As the inaugural chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix, Michael B. Fallon, MD, FACP, has a clean slate and a clear vision.
The Banner Health-UA Health Sciences partnership established the building blocks for the academic medical center in Phoenix. Now, Dr. Fallon is in charge of the next phase: linking clinical programs, medical education and research in a structured, focused way.
He considers the opportunity to join the College, as well as Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix, a great “experiment in the future of academic medicine.”
“In the Department of Medicine, we have to have an excellent set of clinical activities, we have to be very good at medical education — which is already a legacy for this college — and we must develop and expand our research infrastructure,” Dr. Fallon said. “We have to do this by leveraging our vital relationships with clinical and community partners.”
He said College of Medicine – Phoenix students will be an integral part of his experiment in the future of academic medicine.
“We want to engage our students so not only will they be exposed to this new kind of medicine, but they will be a part of it, and they can develop their careers along those lines,” Dr. Fallon said. “We want them to go into a practice thinking, ‘How can we optimize care, reduce costs and collaborate?’ If they see the vision, they will become invested.”
As the former gastroenterology division director and vice chair for clinical research at the University of Texas Health Science Center Houston, Dr. Fallon brings a wealth of academic medicine experience to his new role. He is a gastroenterologist and hepatologist with 26 years of patient care, education, leadership and clinical investigation in internal medicine.
High on his to-do list is recruiting several department chairs at the College of Medicine – Phoenix. Equally important, he said, is to build a vibrant Department of Medicine and do it within the established physician market of Phoenix.
UA Senior Vice President for Health Sciences “Dr. Joe G.N. (Skip) Garcia has set high expectations for the academic development of the Phoenix campus,” Dr. Fallon said. “We have to build and expand integrated clinical and investigative programs to exceed those expectations.”
Dr. Fallon said he hopes to partner with independent physicians and partner institutions to build something “that’s greater than the individual parts.” As chief of medicine at Banner – University Medical Group Phoenix, he is in a unique position to do just that.
Banner is building specialty institutes, which are multi-disciplinary and designed for patients to see physicians who are part of a team. The institutes specialize in an area such as endocrinology, heart, lung, gastroenterology or transplants, but the innovative framework allows physicians in each institute to work together.
“Institutes provide great structure and open the door for unique delivery models,” Dr. Fallon said. “People work in multi-disciplinary teams, not silos.”
Marian Frank | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: 602-827-2022
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