David Coleman Announces Plan to Step Down as Chair of Medicine, Physician-in-Chief

David Coleman, MD, has decided to to step down as Chair of the Department of Medicine at BUSM and Physician-in-Chief at Boston Medical Center.  He will remain in these roles while a national search for his successor is conducted.

Coleman came to BUSM/BMC as chair/chief in 2006 after serving as Chief of Medical Service at VA Connecticut for 10 years and Interim Chair of the Department of Medicine at Yale School of Medicine for nearly four years. Coleman also served as Interim President/CEO of the Faculty Practice Plan at BU/BMC.

The Department of Medicine has a remarkably inspiring history. Over the past 15 years, the Department has grown substantially under his leadership. Its clinical programs have doubled in size, and experienced major improvements in inpatient mortality, ambulatory specialty and primary care access, and patient satisfaction. New inpatient specialty teams were established in nephrology, infectious diseases and hematology-oncology.

The Department’s research programs also increased in size and scope during this period. Research funding increased substantially during this period to over $285M of new grants in AY 2019. During the period 2008-18, 70 percent of the Department’s more than 10,300 publications were published in the top quartile of most-cited journals and 5 percent appeared in the top 1 percent.

Several new research instrumentation and education evaluation cores were developed. Five innovative and very successful centers for research and training were established: Center for Regenerative Medicine, Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research, Center for Integrative Transdisciplinary Epidemiology, Center for Implementation and Improvement Science, and the Program in Health Equity in General Internal Medicine.

Nine endowed professorships were established to support and honor outstanding faculty in the Department. The first section of Computational Biomedicine in a Department of Medicine in the U.S. was formed in 2009 and the section of Biomedical Genetics was established as a separate section, as well.

The Department’s educational programs have become much more selective and the performance of residents on in-training and certification exams have risen to the top tier nationally. The Department’s Faculty Development and Diversity programs have become a national model and an important resource for the entire campus community. The percentage of women faculty at the rank of professor has nearly tripled and several women were appointed to Section Chief and Vice Chair positions. The percentage of faculty in the department from under-represented groups increased three-fold from AY 2012-20.

In the early phase of his career, Coleman studied fundamental aspects of macrophage proliferation and activation, and characterized immuno-regulatory signals produced by cells of mesenchymal and endodermal origin. More recently, Coleman’s scholarly work has focused on medical professionalism and program development in research and education. He has received multiple awards from the Yale School of Medicine, Department of Veterans Affairs, American College of Physicians, as well as the Humanitarian Award from Catholic Charities of Connecticut. He has served as President of the Association of Professors of Medicine and on the boards of the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine and American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation. Based on the accomplishments of the Department of Medicine and his national service, Coleman received the 2020 Robert Williams Distinguished Chair of Medicine Award from the Association of Professors of Medicine.

“Please join us in thanking Dr. Coleman for his leadership and his many contributions to our health system, faculty practice, medical school and professional community over his 15 years at BUSM/BMC,” said Karen Antman, MD, BUMC Provost and BUSM Dean and Kate Walsh, BMC President and CEO.