Filling both an education and medical role, Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center, BU’s primary teaching hospital, have hired Anthony “Tony” Hollenberg as BUSM’s new chair of the Department of Medicine and BMC’s chief of medicine and physician-in-chief. Hollenberg, an endocrinologist who will also be the John Wade Professor at BUSM, will arrive in the fall, replacing David Coleman, who announced his plans in 2021 to step down.
“Clearly the mission of BMC is even greater now, Hollenberg told BU Today, a reference to how Covid-19 impacted society. “We learned during the pandemic that those from under represented populations or with poor access to healthcare experienced greater illness and higher death rates especially during the early phases of the pandemic.”
He described the pandemic as “doing an MRI on our healthcare system” because of how it exposed the inequities in the delivery of healthcare. BMC in tandem with BU’s academic excellence are poised to lead efforts to improve our health care system in Boston and nationwide.”
Hollenberg is currently the chair of the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Department of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine and physician-in-chief at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City. Previously, he was chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism of and vice chair for mentoring at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
A native of Toronto (he confesses he’s a Blue Jays fan but also said he loves the Bruins), and a leading physician-scientist specializing in endocrinology, Hollenberg completed his residency in internal medicine at BIDMC, followed by a clinical and research fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital. His work focuses on thyroid disorders, specifically investigating the physiological and molecular mechanisms by which thyroid hormones regulate metabolism, including body weight.
His lab explored the underpinnings of thyroid gland development; he’s published nearly 100 original studies.
In a joint note, Karen Antman, dean of BUSM and provost of the Medical Campus, and Kate Walsh, BMC president and CEO, wrote of Hollenberg: “Under his leadership, the department will cultivate and attract top talent in academic medicine and research while also fostering and mentoring emerging talent, advancing our core missions and raising BUSM/BMC’s national profile even further.”
Mentoring, Hollenberg said, is an important part of his role he looks forward to. “Medical students are only better these days, he said. “They are more versed in the world we live in and determined to make a greater impact. We need to train them in ways to be extremely good at what they do, and then to impact society.”
When Hollenberg spoke last year at the Weill Cornell Medicine’s annual White Coat Ceremony, he spoke of what it meant to be a doctor in today’s challenging times. “Donning the coat is a privilege, and with it comes great responsibility,” he said. “Indeed, one cannot overstate the significance of the education you are beginning or the career you will be embarking upon. It is a career and profession steeped in tradition but welcoming change based on new science, understanding past mistakes and inequities, and looking for innovation that will challenge and meet unmet medical need.”
Originally posted on BU Today