Dean's Update

November 24, 2021 - Aron Sousa, MD


This is a short work week for those of us not on call, or on service, or keeping animals healthy, or backing up our infrastructure, or working security for the college. There are a lot of people in a medical college who continue working over weekends and holidays, and the rest of us depend on all of them. This Thanksgiving I get to eat lamb and ratatouille and think about what I am grateful for this season. I will remember with advantages all of you still working on our behalf.

With Michigan again COVID’s most successful site for transmission and replication (another version from the New York Times) in the country, our hospitals are again full and struggling. Nurses are worn out, respiratory therapists are worn out, and doctors, housekeeping, and social workers are worn out. Emergency departments have spilled into hallways, lounges, and surgical recovery departments, which means that anyone going to the emergency department could spend hours (or days!) on a gurney in a hallway. That’s a horrible way to get and provide health care.

In some of our hospitals, medical and surgical residents have again been pulled from their usual rotations to serve on inpatient and ICU wards. These young physicians in training will be working six days out of seven, 60-80 hours a week until this surge calms down. They will miss rotations that are probably more in line with their eventual career path, having lighter workloads, weekends, and days off at holidays. I am always grateful for our residents; they are absolutely the core of academic medical programs, but this Thanksgiving I am particularly grateful for resident physicians, their talent, their stamina, and their dedication.

And, I am grateful for all the people who make the College of Human Medicine such a force for good in our world. Each Friday, at the end of the Town Hall, I close with some version of this: I want to thank each of you for being a part of the college, for helping support our staff, students, alumni, and faculty as they do their work. It is this great work that makes the college such a special place, where patients are helped, discoveries are made, our communities are made better and healthier, and our students develop into leaders who will change the world. Every week, I mean every single word of that and every week it is true. Today is Wednesday, and I hope you get to have a holiday tomorrow. And if you don’t, thank you even more for all you do.

Serving the people with you,


Aron Sousa, MD
Interim Dean

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