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The Latest Craziness in the Medical School - Or, Sunlight Is The Best Disinfectant


[To be continued as time permits and circumstances require]

We had a rather interesting faculty meeting this last Wednesday with Dr. Roberta Sonnino, our new Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs who comes to us from Creighton University. I don't know much about the place except that it never seemed to be a research hot-bed. It is unranked both for research and for clinical training in the latest version of USNews rankings of best medical schools (2008).

So I wonder if her experience at Creighton has qualified her for doing the job at a much larger and research-intensive medical school with a good ranking (7th) for clinical pracice?

I subsequently asked Dr.Sonino to provide an electronic copy of this draft that she provided. It may be downloaded at this link.

The document contains the spaghetti-like flow chart above. It is guaranteed to pull the University of Minnesota medical school deeper into the swamp that is administrative paperwork and waste yet more valuable faculty time. It will also assure that the Associate Dean's position, previously half-time, can be expanded to occupy Dr. Sonnino's full-time attention.

This bomb was dropped on us with no prior warning. It was not provided to us in advance and was only distributed at the meeting as thirteen pages of hardcopy. Dr. Sonino then smilingly asked for input. As if we were supposed to speed-read this rather complex document and give here instant feedback. The meeting concluded with no indication that we would be meeting with her again to have an opportunity to go over it in detail.

We were also informed that it didn't necessarily have to be approved by faculty...

Nice, huh!

From my short visit with her on Friday, I can only conclude that she is not really interested in faculty input and that business as usual continues in the office of the Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs. I have had experience with this office over the years and could not get its present or previous occupant to see that the rules that are CURRENTLY on the books in the medical school are followed. More on that later.

So I will give some input in this venue. Hopefully others can join in the discussion. My first questions are:

Who wrote this document and is responsible for it?

Exactly what faculty input did it have?

Dr. Sonino?

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