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Etta D. Pisano, M.D.

Vice President for Medical Affairs
Dean, College of Medicine


Dear Colleagues:

Match Day

Today was Match Day, one of the major milestones in a medical student’s career, when our fourth year medical students find out where they will next be training for their future careers in medicine.  There was a lot of excitement and emotion in the room today as each student learned of their next destination.  We are so very proud of our students, and look forward to following their careers and hearing about their future successes.

College of Medicine Town Hall Meeting

Our next College of Medicine Town Hall Meeting is scheduled for next Wednesday, March 20, at 4:00 p.m. in 110 Drug Discovery Building.  As you know, I am very interested in hearing from all members of the college about issues of importance to our missions.  If you have any particular topics you’d like me to address, there are several options available to you.  You can raise a topic in person during the meeting, submit a question in writing anonymously during the meeting, submit a question in writing anonymously by placing it in the Town Hall question box in the Dean’s Office reception area, and/or email questions in advance to  I hope all members of the college who are able will plan to attend.

Faculty Bridge Funding Program

A principal goal of the College of Medicine is to support and strengthen research capabilities of our faculty.  One mechanism utilized to facilitate this goal is our Bridge Funding Program.  The purpose of this program is to support investigators with established clinical or basic research programs during periods when a competitive renewal was not funded.  Program details and the application format are available at  The application deadline for the current cycle is April 15.  Applications may be emailed to Mary McConnell at  Faculty with questions about this program should contact Senior Associate Dean for Research Craig Crosson.

Access Win in Pediatric Neurology Sets the Standard

Over the past year, our clinical enterprise has made improving patient access a top priority.  Clinical leadership, physician champions, and the Access Task Force have been diligently working on solutions, with the initial focus on improving capacity management.

I would like to congratulate Dr. Bruce Ovbiagele, Dr. David Walsh, and the entire Pediatric Neurology team on almost completely eliminating patient backlog and for achieving clinic patient satisfaction scores of nearly 98%.  This significant achievement is the result of novel and collaborative problem solving and the implementation of strategies such as mid-level providers seeing all follow up patients, creating Physician and Nurse Practitioner teams, and a commitment to reviewing access numbers weekly moving forward.  Pediatric Neurology is demonstrating that access challenges are possible to overcome and worth the effort to our entire organization and the patients who depend on us.

CARES Clinic Seeks Physician Volunteers

The CARES Clinic is looking for additional physician volunteers.  CARES is a primary care setting for uninsured members of the greater Charleston community, operating Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings throughout the year.  CARES is a free, student-run clinic that relies on the generous support of physician volunteers.  All fully-licensed physicians at MUSC - from 2nd year residents to full professors - are eligible to volunteer.  CARES is an excellent teaching opportunity and a great chance to help a patient population that would otherwise go untreated.  Please contact John Harlow at if you have any questions or would like to volunteer.

Nominations Being Accepted for the MUSC Developing Scholars Award and the Peggy Schachte Research Mentor Award

Nominations are now being accepted for the MUSC Foundation Developing Scholars Award and for the Peggy Schachte Research Mentor Award.  The purpose of the Developing Scholars Award is to recognize and reward junior faculty who have made outstanding contributions to the research mission of MUSC; more information about this award can be found at  The purpose of the Peggy Schachte Research Mentor Award is to recognize individuals at MUSC who mentor faculty in obtaining research support from private and public organizations or government agencies; more information about this award can be found at  Nominations for both awards are due by May 3.

Center for Global Health International Travel Grants for Students and Resident Trainees

The MUSC Center for Global Health (CGH) is pleased to announce the availability of international travel grants for travel to low and middle-income countries of up to $2,000 each for MUSC students and resident trainees for a 12-month period.  The goal of the awards is to assist recipients in furthering global health research or training projects in low- or middle-income countries.  Travel awards cannot be used to support conference attendance.  Applicants must secure a letter of recommendation from an MUSC faculty advisor who will assume the role of mentor and assume all responsibility for assisting the applicant with preparation for travel, activities to be performed at the site, mentoring and safety of the applicant.  The application deadline is April 19, and more information can be found at

Nominations being accepted for the MUSC Student Leadership Society

Nominations are being accepted for the MUSC Student Leadership Society.  The purpose of the Society is to recognize those students who have made notable contributions to the university through their character, service and commitment to enhancing the university environment.  Nominations are due Friday, March 29; more information can be found at

Faculty Affairs Roundtables

The College of Medicine Faculty Affairs Team invites you to attend the next session in the new series of Faculty Affairs Roundtables.  This session will be presented by Drs. Gary Gilkeson and Dan Smith on “Negotiating with your Chair” and will be offered twice – on March 27 at 4:30 p.m. and on March 28 at 12:00 p.m.  These sessions are intended to be highly participatory and foster lively discussion.  Please RSVP to Mary McConnell ( for these sessions.

The Faculty Affairs Team welcomes input on topics of interest to be covered during future Faculty Affairs Roundtables.  Please share your thoughts on the discussion forum at  For more information about the Faculty Affairs Team and services provided, please go to

Homecoming Weekend Oyster Roast

All College of Medicine faculty are invited to attend this year’s Homecoming Weekend Oyster Roast, scheduled for Friday, March 22, from 7:00-10:00 pm, at Shem Creek.  Advanced registration is required - no tickets will be sold at the door – and dress is casual.  Please register for this event at

All College of Medicine students are also invited to attend.  Today is the last day for students to purchase tickets in the Dean’s Office (601 Clinical Sciences Building) for a special price of $10.00/student.  (Each student may purchase only one ticket at this price; additional tickets will be $40.00/each).

Plenty of oysters and non-seafood items will be served.  We hope you join us for what is sure to be a fun evening with our alumni.

Discussion Forums

As a reminder, we have created new electronic discussion platforms focusing on education, research, clinical affairs, and general information from the Dean’s Office and the College of Medicine.  These forums are intended to serve several purposes.  First, they are another way for my office to share important information with faculty, staff, and students.  Second, they are meant to encourage discussion about issues within the college and to empower everyone within the college to voice their opinions.  These “discussion forums” are intended to be not only channels for messages to be sent out, but channels for YOUR ideas, comments and questions to be heard by college leadership.  Your voice matters and we are pleased there is a new way for it to be heard.  You can access these forums by using the following links and your net ID and password:

As always....

Let's work together to meet our strategic planning goal - to be in the Top 25 among academic medical centers for reputation, quality, service, efficiency and financial performance by 2015.  I look forward to hearing from you - either in person or via email.