Wexner Medical Center hiring plan will bring 500 new faculty to Ohio State

University plans to recruit 350 faculty physicians and 150 research scientists

By: Benjamin Johnson

Published on June 11, 2018

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State University College of Medicine announced today a hiring plan that will bring 500 new biomedical sciences faculty to the university over the next five years.

Under the plan, Ohio State will hire 350 clinicians and 150 research scientists. With the recruitment process already in motion, approximately 50 new research faculty are in the pipeline to join the College of Medicine.

“We have experienced tremendous growth in the past few years and are actively planning for significant growth in facilities, services and scholarship as part of the university’s strategic plan,” said Dr. K. Craig Kent, dean of the College of Medicine. “Instead of ‘if you build it, they will come,’ our approach is ‘join us now and help us build for the future.’”

Scientists and clinicians who can drive discovery and high-quality patient care are at the center of Ohio State’s aspiration to become a top-20 U.S. academic medical center. Plans are already in motion to accommodate the faculty increase with the construction of state-of-the-art facilities that promote interdisciplinary research and education from the bench and classroom to the bedside.

University officials say the time is right to embrace sweeping modernization and growth: Demand for patient care and medical education is greater than ever.

The university will recruit a mix of basic scientists and physician-researchers to further strengthen Ohio State’s top-ranked research programs and clinical services. In addition, new expertise will be brought to disciplines undergoing further development, including diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and opioid research.

“We are going to attract the best and brightest to join the outstanding physicians and scientists who lead the nation in fields ranging from regenerative medicine and wound healing to heart failure and spinal cord injury,” Kent said. “We want to rapidly advance Columbus and Ohio State as a hub for research, patient-care and educational innovation.”

Recent surgery recruits demonstrate the exceptional talent Ohio State has attracted to date: New Vascular Surgery Division Chief Dr. Timur Sarac also leads an Aortic Center in which teams work across specialties to repair challenging aortic aneurysms with hybrid open and minimally invasive surgical procedures, and Dr. Heena Santry, a specialist in trauma and critical care, is a pioneer among surgeons for her studies of psychosocial factors that influence outcomes for patients undergoing emergency surgery.

At a recent Wexner Medical Center Board meeting, Kent showcased four recent basic-science recruits – early-career researchers Leah Pyter and Kristin Stanford and mid-career scientists Lang Li and Doug Lewandowski, all with higher-than-average federal funding – as new faculty who “exemplify the talent and the quality that we can attract to our institution.”

Kent also notes that it takes talent to tap talent, highlighting leaders who make Ohio State an irresistible draw for those pursuing academic medical careers. Among those he has boasted about to the board are Surgery Chair Timothy Pawlik, Radiation Oncology Chair Arnab Chakravarti and Physiology Chair and Vice Dean for Research Peter Mohler, all of whom have been “magnets for talent.”

On the education side, these new faculty will also be instrumental to planned changes in health-sciences training that will emphasize working across disciplines from the first day students are on campus. Kent described a two-part approach under which students will take foundational courses together in the classroom and then join practitioner teams working together in clinical settings.

“I look forward to Ohio State being one of the national leaders in this regard,” he said.

The hiring plan coincides with development of a medical campus in which all building projects integrate and support each other. Key elements are a new hospital and ambulatory center that will enhance a unified Wexner Medical Center complex providing cutting-edge research and world-class patient care.

According to David McQuaid, CEO of the health system, who has partnered with Kent to advance the clinical and academic missions, “The hospital tower is expected to be the largest single facilities project ever undertaken at Ohio State, with a projected 840 beds in private-room settings replacing and expanding on 440 beds in Rhodes and Doan Hall. The ambulatory center on West Campus will provide such services as outpatient surgery, urgent care, diagnostic imaging and interventional radiology.”

Also in the framework plan: an interdisciplinary research facility with innovative and modern environments to serve multiple disciplines and an interdisciplinary health sciences center featuring upgraded and flexible facilities to create a collaborative campus for education throughout the health sciences.

“At a time when many academic medical centers are struggling to attract patients, the Wexner Medical Center is recruiting, building and continuing to grow,” Kent said. “We have a grand adventure in front of us.”

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Benjamin Johnson
614-292-9681 | Email

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