What were your priorities as interim, and then permanent, dean?

Dr. Clayman: We had significant financial challenges and LCME [Liaison Committee on Medical Education] accreditation challenges. I knew that we’d have much to do to fulfill the LCME requirements so that we were fully compliant. Within three years, thanks to tremendous efforts by our Senior Associate Dean of Education, Dr. Jerry Maguire, Nancy Koehring and the dedicated medical education staff,  we are fully accredited and compliant in all areas.

Also I was fortunate to come on as dean at the same time that a new CEO was hired, Mr. Terry Belmont. Together, we’ve been able to form a very strong partnership through which we have developed a campus-wide strategic plan that focuses on a care-oriented culture while being very supportive of research and education.  Together we have also been able to achieve important financial milestones. Also, in 2009-2010 we opened a new hospital, new medical education building, and new research facility; these three events have transformed our campus.

Isn’t it unusual for a urologist to serve as dean of a medical school?

Dr. Clayman: There is one other urologist dean in the country right now—Roger Hadley, at Loma Linda [California] University who has been dean there for more than a decade.

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It’s a bit unusual, quite honestly, for a surgeon to become a dean. However, I do believe there are certain parts of the surgical mentality that can be of value in this role.  As a group, surgeons tend to want to deal with a given problem in a definitive and expeditious manner; Also, above all else, the cornerstones of surgery are integrity and hard-work. People need to know that they can rely on you to be honest and to be fair, and to work hard in their best interest.

As the dean of the medical school, do you have any more plans for urology specifically?

Dr. Clayman:  When I assumed the role of interim dean, it was essential to me that Urology would be allowed to recruit a new chair from a national pool of applicants.  We were fortunate enough to attract Dr. Jaime Landman from Columbia University [New York] to become the new Chair of Urology.  He joined UC Irvine in January 2011, and has done a superb job.  I am proud to be a member of his department and follow his plans for Urology, as I am still active clinically (albeit only 10% time).

As the dean of the medical school, what are your current priorities?

Dr. Clayman:  One of my top priorities is to hire proactive, renowned and accomplished chairs.  I have been quite fortunate in that endeavor. When I began in March 2009, we had 11 interim chairs – today we have only one interim chair which we are hoping to fill before the year is out.

Our mission is simple: Discover. Teach. Heal. In each of those realms we seek to be among the top 20 academic health centers in the country.  Currently, we are in the top 50 and continuing to advance on the strength of our NIH funding, our unique digital tablet-based curriculum, and our world class patient care.

Of note, we were the first medical school in the world to bring iPads into our classroom as an integral part of our educational process.

The iPad was released in April 2010, and on August 8, 2010, all 104 of our first-year medical students received an iPad fully loaded with their curriculum and with all their books accessible electronically, thanks to a huge effort by Dr. Warren Wiechmann and his staff and to the visionary support of Mr. John Tu. In 2011 and again this year, all of our medical students will become part of our iPad iMedEd Initiative.