Dear Class of 2027,
Welcome to the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. My name is Dr. Alan Lesse and I am an associate dean for medical curriculum. The Office of Medical Curriculum and the Curriculum Committee are charged with overseeing your education over the next four years.
You are entering medicine at a time of change. The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the impact of race, social determinants of health, and systemic racism and highlights the deficiencies of our current health delivery system. This is the cauldron that you are about to enter.
As an infectious disease physician, I look in awe as 29,903 bases of enveloped, single-stranded RNA marched across the planet, causing morbidity and mortality of truly global proportions. Many of us older physicians understand this time from our own experiences. I began my internship just 12 days after I read the first case reports of the introduction of a different virus into the human population, HIV. For me and many others entering the field at the time it was a career shaping experience. It appears that COVID-19 will certainly shape yours.
Over the next four years, it is the job of our curriculum to teach you how to promote health and treat disease. Our educational mission is: To develop and inspire exceptional physicians and scientists through transformative education. And with your help and hard work, we are confident that you will, in fact, be transformed by your education and in turn, transform health care as you deliver it.
We feel that our curriculum prepares you for lifelong learning and a fulfilling career in medicine. There will be bumps along the way, but you will meet this adversity with a greater expectation of change; not just in medicine, but in the world around you. How best to handle this maelstrom? Perhaps C.S. Lewis said it best: “Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” And we will be here to help guide you along that path.
Associate Dean for Medical Curriculum, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
Associate Professor and Vice Chair for Education, Department of Medicine
University at Buffalo
Infectious Diseases, VA Western New York Healthcare System