The Annual Thomas S. Inui Lecture Returns
On opening a new medical school during a pandemic: insights from a founding faculty member
In July 2020, the Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine (KPSOM) opened its doors with an ambitious mission, clear vision, and 50 eager students—all of whom, in the midst of the global pandemic, sat in carefully measured, socially-distanced desks. On May 8, 2023, former DPM faculty member Maureen T. Connelly, MD, MPH, now Senior Associate Dean for Academic and Community Affairs at KPSOM, returned to Boston to tell us all about it.
As the 2023 Thomas S. Inui Lecture guest speaker, Dr. Connelly’s return to the Institute was a long-awaited event. Originally slated to headline the 2020 lecture, her talk was postponed due to the pandemic. In the meantime, KPSOM welcomed its first class of students, determined to forge ahead despite the challenges COVID-19, an unprecedented time of racial reckoning, and an uncertain economy posed. As an inaugural member of the school’s leadership team, Dr. Connelly had a front-row seat from the beginning, with the benefit of three years’ hindsight to share with lecture attendees.
She noted that, with its strong foundation of an established, nationwide healthcare delivery system, a drive to share its philosophy of care beginning at the medical student level, and a commitment to equity, inclusion, and diversity, Kaiser Permanente stood poised to take on the many challenges facing modern medical education. It did so by taking a distinctive approach to determining who gets access to a quality medical education, what that experience looks like, and what the outcomes should be. She detailed this funnel in an insightful account of how Kaiser built its medical school from the ground up (literally – including a state-of-the-art facility. Tour it virtually here).
What lies ahead for KPSOM? Only time will tell where their graduating physicians will land, how they will impact the populations they serve, and the leaders they will become. Until then, according to Dr. Connelly, the school aims to continue to address the challenges facing medical education through holistic admissions and innovative curriculum, exposure to multiple health systems, service learning, elevation of health systems, and sharing their lessons learned for the benefit of other medical education professionals and programs.
The genesis of the Department of Population Medicine: our founder’s perspective
2022 marked the 30th anniversary of the Department of Population Medicine, known at its founding as the Department of Ambulatory Care and Prevention. At this year’s Inui Lecture,
Thomas S. Inui, DPM’s founder and lecture namesake, agreed to take us back to the beginning—including how his career path drew him to founding a research institution embedded in a health plan. It was a helpful reminder to seasoned faculty and staff, and an insightful new lesson for those who joined since our 25th anniversary celebration in 2017.
Thank you to everyone who was able to attend the lecture in person! If you were unable to attend live, you can view the recording* below.
Stay tuned for information on the 2024 Thomas S. Inui Lecture!
*Please note: due to the A/V set up of the lecture venue, there is only video of the presenters’ slides matched with audio. Approximate timestamps: Maureen Connelly’s presentation – 7:49; Thomas Inui’s presentation: 74:40.