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School of Medicine discoveries

November 2010 Archives


The day Dick Wenzel turned his infectious disease expertise to writing fiction

Richard P. Wenzel, M.D., has used his career to fight infectious disease, sometimes one patient at a time, and sometimes on a global scale through his textbooks, scientific publications or offering counsel to international health agencies.

Now, he’s turned that expertise to writing fiction. In the medical thriller “Labyrinth of Terror,” a British secret agent, an American epidemiologist and a microbiology professor team up to fight a bioterror attack.

The professor and former chair of the Department of Internal Medicine, Wenzel is also a past-president of the International Society for Infectious Diseases. Writing has always been an important means for him to communicate his views. In addition to his more than 480 scientific publications and six text books, he has authored a book of essays in medicine, “Stalking Microbes.” In 2001, The New England Journal of Medicine named him its first editor-at-large.

Read Style Weekly’s report on his new novel in Love, Terror, Germs: Physician Pens Medical Thriller, or check out Amazon.com for reader reviews.


The day Lenore Buckley’s view was quoted in the NY Times

Internal Medicine’s Lenore Buckley, M.D., was part of an FDA advisory panel that voted in favor of approving what could be the first new drug approved to treat lupus in 50 years.

The New York Times covered the panel’s discussion of the drug, called Benlysta, quoting the professor of internal medicine and pediatrics as saying, “There is a need for a drug even with mild efficacy.”

Read the New York Times story, F.D.A. Panel Backs Drug for Lupus.


The day Base Hospital No. 45 was featured in a new museum exhibit

On Veterans Day, the Valentine Richmond History Center opened a new exhibition, “I Am Well and War is Hell: Richmond During the World Wars.”

Featured in the exhibit is the work of Base Hospital No. 45 and Stuart McGuire, M.D., who served MCV as both dean of the faculty and as chair of surgery.

In its review of the exhibit, Style Weekly’s Dec. 14 issue reports: “Through photos and letters, the exhibit tells the little-told story of Base Hospital No. 45, which was organized by Dr. Stuart McGuire from the Medical College of Virginia and operated from August 1918 to February 1919 in Toul, France. Within earshot of the battle lines, he and 26 fellow doctors and 100 nurses from Richmond attended to some 22,000 sick and wounded.”

Read the Style Weekly review of the exhibition that will be on display through September 2011.


The day Peter Boling was honored by the local Alzheimer’s Association

Peter A. Boling, M.D., was recently recognized by the Alzheimer’s Association with its Advocate of the Year Award for his work on behalf of geriatric patients, including those with Alzheimer’s disease.

Boling leads the VCU House Calls program that provides in-home primary care for home-bound, frail adults. Serving more than 5,000 patients, the program also exposes all VCU medical students to the House Calls approach.

Seeking a national house calls renaissance, Boling has worked with a small group of colleagues and members of U.S. Congress to design and pass the Independence at Home Act of 2009. This law amends the Social Security Act to provide frail high-cost Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions access to in-home, coordinated, primary care through an interdisciplinary team, while lowering Medicare costs. This truly patient-centered medical home model is a demonstration pilot in the Affordable Care Act signed into law in March 2010. His work has drawn national media attention to VCU, including the NBC Nightly News’ “Making a Difference” segment.

“With new technology, including a fully portable electronic health record and portable diagnostic tools,” said Boling, “there is no reason that we cannot deliver care that is truly patient-centered.”

Boling was presented his award on Nov. 9, 2010, at a reception marking National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. The Alzheimer’s Association also honored U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, who currently co-chairs the Congressional Alzheimer’s Taskforce, for his long-standing support of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Boling, who joined the medical school’s faculty after completing his internal medicine residency training on the MCV Campus in 1984, now leads the Division of General Medicine and the VCU Medical Center’s Geriatric Medicine program. He also devotes 30 percent of his time to a team-based clinical practice of several hundred patients, some of whom have seen him for more than a quarter century.

Boling was also honored this year with the MCV Physicians Distinguished Clinician Award. You can read more about his career.


The day Craig Cheifetz was tapped to lead medical school peers working to establish regional campuses

As the medical field faces an anticipated physician shortage, many medical schools have elected to establish regional campuses as a step toward expanding class size.

This group includes VCU’s School of Medicine, which in 2005 established a partnership with Inova Fairfax Hospital. Each year, two dozen third-year and two dozen fourth-year medical students attend the branch campus.

Craig Cheifetz, M.D., assistant dean for medical education, has overseen the development of the VCU School of Medicine Inova Campus since its earliest stages. Now he has been selected as the chair-elect for the Association of American Medical College’s Group on Regional Medical Campuses. The GRMC is the national group that represents regional medical campuses throughout the United States and Canada.

Nationally, Cheifetz has served twice as the program chair for the GRMC. He has served for the past two years on the national steering committee for the GRMC and has represented the group at AAMC leadership conferences for the past several years. Cheifetz also serves as the principal investigator on the National Regional Medical Campus match data project, and he has presented at the AAMC’s national conference several times.

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Updated: 04/29/2016