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Department of Internal Medicine
Department of Internal Medicine, University of Kansas Hospital in background

Overview and Vision of the Department of Internal Medicine

Amy O'Brien-Ladner
Amy O’Brien-Ladner, MD
Acting Chair
Department of Internal Medicine


Welcome to the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center.  Our department strives to achieve excellence in its three-fold mission of teaching, research and patient care.  We provide outstanding clinical service to our patients in the community, exceptional medical education for medical students, residents, and other health professionals, and are committed to innovative research to expand the frontiers of biomedical knowledge.

In order to accomplish this lofty mission, we focus on five major goals.

  1. Save the patient.
  2. Do the right thing.
  3. Ask questions, seek answers.
  4. Be the bridge.
  5. Those who laugh, last.

Ultimately, we all work in medicine, whether through patient care, education, or research to help save our patients.  It is, at once, both our calling and our greatest challenge.

In caring for our patients and in pursuing research and teaching, we must act in a way that conveys our spirit of cooperation and our dedication to reason.  We must do the right thing to serve as an example to our colleagues around us and especially to our patients and to our learners.

Separating ourselves from our colleagues who have dedicated themselves to patient care only, in an academic medical center we must constantly be striving to seek answers to questions that are yet unanswered.  Our curiosity helps define this difference and it is our quest to respond to this curiosity that makes academic medicine our career.

In our department, we emphasize that we are here to build bridges and not silos.  Our spirit of collegiality and collaboration as opposed to confrontation is critical to our success.  By building bridges to the various research sciences and institutes in our university and in our community, we make ourselves stronger.

Finally, as I emphasized to the residents and our other learners almost everyday, you have to love what you do and you have to do what you love.  If you do those things, then it makes your job more than a job.  Our department works hard and we are proud of our people and our accomplishments.  And while we work hard, we also have fun.  It is this spirit that helps build a positive environment in which we define success not only in what we accomplish individually but how far we go as a team.

Our department has come a long way over the years.  Our last decade has seen phenomenal growth that has mirrored the clinical excellence of our hospital as it has risen to receive lofty awards for the delivery of patient care, patient satisfaction, its advanced programs in cardiology and cancer, and the dedication of quality has resulted into being recognized by the UHC as one of the top five academic medical centers for patient care in this country.

Our educational programs strive to achieve both innovation and excellence.  This has been reflected in the growth of our residency program over the last eight years from an average of 10 residents a year to over 20.  Our fellowships and our residency program, all in excellent standing with the ACGME, reflect our commitment to excellence.

Our research mission, for the first time in decades, is ripe for growth.  Recently, we have been the beneficiaries of a new affiliation agreement put up between our hospital and the university as well as increased support for our clinical mission which has allowed our clinical engine to stand on its own.  Indeed, as our dean has said, while research and education are most important missions, our clinical engine drives them both.  By fully funding our clinical enterprise from our clinical work, we have unburdened our educational and research endeavors so that they may thrive and grow.

Our university in their endowment has recently stepped up to help fund the research mission in our department.  We are now in a rapid period of growth for research and have assured that each division has excellence in its tripartite mission of patient care, education and research.

I welcome you to explore our department on these Web pages.  I think you will find a compelling and fascinating story of achievement and dedication.  If you ever have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Steven W. Stites, M.D.
Peter T. Bohan Professor and Chair of Internal Medicine

Our Mission

To advance the power of medicine by providing a stimulating, supportive climate where faculty, scientists, trainees and support staff strive for excellence and collaborate freely to achieve shared goals.