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Message from the Dean

Charles B. Cairns, MD, Annenberg Dean and Senior Vice President, Medical Affairs

The ultimate goal of medicine and biomedical research is to serve humanity. That focus informs everything we do, from admissions to curriculum design to teaching and mentoring.

Diversity in our faculty, professional staff, students and trainees has always been fundamental to our mission. Respect for culture and understanding diversity as part of the fabric of everyday life are essential to medicine as a profession and to the advancement of research that leads to international collaborations.

Our medical school pioneered programs in physician and patient communication, medical humanities, and professional formation, all of which have been adapted by our peers. Our new medical education curriculum, Foundations and Frontiers, reshapes and builds upon the best of what we’ve had, adding emerging areas such as population health, health informatics and the business of medicine. These interdisciplinary programs are enhanced by the strengths of Drexel’s other schools and colleges, in public health, technology and business.

Many research programs also take advantage of cross-campus expertise, with notable collaborations between our College faculty – both basic scientists and clinicians – and faculty in engineering or biomedical engineering. Collaborative work, like team learning, is essential to who we are as a school. The idea is to achieve your goals and balance at the same time. To learn while sharing, to learn while serving.

Beyond the campus, we share the University’s commitment to civic engagement and to serving our local and global communities. We were one of the first medical schools to include a service component in the curriculum. Beyond that, many of our students are involved in student-run Health Outreach Project clinics. The graduate students sponsor a fair on campus to introduce their peers to local nonprofits who are seeking volunteers. And in true interdisciplinary fashion, medical students and graduate students join forces several times each year to host Philadelphia high school students for sessions in gross anatomy, medical neuroscience and discussing health careers.

We provide avenues for our students to develop new interests, or continue established pursuits – in civic activities, music and other arts – and they have dozens of clubs and groups. We are promoting wholeness, wellness and a sense of connection with the world and to each other, so our students can lead better lives as professionals.

Our students are adults who come to us with their own ideas and ambitions. Given the opportunity to grow as individuals, by meeting new challenges in an environment of collaborative learning and respect, they discover a deep sense of purpose. If we do a good job as their guides, our graduates emerge sure of their knowledge and skills, but with a healthy perspective and a measure of humility appropriate to lifelong learners.

Charles B. Cairns, MD
Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg Dean and Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs

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