U-M Hires Almost 200 New Medical School Faculty Members Since May

Tuesday, August 3, 2010 Education News
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Number of physicians and medical researchers on staff hits highest point ever, capping five years of steady growth


Aug. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Colleen Hawley Neal, M.D., is passionate about imaging techniques that make the difference in cancer diagnosis – and she's bringing that considerable expertise to the faculty
of the University of Michigan Medical School. Neal is among the 184 new faculty members hired since May, boosting the total Medical School faculty to 2,254 — its highest point ever.

Overall, fiscal year 2010 showed a 103-person total increase in hiring over fiscal year 2009, which is in keeping with the annual faculty growth rate of 100-150 physicians and scientists that's occurred during each of the last five years. Typically, there is a surge in hiring during the spring and summer months.

In fiscal year 2005, the faculty totaled 1,818 employees.

"Many other institutions have instituted freezes, cut programs or limited their services in the past, but we are continually growing," says Margaret Gyetko, M.D., associate dean for Faculty Affairs and professor of internal medicine.

"By continuing to grow, this allows us to serve our core missions effectively. In the state of Michigan, which has had its share of economic woes, we stand out as an area of growth that stimulates the economy."

Among the biggest reasons U-M can continue to hire is because the Medical School faculty are so successful in attracting research funding. In fiscal year 2009, the faculty earned more than $366 million in National Institutes of Health  (NIH) research funding, putting U-M in the top 10 medical schools in terms of NIH grants awarded.

The economic impact of that is measurable: according to the Association of American Medical Colleges, for every dollar directly spent by a medical school or teaching hospital, an additional $1.30 is "re-spent" on other businesses or individuals, resulting in a total impact of $2.30 per dollar. That means that as the $435 million in funds from all sources are spent over the next few years, they will have a net benefit on the economy of $1 billion. Read more about our research funding here: http://www2.med.umich.edu/prmc/media/newsroom/details.cfm?ID=1536

U-M's hiring strategy also reflects our academic medical center's continued clinical growth as patients continue to seek expertise provided here. Of the 184 new hires, 168 have clinical responsibilities. The Medical School's recruitment of new employees is designed to serve the missions of both clinical services and ground-breaking research, says James O. Woolliscroft, Dean of the Medical School and Lyle C. Roll professor of Medicine.

"The Medical School is in an enviable position among academic medical centers because we are able to hire. But we are not hiring just to grow, but to attract the best of the best, high-quality faculty who will help us reach long-term institutional aspirations," says Woolliscroft.

"The added benefit is that there are few institutions or companies in Michigan that can boast our growth rate. We are adding well-paying jobs that make U-M one of the few economic drivers in the entire state."

The newest group of faculty hires includes leaders in computational protein folding, clinical research and people like Dr. Neal, whose experience in breast imaging is extremely valuable, says N. Reed Dunnick, M.D., chair of the Department of Radiology.

"We are fortunate to have been able to recruit Dr. Neal as her expertise in breast MRI  will facilitate our expansion of this service.   MRI is an important supplement to mammography in the diagnosis of breast cancer, and Dr. Neal's passion in providing this service to our patients will enhance our ability to provide quality service to our patients," says Dunnick, who also is Fred Jenner Hodges professor of radiology.

The bulk of the newest hires are in the Medical School's largest department, Internal Medicine, with 54 new faculty. Seventeen were recently hired in radiology, including Neal, who left a private practice in North Carolina.

"I think there are definite benefits when you are able to hire and continually bring new people in," says Neal, who did both her residency and a fellowship in women's imaging at U-M. She now is an assistant professor of radiology.

"The division I'm in here at U-M, breast imaging, is very, very strong, and I'm looking forward to delving into research in my field."

Neal, 34, moved her family to the Ann Arbor area, including her husband and three children who range in age from 6 years old to 10 months. Of the 184 new hires, 135 were recruited from out-of-state.

Neal, who is from the Detroit area, says she's pleased to be back in Michigan and happy with her new position that allows her to interact with patients as well as get involved with research.

"I just got started about four weeks ago. I'm happy to be here and eager to be a part of the tremendous research and clinical services here at U-M," she says.

SOURCE University of Michigan Medical School

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