Announcing Two New Departments in the School of Medicine

June 11, 2015

Dear Colleagues,

I am very pleased to announce that on June 10 the Stanford University Board of Trustees approved two new departments within the School of Medicine: Biomedical Data Science and Emergency Medicine—our newest department additions since the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery was established in 2003.

The process of exploring and recommending to the board the formation of these new departments was a collaborative one that involved input from diverse faculty and stakeholders, as well as feedback and counsel from our peers and national leaders. The result is strong buy-in and enthusiasm from our community and a shared belief that establishing these new departments will best position Stanford for continued growth, leadership and success.

New Department of Biomedical Data Science

Leadership in data science is a foundational element of Stanford Medicine’s vision to be at the forefront of the biomedical revolution in Precision Health. We are already the world leader in innovation methodology in biostatistics and bioinformatics, and bringing together these two synergistic areas allows us to approach data and information in a whole new way—creating this new discipline of biomedical data science (BDS).

Over this summer, we will begin a strategic planning process with the goal of establishing the BDS department in the fall. Scientific leadership, faculty development and training new leaders in biomedical data science will be the focus of the new BDS department. In the spirit of true multidisciplinary collaboration for which Stanford is known, BDS will also partner with other schools throughout the University, such as Engineering and Humanities and Sciences, to continue existing work on big data initiatives.

New Department of Emergency Medicine

As many of you are aware, Emergency Medicine (EM) has been a division under the Department of Surgery. EM is a growing and tremendously important part of the care lifecycle, acting as a major entry point to inpatient care at our hospitals and providing critical acute care to our surrounding communities.

Bringing EM to full department status allows us to recruit and retain world-class faculty, enhance our ability to teach the next generation of EM physicians, and expand research and clinical programs that will bring exceptional emergency care to our patients. As of 2014, approximately 85 percent of academic EM programs carried department status, including nearly all those of the same caliber of Stanford (Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Yale, UCSF and many others). In fact, the School of Medicine is the last medical school in California without an academic EM department. As a department, our EM program will be able to raise its profile in research, teaching and clinical care to new levels of excellence that are competitive with or exceed those of our peers.

As Stanford Health Care offers the only Level 1 Trauma Center between San Francisco and San Jose, our EM program will allow us to meet growing patient needs. When it opens, the new Marc and Laura Andreessen Emergency Department (ED), part of the new hospital, will have three times more space than the current ED, raising the bed total from 50 to 70. As a department, EM can grow the number of clinically active faculty in anticipation of greater capacity at the new hospital and increase the number of clinical visits, which is especially important, as the number of ED patient visits is expected to rise at a rate of 6 to 9 percent per year.

With the addition of these two new departments, we have the opportunity not only to expand our influence and leadership within the biomedical data science and emergency medicine disciplines, but also to strengthen the infrastructure of our research, teaching and clinical care enterprise. I am grateful to the Board of Trustees for their support and vision, and I look forward to welcoming BDS and EM as new members of our basic and clinical sciences families this fall.


Lloyd Minor

Carl and Elizabeth Naumann Dean of the Stanford University School of Medicine
Professor of Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery
Professor of Bioengineering and of Neurobiology, by courtesy