Sixty-four million. That’s how many people have been affected by past, present and future doctors at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. Nov. 17, 2017 marked the school's 50th anniversary of serving Tucson.
“We’ve fulfilled our mission to enhance care and research,” said Dr. Charles Cairns, dean of the UA College of Medicine. “The results of the past 50 years have been remarkable.”
This entire week the College of Medicine has been celebrating its anniversary with Founders Week, a lecture series established in 1979 to commemorate the founding of the college and to recognize and honor the UA College of Medicine faculty for their scientific accomplishments.
Today, the UA College of Medicine has expanded beyond the borders of Tucson, with two campuses, numerous centers and thriving research programs.
Friday marked the actual 50th anniversary of the college's founding to the day. It featured Dr. Gordon Ewy, one of the school’s founding members. Ewy shared his memories of the past and his hopes for the future.
“I can hope, and look forward to, the continued growth and expansion of this school,” Ewy said. “When you ask people what Tucson is known for, they’ll tell you Raytheon and the College of Medicine.”
During his speech, Ewy reminisced about his time as the director of the Sarver Heart Center.
“My obligations would include raising money not only for a Heart Center Building, but also for endowments to support faculty. I said that I can’t ask people for money,” Ewy said.
When Ewy retired at the age of 80, he held the record for the longest serving Chief of Cardiology of a medical school in the United States.
Still, it was not the school, faculty or the students that Ewy cited as the most important part of the College of Medicine.
“It’s the centers: cancer, heart etc… They are the jewels and crowns of this college,” he said.
For his part, Cairns said the College of Medicine hopes to keep growing and succeeding.
“We will take advantage of the future,” Cairns said. “We just received a 20 percent increase in research funding from the Federal government.”
The UA College of Medicine already has a major impact in Arizona. The numbers provided by Cairns show it.
“We have provided over 4,000 doctors,” said Cairns. “If each doctor sees 4,000 people in their career, that’s 16,000,000 people directly impacted by them, then there’s the immediate family of those people that brings the number up to well over 64,000,000 impacted by our school. We hope for that number to keep growing.”
With all the past success, the UA College of Medicine staff and directors hope for the impact to continue.
“We can be a world leader,” said Cairns.
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