Media Coverage

The Buffalo News covered the Department of Medicine’s 32nd annual internal medicine residency graduation event that took place at the Transit Drive-In Theatre in Lockport. The event capped an incredible three years in which the residents and their peers in related fields first witnessed an explosion in regional medicine, touched off in part by the move of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences to downtown Buffalo, and ended during the most sweeping pandemic since the Spanish Influenza outbreak a little more than a century ago. “This is the most interesting and most challenging time to do what we do,” said Jason Edwards, MD, a Niagara Falls native who attended UB as an undergraduate before attending medical school and doing his residency at his alma mater.
The Buffalo News published a “My View” piece by Farzani Ali, MD, a Class of 2020 graduate of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Ali wrote about having been paralyzed and losing the function of her hands after a devastating auto accident and her determination to go to medical school despite these setbacks. “I want to celebrate all those mothers who spend sleepless nights and tired days to ensure their children with disabilities can have the same experience as their able-bodied counterparts. And all those mentors who make extra efforts to recognize unlimited potential in students despite their limitations. It is never easy. But it is worthwhile!”
WIVB reports that the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences held a virtual commencement, the first of many planned this month by UB, to recognize 147 doctors entering the workforce.
A story on medical innovation in WNY quotes Michael E. Cain, MD, dean of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and mentions Garwood Medical Devices and Tactiva Therapeutics, medical companies that have strong UB ties.
With substantial progress made on UB 2020, UB’s focus has shifted toward becoming a Top 25 public research university in the nation, according to UB President Satish K. Tripathi.
A report details the anticipated construction of a footbridge between the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and the Conventus building across the street, noting that Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus officials expect to have designs, financing and permits in place by spring or early summer.
An editorial that calls the Buffalo African American Health Equity Task Force “a force for good” notes that the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences is among the group’s high-level supporters.
Michael E. Cain, MD, vice president for health sciences and dean of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, talks about the new Jacobs School building and its impact on medical education at UB. The combination of a technology-rich building and the medical campus location helps UB to recruit more medical school candidates, he said, adding, “We are finding that when students get our offer letters, they come here.” 
An article about what academic medicine is doing to help physicians and students combat medical misinformation, like the kind responsible for the largest measles outbreak in a quarter century, interviews Lisa Jane Jacobson, MD, associate dean for medical curriculum, who discussed how simulated patient experiences can be used to teach students and residents how to have difficult conversations with patients about what they can and cannot believe on social media. “Students have actors and actresses playing the roles of patients, and they’re given complex cases,” she said. “Sometimes that involves having difficult conversations with people who have belief systems that are very different from their own.”
In an opinion pieceMichael E. Cain, MD, vice president for health sciences and dean of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, describes how in 2011, the New York SUNY 2020 Challenge Grant program, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, the Western New York delegation in the Legislature and UB moved forward with the vision to create a world-class academic health center. He writes that that vision began to be realized with the new school’s opening downtown in December 2017 and that continued investment by the state is crucial, especially for hiring faculty in critical areas.
Business First reported that the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences has launched the Medical Education and Educational Research Institute. The story notes that its inaugural director is Jennifer A. Meka, PhD, who comes to UB from a similar position at the Penn State College of Medicine. The story quotes Meka, noting “Most of the time, the faculty and residents we’re working with, they go into medical education because they want to give back and want to be involved with the learners, but they also want to specifically learn how to be the best teacher they can be.” Alan J. Lesse, MD, senior associate dean for medical curriculum, was also quoted, discussing how upcoming medical curriculum changes and new teaching methods are necessitating the training for faculty members.
A Buffalo News editorial focused on the remarkable story of George Melvin Ellis Jr., who donated to the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences the university’s largest-ever gift. A stipulation was that his identity remain anonymous until both he and his wife were deceased. The editorial stated: “The story of the medical school’s single biggest gift in the history of the university by one of its graduates, and one of the largest bestowed upon the Buffalo region, is about one man’s unwavering dedication to the patients he served and his deep abiding belief that whatever money he made through savvy investments was not his but belonged to the university. ... The decency, dedication and commitment by one man toward his alma mater and adopted community will help generations to build a better future.”
An article in Business First about changes and initiatives that will impact how medical schools prepare the nation’s future doctors interviews Alan J. Lesse, MD, senior associate dean for medical curriculum at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. “These students have grown up in the digital age. They have access to limitless amounts of information because of the internet and its rapid rewards system,” Lesse said. “Their attention spans are shorter and their ability to or their need to memorize large amounts of information is much less, given that they must have 10- to 100-fold more information to learn than I did.”
An article about the continuing growth of UBMD Physicians’ Group interviews Kevin J. Gibbons, MD, senior associate dean for clinical affairs and UBMD executive director. “We train to retain and UB has now trained over two-thirds of the physicians in Western New York through the medical school, residency or fellowship," he said. "That’s our mission and that’s what we’re focused on with our hospital partners and physician partners going forward.”
A story reports that first- and second-year students in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences were part of a panel discussion on the future of the medical field and quotes second-year medical student Emily Slominski, who said she’s interested in learning more about interconnectivity between physicians and providers in other fields. “A lot of our experiences right now can almost be frustrating at times because you have patients that have problems that are kind of outside the realm of what you can help with. So it’s nice to see that they’re bringing in other fields, and connecting, and trying to get at the root of the problems.”