Dr. Victor Dzau, who serves as president and chief executive of Duke University Health System, has been named as the next president of the Institute of Medicine, which plays a lead role in advising Congress on health matters.
Dzau, whose research was key in the development of modern cardiovascular drugs, also serves as chancellor of health affairs for Duke University and is a professor in the School of Medicine. He will leave his various roles at the university on June 30.
In a staff memo announcing the appointment, Duke University leaders described Dzau as a visionary who has helped transform the field of health care. In his 10 years at Duke, Dzau has been responsible for a number of new initiatives, including the Duke Cancer Institute, and has led a system-wide conversion of clinical information systems into a single, streamlined digital health record for each patient.
Dzau is also credited with having a progressive approach to faculty development and being the driving force behind Duke’s global outreach in the field of medicine. He established the Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School.
“Under Victor’s leadership, Duke Medicine’s reputation as a national and global leader in academic medicine has continued to grow,” the memo stated. “Duke Medicine has consistently ranked among the top academic health centers in the world, and has been recognized for exceptional patient-centered care, cutting edge basic and clinical research, innovative care delivery, and improving community and global health.”
Dzau will join the Institute of Medicine on July 1, succeeding current president Harvey Fineberg.
Established in 1970, the Institute of Medicine is the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences. It is a nonprofit, independent organization that provides scientific analysis and recommendations on health issues.
Dzau said he’s convinced providing affordable health care to every American is not only doable, it will happen.
“We have a goal. We need a good road map to get there, and that’s what the journey is about the next few years,” he said.
Dzau said he was 10 when he first dreamed of being a doctor. His family was fleeing communist China at the time.
His dream came true, and his research has helped millions of people around the world. Now, he lights up at the thought of future discoveries.
“Now, as a physician administrator, you take these life experiences and put them in the right context of trying to help patients. That, I believe, is what people like myself and others should do,” he said.