of AHA. We are enormously proud to have him elected to serve in this important role,” said Daniel K. Podolsky, MD, president of UT-Southwestern. 

As CEO of University Hospitals, Dr. Warner oversees the 460-bed Clements University Hospital, Zale Lipshy University Hospital, and the clinical operations of all hospital-based clinics and services.  

In March, Dr. Warner also was named a senior executive officer for Southwestern Health Resources, an integrated health care network formed by Texas Health Resources and UT-Southwestern that features 27 hospitals and 300 clinics throughout North Texas. His senior executive officer responsibilities include oversight and integration for the network’s Dallas-based hospitals including Clements University Hospital, Zale Lipshy University Hospital, and Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.  

Top of page

 AMA Academic Physicians Section Interim Meeting Is Nov. 11

The 2016 American Medical Association Academic Physicians Section (APS) Interim Meeting is an event that allows academic physicians to network and learn more about AMA’s medical education initiatives. The meeting will take place Nov. 11 at the Grand Hyatt in Seattle.  

The meeting features:   

  • An update on the progress of AMA’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium;
  • An opportunity to review, debate, and vote on reports and resolutions that will go before the AMA House of Delegates;
  • An education session on health systems science, the third pillar of medical education that has emerged from the work of AMA’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium;
  • A networking reception with academic physicians nationwide, along with representatives of the 32 member medical schools of AMA’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium; and
  • An update on the Academic Leadership Program, which offers 20 percent or higher discounts on AMA dues for medical school deans and faculty.   

Visit the AMA-APS webpage for updates. Also, read a summary of the June 2016 AMA-APS meeting. For more information, email the section, or call (312) 464-4635. 

Top of page

 New Collection Focuses on Well-Being in Academic Medicine

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has created a collection of resources on well-being and resilience in academic medicine. The collection grew out of the recent AAMC 2016 Leadership Forum, which included participation from approximately 80 deans, chief executive officers, researchers, medical school faculty, residents, and others. The resources help those engaged in academic medicine address challenges related to depression, resilience, burnout, and increased suicidal ideation in health care, while creating a culture of wellness in medical education. For more information, visit  

Top of page

AMA Q&A Highlights Cultivating Empathy in Residency

A July 14 AMA Wire article features a Q&A on cultivating a healthy sense of empathy in residency with Dhruv Khullar, MD, a resident physician at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and contributor to the New York Times Well blog. The article includes a list of these additional personal and professional wellness articles for residents:  

Top of page

This Month in Texas Medicine

The August issue of Texas Medicine features a cover story on Zika virus and TMA’s advocacy to urge lawmakers in Washington, DC, to agree on a funding package to combat the spread of the disease. In the issue, you’ll also find a profile of Stuart D. Flynn, MD, the inaugural dean of the new Fort Worth allopathic medical school; information on TMA and AMA’s call for a federal patient safety center that would collect reported data on electronic health record-related adverse events; creation of a state graduate medical education permanent fund; TMA’s fight to keep sleep apnea diagnosis and screening within the scope of practice for physicians; and steps physicians can take to prevent cyber attacks.

You can subscribe to RSS feeds for TMA Practice E-Tips, TMA news releases, Blogged Arteries, and Texas Medicine. More

It's Academic is for physicians in academic settings. For more information about TMA’s efforts on behalf of medical education and academic physicians, visit the TMA Council on Medical Education’s Subcommittee for Academic Physicians page and Advocacy page on the TMA website.

Please share with your colleagues who are not TMA members and ask them to join.

Top of page

Back Issues of It's Academic 

Return to Publications Main Page