Loscalzo Takes Helm of Medicine
Physicians, researchers and administrators from across BWH filled the seats, aisles and standing room of the Bornstein Amphitheater earlier this month for a Grand Rounds presentation by Joseph Loscalzo, MD, PhD, just two months after he took the helm as chairman of the Department of Medicine (DOM).
In his presentation, “Internal Medicine at BWH: Past, Present and Future,” Loscalzo laid out his goals for the DOM beginning with a 56-year-old quote from Dr. Tinsley Harrison: “There can be no first-rate patient care without first-rate education in intimate association. [Moreover,] there can be no first-rate education without research.” From there, Loscalzo talked about challenges the DOM faces in house staff education, clinical care and biomedical research while citing sociology, mathematics and pop culture to explain the shift from popular medicine to personalized medicine.
Loscalzo, who began training here in 1978 and served as a DOM chief resident in 1983, asked Joel Katz, MD, and Bruce Levy, MD, to lead a committee of DOM physicians in developing a structural change in the residency program to enhance the training experience without compromising the residents' sleep schedule. Restrictions on residents' schedules, additional regulatory demands on their time and significant reductions in length of stay are combining to limit residents' interaction with patients.
“There needs to be more emphasis on education and direct patient contact,” Loscalzo said. Levy and Katz are expected to finalize their recommendations to enhance residency training by early winter and begin planning for implementation.
Loscalzo is looking forward to a close working relationship between the DOM and BWH's Biomedical Research Institute (BRI). “The BRI brings opportunities in structure and resources, and will provide access to technologies individual departments would not otherwise have,” Loscalzo said. Structurally, the BRI will pave the way for investigators to share their findings and work with their BWH colleagues and optimize BWH's research funding.
Additionally, as DOM chair, Loscalzo plans to foster formal working relationships between those at the bench and bedside.
BWH will be among the leaders in the health care's transition from population medicine toward personalized medicine under Loscalzo's leadership. With personalized medicine, physicians will use a patient's genomic, proteomic and metabolomic signature to guide therapy. Personalized medicine will also play a role in the way BWH researchers approach drug development, he said.
Looking ahead, Loscalzo said the Carl J. and Ruth Shapiro Cardiovascular Center at BWH is sure to become a national centerpiece for cardiovascular medicine. “The planning for the Shapiro Center will allow us to put in place the most cutting edge tools and practices,” he said.