Meeting with your Dean, Chair Mentor Program, COVID Vaccine in Perspective…

The Voice of Academic Neurology's Leaders


The AUPN Leadership Minute has quickly become one of our most popular new offerings. This brief audiovisual segment is designed to give you rapid fire advice in under three minutes relevant to your daily life as a Chair of Neurology.  This month’s episode provides tips on how to meet with your Dean and is presented by Dr. Robin Brey, Chair of Neurology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and Past President of the AUPN. Previous episodes of the Leadership Minute can be accessed on the AUPN homepage under the Chair’s Resources drop down menu. 

We had an outstanding response to our call for mentors to participate in our AUPN Chair Mentor Program.  This program is designed to provide guidance for newer Chairs from more senior Chairs.  Although the program is especially helpful for brand new Chairs assuming their posts for the very first time, those who have already been Chairs for 2 to 3 years also report great benefit from the advice provided by, and relationships built with senior Chairs.  The program remains open and we recommend all junior chairs consider participating.  We recommend a collaboration of up to three years, with calls/meetings monthly to every other month, though these are guidelines only and the parameters are set by you and your mentor.  If you are interested in being mentored, please complete the below survey under Resource Links to assist us in matching you to the best possible mentor.  If you have any questions, please contact the AUPN Executive Office at

As I am sure you all know, this past week marked the FDA’s approval of the first of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech), with the approval of the second vaccine (Moderna) likely to follow by the time you see this newsletter.  This is truly the beginning of end of the COVID-19 pandemic, though we will experience much more illness and death before herd immunity is at last achieved.  In the flood of news focused on contracts, supply chains, availability, distribution and qualification for this first round of doses, the magnitude of the scientific achievement this represents has been pushed to the background, but it is important to take moment to reflect on what has been accomplished If you had assembled a panel of the best virologists in the country 12 months ago and told them that we were about to enter a viral pandemic that would cause more deaths in the U.S. than World War I and the Korean and Vietnam conflicts combined, they would not have been surprised and would have reminded you they had been warning about such an inevitable pandemic for years.  If you then had told them that we would develop not one, but two vaccines and also prove a 95% efficacy against the virus and an apparently stellar safety profile in clinical trials in less than 12 months total (and all this against a coronavirus, a family of viruses which has proven very challenging to immunize against over the years), they would have said you were suggesting the impossible.  However, as has happened throughout history, when humankind bands together and directs its collective intellectual and monetary resources towards solving a problem, miraculous things can happen.  It is hard to think of another scientific accomplishment of this magnitude which has been achieved in so short a time.  The Apollo lunar landing comes to mind, but that was a decade in the making.  It is vitally important not only to salute the physicians, nurses and front-line workers who have saved so many lives during this terrible time (sometimes while sacrificing their own), but also to thank the academic medical community as a whole and our partners in pharma.  Many of us in academic neurology have dedicated our careers to vanquishing the most terrible of neurological disease using the tools of scientific discovery, translational and clinical research, and we can take an even greater pride in being a part of that community now because of the accomplishments of our colleagues in immunology and infectious disease.  The world now understands, in ways it could not before, the great value that medical research brings. 

As we enter the holiday season, we have much to reflect on, but also much to be grateful for.  I wish you all a safe holiday and a happier New Year.  

Clifton L. Gooch, MD
AUPN President

Today’s Resource Links

AUPN Mentee Matching Form

AUPN’s Leadership Minute #4: How to Meet with Your Dean

Renew your AUPN Membership for 2021
Go to and click on Pay Dues at the top of the page. Log into your account. If you have forgotten your username, please email If you have forgotten your password, please reset it. Do not create a new profile.  Follow the directions to pay dues.  If you wish to pay with a check, simply print a copy of the invoice and return by mail. AUPN does not accept ACH payments. Access our 2020 W-9

AUPN Fall Chairs Session Videos
How to Get More Medical Students to Choose Neurology as a Career
How to Foster the Development of Junior Faculty
Managing Up and Down: Getting What You Need from Your Faculty and Your Dean

Upcoming AUPN Virtual Winter Programs (Free for AUPN Members)
These programs will be held on consecutive Friday afternoons at 3 PM EST from Jan to Feb 2021.  The programs include:  Joint Chair & Program Director’s Forum (Jan 22); Program Director’s Workshop (Jan 29); Clerkship Director’s Workshop (Feb 5); Special Program: Recruiting Academic Neurology Faculty (Feb 12). Register:

Open Neurology Leadership Positions:

Case Western Reserve University SOM: Professor & Chair - Dept. of Neurology
University of Washington: Professor & Chair - Department of Neurology
University of Pittsburgh: Professor & Chair - Department of Neurology

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