Senior Associate Dean’s Message to Rush Medical College Alumni: September 2021

September 8, 2021
Elizabeth Baker MD, MHPE

Greetings, fellow alumni!

It seems hard to believe that I started my residency in internal medicine 34 years ago at what was then known as Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center. All of these years later, I am still here serving as a primary care physician, educator and one of the medical school deans. Much has changed since then, but many things have remained the same. Rush continues to be a tight-knit community dedicated to patient care and service within and beyond our doors. As Rush alumni, you are vital members of this community.

We welcomed our first-year students to Rush Medical College in late August — entering medical school during this unprecedented time of chronic COVID. For the most part, our students are handling the challenges of medical school during the pandemic with amazing resiliency; however, many students are hurting from additional financial burdens and the loss of significant in-person education time. Some may even be hurting due to the passing of loved ones from COVID-19. We continue to be committed to supporting our students’ well-being and to providing them an outstanding education that is as safe as humanly possible.

Rush Medical College has managed to thrive in many ways during the pandemic. We received a full, eight-year accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education this spring — the highest level of accreditation possible. This is a tribute to the hard work of Rush Medical College’s faculty and staff. Now entering its fifth year, our flipped classroom pre-clerkship curriculum has been extremely successful and gave us the agility needed to nimbly pivot to remote learning at the onset of the pandemic.

We are currently working toward flexible programming that allows students to take the time they may need to ensure their well-being. We are developing innovative initiatives, including an accelerated, integrated primary care program that will allow some students to complete medical school and a Rush primary care residency in six years.

There are many opportunities for you to become more involved with Rush Medical College, and I invite you to partner with us. If you have an interest in connecting directly with students, please consider becoming a career mentor. If you work in the Chicago area, please consider clinical teaching in your office, hospital or clinic. And finally, we depend on the Rush Medical College Alumni Association to fund numerous student initiatives, including the annual White Coat Ceremony, summer research fellowships and global health trips. Your generous contributions will help keep these opportunities available for our students.

We have much to celebrate, even during these challenging times. We are vaccinated; we are shepherding students, residents and fellows through their education; and we are continuing to provide outstanding care to our patients. I am proud to be a Rush physician, faculty member and GME alumna, and I’m thrilled to oversee our undergraduate medical education program. I hope you share my pride as a Rush alumnus. Take care.

Beth

Elizabeth Baker MD, MHPE
Senior Associate Dean, Undergraduate Medical Education
Rush Medical College