Steven B. Abramson, MD, Appointed Chair of the Department of Medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center

NYU Langone Medical Center is pleased to announce that Steven B. Abramson, MD, senior vice president and vice dean for education, faculty and academic affairs, and professor of medicine and pathology, was appointed permanent chair of the Department of Medicine.

Dr. Abramson’s experience, expertise and reputation as a leader at NYU Langone, in the field of rheumatology, and in medical education are unmatched,” said Robert I. Grossman, MD, dean and CEO at NYU Langone Medical Center. “I know there is no one more suited to lead the Department of Medicine during this critical time, and I look forward to seeing the department reach even greater heights under his direction.

Since being named interim chair in December 2012, Dr. Abramson formed three task forces in the areas of clinical care, research and education to plan for the Department of Medicine’s future. The task forces defined goals and common strategies that will enable the department to reach academic excellence, create growth opportunities for physicians, and develop a unifying vision to become a national leader in academic medicine and translational research. The task forces also recommended establishing three new vice chair positions in the department to aid in its governance, alignment of strategic objectives and program development across the three mission areas of education, research and clinical care. It was Dr. Abramson’s intention to present the new chair with the task forces’ findings. However, that work sparked his interest in leading the department on a permanent basis.

The Department of Medicine has a long and illustrious history, and Dr. Abramson is only the fifth chair to serve since 1938. It comprises twelve divisions and is home to over 1,200 full-time and clinical faculty members, trains hundreds of residents, fellows, post-doctoral fellows and graduate students in all areas of clinical medicine, and plays a vital role in all four years of the medical school curriculum.

The search for a new chair began over one year ago, in January 2012, and the search committee, led by Joseph D. Zuckerman, MD, chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, reviewed the curricula vitae of 75 candidates from around the country. After Dr. Abramson expressed his aspiration to become permanent chair, the committee met with him to review his presentation and CV and unanimously agreed that he is the outstanding choice to oversee the restructuring that is necessary to further strengthen the department’s already stellar reputation.

Dr. Abramson first came to NYU Langone for an internship at Bellevue Hospital in 1974 and later served as chief resident in medicine after completing his medical education at Harvard Medical School. He joined the faculty of the School of Medicine in 1979. Dr. Abramson has extensive experience in both basic science and clinical research in the field of inflammation and arthritis, has published more than 300 papers on these and related topics and was awarded the American College of Rheumatology Distinguished Basic Investigator Award in 2011—a one-time, merit-based award presented to one basic scientist each year in recognition of their research and contributions to the field of rheumatology. Upon taking on this new role, he will step down as director of the Division of Rheumatology, which, under his leadership, rose to number seven in U.S. News & World Report’s annual “Best Hospitals” issue.

Dr. Abramson will continue to serve as vice dean, a role he has filled since 2006, where he guided the major medical education reform that created Curriculum for the 21st Century (C21). The School is now considered a leader in transformative curriculum reform. C21 offers one of the only three-year pathways to a doctor of medicine degree in the country and five new dual master’s degrees, and the development of an 18-month pre-clerkship curriculum and integration of basic and clinical sciences has resulted in a dramatic shift from a passive learning model to an active learning model. Dr. Abramson has assembled a highly talented education team to ensure that C21 will continue to thrive and set a new standard for medical education, and he plans to do the same for the Department of Medicine by attracting new talent and developing leaders from within the institution.