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Letter from the Chair

Welcome to the Department of Medicine website. Dr. Bremner, Chair, Dept. of Medicine

Since its founding in 1948, this department has been deeply dedicated to its missions of teaching, healing, and discovery. Over 60 years later, these remain our core commitments, and we are nationally recognized for excellence in all three.

Our School of Medicine leads the nation in primary care education, much of which takes place in the Department of Medicine. Our faculty are active in all levels of training—medical school, the four residency pathways, and subspecialty fellowship programs. Future physicians and scientists have opportunities to train in a broad range of settings with a diverse patient population and some of the best minds in academic medicine as role models. More than 1000 full-time faculty members teach the latest in evidence-based practice as well as the oldest of human values—compassion and respect for patients and their families. Today, the UW Department of Medicine’s residencies and fellowships are considered among the best programs in the country.

There is a long tradition of leading-edge research in the Department of Medicine that has yielded some of the most important innovations in the history of modern medicine: the development by Dr. Belding Scribner and colleagues of the arteriovenous shunt that made kidney dialysis possible; pioneering work in bone-marrow transplantation that won the Nobel Prize for Dr. E. Donnall Thomas; the exercise stress test of Dr. Robert Bruce and colleagues, which revolutionized testing of cardiovascular function; and hundreds of other advances in immunology, cell and molecular biology, medical genetics, diagnostics, therapeutics, the organization and delivery of health care, and many other fields.

Today’s faculty members pursue clinical research addressing the most common of human disorders as well as studies of the most basic biomedical processes. Department investigators reach across disciplines to collaborate with other departments and institutes in state-of-the-art laboratories and support facilities. Our research partners include the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Puget Sound Blood Center, Group Health Center for Health Studies, and other centers of advanced study. Ours is one of the best-funded departments of medicine in the nation: In fiscal year 2010, we received more than $110 million in NIH funding for research and training. Our funding level has put us in the top 10 of most funded departments of medicine in the United States since 2006.

Excellence in patient care is a focus of our mission as an academic medical center, and that begins with an internationally recognized group of faculty physicians. Internal medicine is a broad and diverse field that demands equally broad knowledge and experience. Whether providing primary or subspecialty care, our faculty members bring the latest in research and clinical advances to patient care. Their practice settings include a range of on-campus clinics, community-based sites around the region, hospitals, and long-term care facilities. Through such specialized facilities as the UW Medicine Regional Heart Center, the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, the Northwest Kidney Centers, and others, our physicians make their expertise accessible to patients from around the region, the nation, and the world.

The Department of Medicine has achieved much in the past 60-plus years, and we look forward to a continued and undiminished commitment to the highest standards of teaching, research, and patient care.

Sincerely,

William J. Bremner, PhD, MD
Professor and Chair
The Robert G. Petersdorf Endowed Chair in Medicine
Department of Medicine
University of Washington