kevinmw5

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Sep 27, 2007
556
0
Texas
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Traber's chaotic tenure at Baylor coming to an end

Medical school's leader will instead hold president emeritus post

[FONT=tahoma, new york, times, serif]Baylor College of Medicine trustees dismissed Peter Traber as president Wednesday after a tumultuous 5½-year tenure that began with the school splitting with longtime partner Methodist Hospital and ended with it struggling to build its own hospital..

Trustees announced after a three-hour meeting that they and Traber agreed he'll step down as president and CEO on Dec. 1. They gave no reason.
"I wouldn't put all the blame on Dr. Traber," Bob Allen, chairman of the trustees, said after the meeting. "The challenges out there are a result of lots of decisions over the past 10 years. I'd blame the board, of which I was one, as much as Dr. Traber."
Highly placed sources previously told the Chronicle that the change was necessary because of seemingly endless turmoil and shaky finances at the private medical college. The school has had significant turnover since the Methodist split and is currently in serious talks with Rice University about a possible merger.
Traber, 53, was not available for comment after the meeting. Under the terms of the deal, he will continue as president emeritus, professor of medicine and consultant to the board.
Baylor will pay Traber roughly $4.5 million to buy out the remainder of his contract, which runs through 2013. Because he is staying on, there is no severance package.
The board named Dr. William Butler, 76, interim president effective Dec. 1 and said it will launch a national search for a permanent replacement at that time. Butler was Baylor's president from 1979 to 1996.
Year of difficulties

Traber's ouster will cap a particularly difficult year at Baylor, one of the city's most esteemed institutions. Over the summer, it lost former presidents Dr. Michael DeBakey, who died of natural causes at 99, and Dr. Ralph Feigin, who died of lung cancer at 70.
The first outsider to head Baylor, Traber came to the college in March 2003 as an agent of change expected to increase the institution's clinical revenue, well behind other top medical schools. Its relationship with Methodist was already rocky when he came.
Traber and top trustees were unable to negotiate a long-term deal with Methodist and, instead, the college partnered with St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital. Some observers said the decision to split with Methodist began a downfall at the college, with revenue dwindling and many doctors leaving.
Although Traber was seen as one of the split's great symbols, it was the board that approved the decision.
Still, some observers said, Traber never truly comprehended the depths of the ties between Baylor and Methodist. One former administrator said that Traber never learned to navigate the tricky "geopolitics" of the Texas Medical Center. A 2005 Texas Monthly article depicted him as not knowing how to play the game, not paying "social calls, bourbon in hand for the big guy ... how you get along in Houston."
It didn't help that the relationship with St. Luke's foundered after just two years. Traber subsequently announced that Baylor would build its own hospital, a plan viewed skeptically by many in the medical center. Others said the project would make Traber a hero if he could pull it off.
The hospital is still on course to open in 2011. But amid the credit crunch, trustees recently had to refinance the debt because the project was overbudget and overleveraged. Its future role is unclear, particularly if Rice and Baylor merge.
Baylor is the only top 20 U.S. medical school without a primary private adult teaching hospital.
Sources say the school's current budget projects an $80 million deficit and that the institution lost $60 million last year.
No miracle workers

In a letter sent to Baylor faculty after Wednesday's board meeting, Butler wrote of the difficult challenges and called on the college to capture its collective wisdom, use resources strategically, invest in programs assuring future preeminence and be more efficient.
"Nobody can accomplish these things by themselves," Butler wrote. "Neither I, nor anyone else at Baylor, is a miracle worker. Problems are solvable if we all participate. It is imperative that we become fiscally responsible"
Following Butler's recommendation, the board Wednesday named Dr. Susan Hamilton senior vice president and dean of research and Dr. Steven Spann senior vice president and dean of clinical affairs.
During Traber's tenure, National Institutes of Health-designated centers in cancer, asthma and diabetes were established at Baylor, the college's U.S. News and World Report ranking rose from 13th to 10th, and its Best Minds Best Medicine fund-raising campaign reached $700 million of its $1 billion goal.
Traber was considered one of academic medicine's rising stars when he came to Baylor.





This was in the Houston Chronicle today.
 

Calf

Eat more chicken!
10+ Year Member
May 30, 2008
317
1
35
St. Louis, MO
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Ugh :(. I really liked Baylor when I interviewed there, but the more I learn about his whole political and financial stuff, the more I'm worried about it. I'm not sure what to think, and if this would affect us as entering med students or not, and if so, how. Some guidance would be appreciated.
 

GoSpursGo

Allons-y!
Staff member
Administrator
10+ Year Member
Sep 30, 2008
32,307
8,298
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
I LOVED Baylor while I was there too :) Honestly, I don't think that this political stuff is going to complicate things too much. By the time we get there, Baylor should have its new hospital up and running (if the 2011 opening date is correct), and Methodist isn't the only hospital in the TMC... I LOVE Children's, Ben Taub, and all the rest too :)
 
About the Ads

TheRealMD

"The Mac Guy"
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
May 24, 2007
4,769
12
Houston, Texas
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Ugh :(. I really liked Baylor when I interviewed there, but the more I learn about his whole political and financial stuff, the more I'm worried about it. I'm not sure what to think, and if this would affect us as entering med students or not, and if so, how. Some guidance would be appreciated.

To think that any school is immune to this economic downturn is crazy. UTMB had to let go 3000 people last week. Who knows about the conditions of other schools.

While other schools may not have as public a change as Baylor is undergoing, I'd like to think it's for the better. In a few years time, everything should be sorted out. Regardless, you're still going to get a great foundation for your medical career for people that decide to come to Baylor. Plus, a merger with Rice University and a potential reunion with Methodist would send us through the roof as a medical school.

From here on out, only good things to come! :)
 

Archdelux

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
Jun 27, 2006
180
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Academic Administration
What exactly are some implications of the Methodist split? I was recently at Cornell and found out that Methodist is now affiliated with Weill Cornell Medical College (as opposed to Baylor). Does this mean that we won't rotate through methodist (which seems to be one of the best all-around hospital in texas) since Cornell students would get first dibs?

Logistically, how has this split affected your experience? Comments from 2.5 - 4th yrs would be great.

Thanks!
 
Last edited:

OncoCaP

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Aug 28, 2006
2,016
3
Houston, Texas
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
What exactly are some implications of the Methodist split? I was recently at Cornell and found out that Methodist is now affiliated with Weill Cornell Medical College (as opposed to Baylor). Does this mean that we won't rotate through methodist (which seems to be one of the best all-around hospital in texas) since Cornell students would get first dibs?

Logistically, how has this split affected your experience? Comments from 2.5 - 4th yrs would be great.

Thanks!

These relationships remind me of Hollywood marriages. As for the kids of the stars, it's really hard to know what these divorces and marriages are supposed to mean at the medical student level. If there is someone at Methodist that I wanted to do a rotation under, I'm confident that I would be able to do that rotation. I've been at Methodist and, when I was an MS1, visited there a couple of days and sewed a few stitches at the end of a procedure. It wasn't like it was worlds better than spending time in the OR at Ben Taub, Texas Childrens or MD Anderson. At this stage of my education I prefer Texas Childrens because the cases are often complicated and the attendings there are friendly and like to teach, which is what I prefer right now (there is more to this; I'm just trying to give you a sense that there are many factors that go into learning medicine and the particular hospital you rotate through is only one of many). As I learn more, I might want to spend more time at a different hospital or clinic. It makes a difference who your attending is, what cases you get to see, and what you actually get to do (and what specialty you are learning at the moment). There are plenty of opportunities around here for anyone who is willing to take a little initiative. From my perspective, the most interesting relationship to watch is what might or might not happen between Rice and BCM. That relationship seems to provide the most interesting possibilities in my mind just because that relationship is already quite strong and has even more upside potential in terms of attracting more research funding that attracts the best academic faculty talent that ultimately determines the quality of the classes you get (most classes are taught by academic physicians). None of these relationship changes alter the fact that BCM students are in the largest medical center in the world and we have dedicated lecturers and attendings who are recognized nationally for what they do and make sure we learn our stuff.
 
Last edited:

zao275

Assistant Professor
10+ Year Member
Sep 3, 2004
486
3
Little Rock, AR
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
I'm a Methodist pathology resident. It is a great hospital. I went to Tulane for med school, which means that I spent almost a whole year at Baylor/UTH after Hurricane Katrina. Baylor seems to be a great medical school, and I certainly can't speak evil of them as they took Tulane in when we were flooded out of New Orleans. As for rotations of Baylor students at Methodist, I am not sure of the official set up, but I do see Baylor students around the hospital. I assume it is allowed but perhaps not the routine scenario? However, I can assure you that I have NEVER seen a Cornell student rotating at Methodist! I'm sure someone from Cornell has done an elective but it's not the norm. So don't worry about that.
 

phoenix0610

Full Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Oct 9, 2007
93
2
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Students still do rotations at Methodist for Neurology, Psychiatry, and to a certain extent the surgery subspecialties (if your attending operates there, so goes you). It's a weird set up that I don't quite understand, but it works. To be perfectly honest with you, you don't get to do as much, and for me that translates into learning as much, working in private hospitals as you do at the public hospitals and the VA. It just worked out that I have done most of my rotations so far at Ben Taub and I definitely feel I'm on my way to being a better clinician because of it. Let's just say you learn to become very self suficient:cool: And as far as all the hooplah with Baylor--it's always like this! We're masters in organized chaos, but things always seem to work out, and the students are never put in the middle of what the big wigs are doing. I don't know how they manage it, but again, it always works out.:D
 

Gut Shot

Full Member
15+ Year Member
Sep 7, 2003
6,526
107
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
To be perfectly honest with you, you don't get to do as much, and for me that translates into learning as much, working in private hospitals as you do at the public hospitals and the VA.

You're not alone. The rich private hospital is where you want to practice, the poor county hospital is where you want to train.
 

GoSpursGo

Allons-y!
Staff member
Administrator
10+ Year Member
Sep 30, 2008
32,307
8,298
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
You're not alone. The rich private hospital is where you want to practice, the poor county hospital is where you want to train.

That's exactly how I feel :) That's why I'm pretty psyched about Ben Taub at Baylor, and also Parkland up at UTSW, because I think you'll get to do so much more there... I guess our labor comes at the right price for these hospitals :D
 
About the Ads
This thread is more than 12 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.