Note from Stan: Welcome to the Fall Semester

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students of the School of Medicine,

The university is kicking off the fall semester by sponsoring Innovation Week, a week-long series of lectures, workshops and events highlighting innovation at Case Western Reserve—what an exciting way to start the fall semester. 

Of course, much of what we in the School of Medicine will showcase during Innovation Week will be focused on complex, never thought of before, challenging and highly experimental topics with the potential for incredible impact. These are innovative concepts years in the making. Innovation might seem like extra credit for some, but for the School of Medicine, innovation is an expected component of what we do and what we think of each day.

To keep up, we need to innovate with a purpose and with a strong point of motivation.

I like to use the term “discovery with an attitude.”

Whatever your vantage point—a first-year undergraduate student, a graduate student in a Master’s or PhD program, a new or returning MD, PA or MSA student or a faculty or staff member—think of the fall semester as your starting point for innovation.

As a student just learning material for the first time, think of a way to innovatively use what you’ve just learned.

As a staff member who has been using the same methodologies for years, think of a way to innovate—to be more efficient and productive. Your contributions are essential to our pursuit of innovation.

As an educator, think of ways to innovate the curriculum, keep it at the cutting edge, provide new insights, and incorporate the most recent knowledge and insights into the basics you are explaining.

And most importantly, for our graduate students and investigative scientists, think outside the box as much as you can, and you will accomplish a whole lot more. 

Remind yourself to mirror the School of Medicine’s pursuit of championing equity and inclusive scholarship.

Let me explain the concept of equity and inclusive scholarship in some detail. We have heard a lot about diversity—some of us simply use it as initials (DEIE). However, I would like to switch our focus in the academic sphere to equity and inclusive scholarship.  

We need better attention toward a range of expertise, perspectives, backgrounds and approaches to solving and asking significant scientific questions—if we are to solve the unsolvable and gain insight into medical disorders and diseases yet to be solved and understood. We have far too few effective treatments and many more diseases and disorders that need a better understanding of pathways and efforts to develop treatments. I look forward to seeing our medical texts re-written with our future innovations gained by embracing an academic culture of equity and inclusive scholarship.

As the fall semester begins, I would like to dedicate it to innovation, equity and inclusive scholarship. Please send me an email on how you incorporate these into your research, learning and work.

Have a good semester.    


Stan Gerson, MD

Dean and Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs

School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University