Dean's Update

April 5, 2024 - Aron Sousa, MD


senior resident Dr. Harith Ghnaima, and first years Drs. Amey Joshi and Eki Wari. The senior senior, Aron, is on the left.

Above: senior resident Dr. Harith Ghnaima, and first years Drs. Amey Joshi and Eki Wari. The senior senior, Aron, is on the left. 


As you can tell from the picture, I am currently on the medicine service. And, by this point, you all know how much I enjoy my fortnight with the patients, residents, and students. This team has done an excellent job taking care of our patients and each other. We’ve had some complex patients, more necrotizing fasciitis than you’d care to see, and the opportunity to be useful to patients and families in need. My thanks to first years Amey Joshi, MD, and Eki Wari, MD, who have been on top of every twist and turn in the cases. And, my gratitude to our senior resident, Harith Ghnaima, MD, who has kept us and the patients out of trouble and helped us learn along the way. Special kudos to Brian Harmon, MS3, who did a great job on the last few days of his medicine rotation with us last week – I hope the shelf exam went well!

Last week, the Town Hall hosted a 60th Anniversary panel of early faculty and a graduate from the first four-year graduating class. It was a treat to catch up with faculty from the late 1960s and early 1970s, Drs. Ruth Hoppe, Tom Johnson, and Jack Jones as well as 1972 graduate Dr. Ray Hansen. (Who knew 1972 was the longest year?) If you missed it somehow, you can watch the Town Hall and learn about some of the early conversations about the biopsychosocial model, the communities, and the pervasive sense of excitement and adventure that permeated the faculty and staff charged with starting up the college. If you need more, check out Dr. Al Sparrow’s 2011 interview of Dr. Johnson in the MSU Archives.

As a part of the Faculty and Staff Success goals of our strategic plan, the college has purchased access to a nationally normed faculty and staff survey from the AAMC. We have conducted the survey in the past, so we hope this iteration begins to provide data with a historical context. That only works if people fill out the survey. You should have received the invitation to complete the survey from in your email. If you are like me and Outlook sorts your email into “Focused” and “Other,” you will find this email in the “Other” pile – look for it there and please fill it out.

One of the best ways for us to support our people is to nominate them for awards. It may seem a bit trite and shallow, but awards do matter. We just had a very successful meeting with the provost and OHS offices about faculty promotions. In each case we talked about the awards people won, including college awards – awards are useful markers of achievement. In the longer term, it is very hard to put people up for regional and national awards if they have not won local awards. And, even if people do not win awards, it feels good to be nominated. “The time has come,” the Walrus said, “to talk of many things: of shoes, and ships, and sealing wax, of cabbages, and kings, and whether you have nominated colleagues for award bling.” Find everything you need here – don’t be an Oyster.

Last week’s Town Hall focused on the founding of the college, and on Tuesday, April 9 (not Friday, April 12) we will hold a special Town Hall live from Grand Rapids to talk about the college’s transformation in that community over the last 20 years. Our panelists are Steve Heacock, who helped develop, negotiate, and manage the partnerships; Jack Lipton, PhD, who was hired to establish our basic science department in Grand Rapids (the current Translational Neuroscience); Marsha Rappley, MD, the college’s transformative dean during the period; and Elizabeth Bushong, MS4, who will give us the student perspective on the Grand Rapids campus. If you come in person, there will be lunch…probably with bread but without oysters.

Finally, I want to thank Senators Peters and Stabenow and Congressman Kildee for supporting our Flint building expansion as a community project in the recently signed appropriations bill. On the scale of the federal government, the $572k appropriation is not huge money, but it will make a huge difference for our facility as we welcome in our collaborators from the state and the Flint community. My thanks to Carol Parker and the MSU and college’s government relations teams (Sarah Walter, Jacob Courville and Jerry Kooiman) for their help with the proposals and outreach.

Serving the people with you,


Aron Sousa, MD, FACP
Dean, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

60th Anniversary logo.


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