Message from the Chair

Welcome to the Department of Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson. As one of the first six departments established in 1967 with the college’s founding, we have a rich and proud history as the largest, most dynamic department within the college. Our strength lies in the dedication and quality of our faculty, trainees, students, and support staff, who thrive in the vibrant academic, interprofessional, and multicultural environment offered at UArizona.

In recent years, we’ve witnessed rapid technological advancements in medical research and care delivery. The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted significant changes, including greater acceptance of telemedicine and remote monitoring capabilities. Now, we are charting a new course to push the boundaries of progress and distinction in internal medicine.

Our mission is threefold: to achieve excellence in research, teaching, and patient care. These interconnected goals form a mutually reinforcing triad. We conduct research at various levels, from clinical quality control to precision medicine, all with the simultaneous aim of improving patient health and advancing medical education. We are committed to being one of the top internal medicine programs in the nation, with a focus on training future leaders in academic medicine and primary care. Patient care is a privilege and an enormous responsibility. We are committed to providing timely and compassionate care to our patients and, at the same time, aspire to advance medical knowledge and tackle medical issues on a local, national, and global scale.

Collaboration is key to our pursuit of academic excellence and success. We offer support and mentoring to early career investigators, assisting them in obtaining extramural funding and navigating the complexities of research. We prioritize research opportunities for medical students, residents, and fellows, fostering a culture of research in their careers. Our focus is on developing multidisciplinary collaborative teams that bridge the gap between basic science and clinical departments, enabling highly translational studies to address the complexities of modern medicine.

The Department of Medicine provides comprehensive training programs for medical graduates and early-career physicians. We offer two ACGME-accredited residency programs, another residency program recognized by ABPS/ABOIM and 17 fellowship programs. Our newly merged Internal Medicine Residency Program is the largest at the UArizona College of Medicine, training approximately 120 resident physicians each year. Our subspecialty fellowship programs train an additional 80 physicians annually. Our faculty is renowned for their excellence in mentoring and teaching, and we are fully committed to providing individualized mentorship and a robust curriculum to develop future leaders in academic medicine. Our department covers a full range of adult subspecialties, from cardiology to rheumatology, delivering high-quality evidence-based acute and preventative health care. Our evidence-based approach emphasizes resource responsibility and a partnership with patients and their families. We collaborate closely with various healthcare providers in Tucson, including Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, Banner – UMC South, Banner – University Medicine North, the UArizona Cancer Center, Southern Arizona VA Health Care System, and multiple community partners, thereby ensuring culturally sensitive care services across a spectrum of health care settings.

With substantial investments in academic, research, and clinical facilities by the UArizona Health Sciences and our primary clinical partner, Banner Health, we are at the forefront and leading the charge in transforming health care delivery, medical education, and research. Initiatives like the UArizona-Banner All of Us Research Program, creating a one-million-strong precision medicine database, are driving personalized care. Others like Innovations in Healthy Aging expand workforce development in allied health professions for enhanced prospects for Arizonans of all ages. And the college’s Primary Care Provider Scholarship and Commitment to Underserved Peoples programs underscore our pledge to grow alternate pathways into medicine for all. Through interdisciplinary collaboration, we are developing new efforts that bridge the gap to help forge this new paradigm.

I invite you to take a closer look at our Department of Medicine to determine whether it is a place where you would like to learn, do your training or spend your career.

[James K. Liao, MD, FACP, FACC]James K. Liao, MD
The Robert S. and Irene Flinn Endowed Chair in Medicine
Chair, Department of Medicine
Professor, Medicine
Member of the Graduate Faculty
University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson
Banner University Medicine – Tucson