‘To the Level of My Peers’

Michael Welch was a professional musician and dancer until his mid-20s.

“Then I had a pretty gnarly, high-speed biking accident that put me in a wheelchair,” says Welch, who spent two months in a hospital recovering from his injuries.

“I was inspired by the medicine that was happening around me, so I chose to go into medicine,” he says.

And Welch applied to Rush Medical College.

“During the interview process and the application process, I really didn’t bring up my disability, and neither did anybody that was interviewing me,” says Welch, now a student at Rush. “It was great to have that level of respect for my independence.”

After he arrived on campus, Rush helped him get a standing wheelchair that enabled him to participate in cadaver dissection.

“They helped me get the funding for it, and to acquire it,” he says, “and elevated me, quite literally, to the level of my peers to make the curriculum entirely accessible to me.”


Journey Through Medical School: The White Coat

This third installment of a video series chronicling Rush University student Joe Santamaria’s first year of medical school shows him donning the clinician’s uniform in the official white coat ceremony.

“Our goal as we literally put the white coat on them is also figurative,” says Paul Kent, MD, an assistant professor of pediatrics, “for them to wear that and feel this new sense that I need to know this, because if I don’t, someone will get hurt. Not because there’s going to be a test on it.”

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Winter Welcome from the Rush University Provost

By Thomas A. Deutsch, MD

At Rush University, there are a lot of new things happening, and it’s the result of our collaborative efforts across campus to bring these innovations to realization.

The transformation experienced by over 1,800 students registered for the Winter 2010 term at Rush University is impressive:

Campus Transformation

Just a year and a half ago we celebrated the groundbreaking of our new campus buildings and have now already celebrated the opening of the new student and staff parking garage and the new Orthopedic Building. The cornerstone of the Rush Transformation is our new hospital, currently under construction at the corner of Ashland Avenue and Harrison Street.

Scheduled to open in January 2012, this 14-story building will house Rush’s acute and critical care units and surgical, diagnostic and therapeutic services that utilize the most advanced technology available, while also transforming our teaching environment to provide the optimal clinical education for our students.

Web-based Resources Transformation

  • RUConnected, our new online information system for processing information about admissions, financial matters, academics, housing and more is now operational.
  • RUalert, our new notification system to reach students, faculty and staff in minutes with specific voice, text and e-mail messages, is live and is being piloted in Armour Academic Center this fiscal year.
  • RULearning, our new Learning Management System (LMS) for online and web-enhanced courses, launches winter term with Blackboard Learn 9, the newest LMS offered by Blackboard. Online tutorials are available at www.rushu.rush.edu/metc.

A Strategic Plan for Rush University

One of the hallmarks of a well-functioning organization is its ability to articulate its purpose, what it aspires to be and how it is going to get there. The “purpose” is often called its mission, the “aspiration” is usually called its vision, and the “how” is called its strategy.

For the past several years, Rush has had a clear strategic plan for achieving the vision of being recognized as “the Medical Center of Choice in the Chicago area and among the best in the United States.”

For much of the past year, an enlarging group of faculty, staff, and students has been engaged in creating an education strategic plan for Rush University. This has involved several hundred people, and many hours of meetings, brainstorming, organizing and modifications. The plan contains a freshly articulated education vision:

Rush University will use a practitioner-teacher model to develop health care leaders who collaboratively translate and develop knowledge into outstanding health care outcomes.

Thomas A. Deutsch, MD, is provost of Rush University.