June 2021 President’s Message

June 2021 President’s Message

Congratulations on medical school’s 50th anniversary

by Stephen J. Grindel, DO —

This year the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita is celebrating 50 years of educating physicians for Kansas. The original concept was a community-based medical school for enhanced clinical instruction and to place more physicians in needed areas of Kansas. The school has not changed this mission in the past five decades.

Several years ago, I met a man at my church who impressed me with his kindness and humility, along with his ability to easily interact with multiple types of people. I learned that he was a retired physician who had practiced urology. I knew him as Cramer, a friend at church. I subsequently learned of Dr. Cramer Reed’s outstanding accomplishments in the field of medicine and, specifically, on being the first dean of KUSM-W.

I joined the KUSM-W family in 1987 as a family medicine resident, and I began teaching medical students along with my fellow physicians in training. After completing residency, I taught on the family medicine teaching panel for residents along with my peers and instructed KUSM-W medical students. I also supervised at the family medicine resident clinic. My mentors and faculty at the residency instilled in me the belief that teaching was merely a part of practicing medicine.

One of Dr. Reed’s first actions as dean was to obtain support from the Medical Society of Sedgwick County. Members in the society became instructors at the new school. Teaching at KUSM-W was a part of being in the Medical Society. The idea of continuing to teach and learn is considered the norm for physicians practicing in Sedgwick County.

KUSM-W not only teaches medical students but also has seminars and programs for practicing physicians. I have been lucky to serve with multiple faculty members from KUSM-W on the family medicine continuing medical education committee. I continue to be amazed at the level of dedication to teaching by the full-time faculty at the school.

A recent issue of KUSM-W’s Embark magazine reported that 1,000 local physicians teach at the school. I know most of these individuals are also members of MSSC, as we continue to support our community-based school.

MSSC wishes to congratulate the school on 50 years of educating physicians in Kansas and looks forward to continuing our service and support.