Full Week of Events Signals His Values and Priorities for UMSOM and His Commitment to Taking on Our Greatest Global Health Challenges
It was 7:15 am on Monday, August 1, when UMSOM Dean Mark T. Gladwin, MD, sprinted into his office on his first day as the 31st Dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM).
By 8 am, sporting a suit and tie along with his signature Johnston & Murphy Amherst Knit-U Tennis Shoes, he was already addressing the new 1st year MD students of the Class of 2026 in the Atrium in MSTF.
By 8:30 am, he had hopped over to Taylor Lecture Hall in Bressler to speak to the 2nd year MD students.
By 10 am, he was on a flight to Atlanta, where he delivered an address at the annual convention of the National Medical Association, the largest and oldest national organization representing African American physicians and medically underserved populations in the U.S.
That was followed by dinner with the alumni from the UM Medical Alumni Association (MAA), including Walker Robinson, MD current president of the MAA.
As the week went on, he had met with:
- Dozens of UMSOM faculty and administrative leaders
- UMSOM’s top donors and alumni
- Recently-Appointed FDA Commissioner Robert Califf, MD
- Baltimore venture capitalist, entrepreneur, and UMB Distinguished Scholar Luke Cooper
- Leaders of UMMS and UMMC
- Dean’s Research Advisory Committee Members
- UMSOM Board of Visitors Members
- Members of the 3rd year students, the UMSOM MD Class of 2025.
And then there was still Friday, another full schedule that included the UMSOM’s 26th Annual White Coat Ceremony, a major celebration at the Hippodrome Theatre with an audience of more than 700 (in person and online), including all of the first-year students and their families.
“One of my greatest passions is working in an academic environment, where every day is unique,” Dean Gladwin said. “There is an opportunity here to meet with such a diverse range of leaders, influencers, faculty, students, staff, and alumni. I couldn’t be more excited to start every day!”
In each meeting, Dean Gladwin is hoping to listen and learn, and discuss his values and priorities as the new UMSOM Dean, described in his first day message to the UMSOM community (click here).
At the White Coat Ceremony, he spoke to parents and students informally beforehand, and then delivered a compelling message in his remarks, emphasizing that, “the work we do here matters.”
Dr. Gladwin described how the Class of 2026 will face a dizzying array of “generational challenges,” including emerging pathogens, climate medicine, aging, obesity and diabetes, addiction, rise of big data, and post-pandemic disruptions such as economic challenges, gun violence, and mental health issues.
“To me, the white coat symbolizes a calling,” he said to the students. “A calling is more than a job; it is a sacred embrace of service, optimism, and humanism. We will feel and experience and do everything we can to make that positive dent in the universe. Embarking on a career in medicine can allow a person to fully engage humanity in the most ennobling ways -- drawing on the humanities, sciences, and even business. Donning your white coat symbolically indicates your entrance into a sacred and ancient fraternity that will mark the rest of your lives in a way that no other occupation can."