Dean's Update

April 7, 2023 - Aron Sousa, MD

Image of Dean Aron Sousa with text overlay that reads "MSU College of Human Medicine - Dean's Update".


The reach of the College of Human Medicine continues to astonish me. This week, Jerry Kooiman, Arlynn Dailey, Basil Abdo, and I met with the leadership of the HUDA free clinic in Detroit. Our students rotate there and our faculty provide services at the clinic. More remarkably, we have students who did their premedical clinical experiences there, now rotate there as students, and will soon rotate there as residents with the Ascension Family Medicine residency at Ascension Providence.

Also this week, I met with alumni who have answered the call to provide care all over the country and the world. I met with a family medicine physician who has made a key difference for people in many states, and a renal pathologist at Johns Hopkins whose consults, teaching, and leadership have stretched around the globe. We each make a difference a patient at a time, a learner at a time, a paper at a time, a colleague at a time. It was inspiring to meet with these alumni. It was also heart-warming to hear them talk in such glowing terms about their time at the college, including a whole conversation about faculty, such as Shirley Siew, and the difference faculty made in their education.

Some of you will have noticed media coverage of the April 1 University of Michigan member takeover of Sparrow. This is not new news, but it is officially official. MSU physicians continue to see patients at Sparrow. We care for the stroke patients, the premature babies, those with wounds that won’t heal, people with infections that confound, and patients who come to Sparrow without a physician, among many other MSU services at Sparrow. We run the vast majority of residency programs at Sparrow, and many of the physicians at Sparrow trained at MSU. None of this will change - we do have contracts for our current service at Sparrow, and we are working to expand in the community, including at Sparrow.

I’ve had some people ask me about the internal issues of the university, and I will refer you to academic governance work of CHM faculty, especially Karen Kelly-Blake, PhD, in the Center for Bioethics and Social Justice and the Department of Medicine. All you really need to know about recent reports is in Dr. Kelly-Blake’s statement at the academic governance site.

Finally, I recommend you check out the work of Stacey Missmer, ScD, in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology. She has found that people with endometriosis have a modestly higher risk for long COVID. And you can read her thoughts on that study as quoted in TIME. She points out our professions’ long-standing lack of interest in women with endometriosis and other “benign” gynecology conditions has hurt the very people we aim to serve. Fortunately, we have people like Dr. Missmer.

Serving the people with you,


Aron Sousa, MD FACP



Dean's Update  Town Halls