When alumna Patricia Byers, M.D. ’80, attended the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Clinical Congress, she was pleased to mingle with not only her fellow alumni but also Henri R. Ford, M.D., M.H.A., the dean and chief academic officer of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
“It was wonderful to be at this event and see my dean there as such an important part of the organization,” said Dr. Byers. “The Miller School of Medicine has truly arrived on the national scene.”
She was not the only alumna who was pleasantly surprised. Throughout October, Dean Ford traveled to the West Coast to host receptions for alumni at three prestigious conferences in the fields of surgery and pediatrics, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition in Anaheim; the Congress of Neurological Surgeons Annual Meeting in San Francisco; and the ACS clinical congress in San Diego.
“I was delighted and grateful to see an alumni reception for my alma mater,” said Trisha A. Rothenberg Roth, M.D. ’69, who attended the AAP conference. “The event was warm, welcoming, diverse, and inclusive.”
The receptions, dubbed “Cocktails and Conversation,” provided an opportunity for the alumni to be introduced to Dean Ford, who began his tenure at the Miller School four years ago and has continued its drive to national prominence.
During each reception, Dean Ford touted the impressive strides the Miller School has made in recent years, jumping up in rankings to No. 43 on the 2023 U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate School list. The Miller School also remains No. 1 in National Institutes of Health funding among Florida medical schools, with more than $174 million in research grants. The Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Department of Genetics is ranked No. 2 nationwide, and the Miller School is No. 1 in the nation for students graduating with dual degrees.
He added that Bascom Palmer Eye Institute remains the nation’s No. 1-ranked eye hospital for the 21st year, and Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only NCI-designated and nationally ranked cancer center in South Florida.
Dean Ford also shared the benefits of the Miller School’s innovative curriculum, NextGenMD, which provides personalized and interactive learning, accelerated pathways to residency programs, and more dual-degree programs that make students uniquely qualified to lead in today’s health care ecosystem.
“As you can see, your alma mater is clearly on the rise, and I hope you are as proud as I am about what’s happening on our campus,” Dean Ford said.
In addition to meeting Dean Ford, alumni were able to reconnect with old friends, expand their network of fellow Med ’Canes, interact with faculty, and share mutual pride over their alma mater.
“Most of the alumni at the event were meeting Dean Ford for the first time,” said Dr. Byers. “Everybody was very impressed with both him and the direction he is taking the Miller School.”