The University of Kentucky College of Medicine and its affiliated hospital was established over 60 years ago with the founding mission of training medical students to be physicians for the people of our Commonwealth. I came to UK in 1988 to enter an internal medicine/pediatrics residency, and during the 33 years I have been here, the college’s commitment hasn’t faltered. Indeed, it has greatly strengthened with the establishment of regional medical campuses in Morehead, Bowling Green, and Northern Kentucky, greatly increasing our ability to train more physicians for our state and making the dream of becoming a physician a reality for many more students —especially those from Kentucky.
It is my honor to lead a college that is so dear to my heart. During my tenure this year, I will uphold our promise to provide excellence in education, clinical care, and transformative research, but with the understanding that the overarching purpose of these endeavors is to serve our community, our learners, and our patients.
We train incoming learners to develop into outstanding physicians and researchers, not only through advanced clinical skills and scientific knowledge but also through an emphasis on the need they are filling to improve health care for people in need. Medicine is a profession of service, and a servant’s heart is what we hope to instill in each and every one of our learners (and faculty and staff!)
We also bring groundbreaking discoveries from the bench to the bedside. Through a focus on scientific innovation, our research faculty, staff, and learners work tirelessly to find solutions to our state’s most pressing health issues. The College of Medicine’s recently launched Alliance Research Initiative has introduced and solidified important cross-department and cross-college collaborations that will only help grow our impact.
It is of utmost importance that as we work toward our goals, we maintain an environment of inclusivity for our faculty, staff, and learners so all voices are heard and valued. The work of our Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will remain integral to our mission.
During my time as professor of medicine and pediatrics, and in my role as vice dean for education, I have had the privilege of working with so many members of our College of Medicine team with incredible dedication to the Commonwealth. Just as the college’s commitment to the community endures, so will mine. I look forward to working with our learners, faculty, and staff to keep our college on the steep trajectory Dean DiPaola has propelled us.
Chipper Griffith, MD, MSPH