Dean's Update

July 1, 2022 - Aron Sousa, MD


Dean Sousa and college faculty at the Pride Festival.With the arrival of summer, I hope people take an opportunity to get a little time away from work to enjoy the season. Over the last couple of weeks, my family and I took some time to be in the Pacific Northwest, because Michigan was not cloudy enough for us this winter. I jest; it was lovely, but our Michigan coastlines offer the same wonderful sunsets, and you can see just as many whales in the Great Lakes as we did on our trip.

I came back in time to visit the College of Human Medicine’s tent at the Grand Rapids Pride event two weeks ago (that’s the picture above). There were so many people there! And, as a note to all, we are working to get the t-shirts up on the college store. (And, look up Diagnosis Queer, an advocacy group started by fourth-year medical student Nicholas Nicoletti. They had a really busy and well attended tent at Pride and were featured on MSU Today. Catch Nick, as well as Rick Leach and Keith English on last week’s Town Hall, too.)

Today is July 1, the starting date for residencies and residents across the country. It’s a big day for the profession, and a bigger day for the new residents. Almost everyone I know has some story about their first day as a resident. I’ll share one of my own; I followed my wife to East Lansing when she joined the faculty at MSU, and I started residency just a month or so before her first day as faculty. I started on the wards, and my senior resident had clinic, so after rounds he walked me down to the emergency department (ED) for our first admission of the day. We did the work-up, I got some hands-on experience in the ED and with Sparrow’s paperwork; all was good. Not long after that, we went back upstairs, did some work, and my senior went to clinic.

And then I was called to do an admission, but I could not find my way to the ED, so I went out the front door of the hospital, walked around the building, and walked in through the parking lot entrance to the ED. I did the admission, called the attending, all was good, and then I walked out of the ED and back in the front door of the hospital. I mean, it was stressful to do the admission on my own, but I felt well-trained, and the attending was good to me (thanks, Dr. Neiberg!), so, all-in-all, the day was going well.

Then the ED called for another admission, so I walked out of the hospital, around the building, and into the ED through the parking lot entrance. Again, I did the admission, called the attending, all was good, and I retraced my path outside to return to the main hospital through the front door. And, of course, the ED called again, so I walked out the front door of the hospital to go to the ED, and it was a lovely day. I thought, “You could just keep walking…” And, then I remembered my student loans, and I walked around the building and into the ED through the parking lot entrance…

Today, I started rounding with the new seniors and the new first-year residents. It will be stressful for all of us, but we are going to make sure we take good care of the patients, and if we need to take a few extra steps to provide good care, so be it.

Serving the people with you,


Aron Sousa, MD


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