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Vineet Chopra, MD, Named Chair of Department of Medicine

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Written by Mark Couch on August 12, 2021

Vineet Chopra, MD, MSc, chief of the Division of Hospital Medicine at the University of Michigan Health System, has been named chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, effective Oct. 18, 2021.

Chopra became Michigan’s inaugural Chief of Hospital Medicine four and a half years ago, leading and building the first new division created in the department in more than 50 years. He is an accomplished physician-scientist and health services researcher focused on patient safety, hospital-acquired complications and the art and science of mentorship.

Chopra joined the University of Michigan School of Medicine in 2008. Prior to that, he completed residency training at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the Bronx Veterans Affairs Medical Center in 2005. He earned his MBBS in 2001 from the Grant Medical College in Mumbai, India.

“Vineet’s career accomplishments demonstrate the value of collaboration in academic medicine,” said CU School of Medicine Dean John J. Reilly, Jr., MD. “He managed a critically important clinical division during the worst pandemic in a century. He has earned an international reputation for his expertise in patient safety, and he has expanded research activity in his division. We look forward to the valuable contributions he will make at CU.”

As chief of the Division of Hospital Medicine in Michigan, he is responsible for overseeing a division that includes more than 130 full time faculty and provides clinical care services in academic and community settings. He also helped launch and refine innovative care delivery programs, including a direct care hospitalist service at the VA Ann Arbor Health Care System, a 40-bed adult short-stay observation unit at University Hospital, and two offsite inpatient programs located in community hospitals.

Chopra is a successful and productive researcher who has been continuously funded since 2012. He has published more than 250 peer-reviewed articles in top-tier journals, including JAMA, Annals of Internal Medicine, British Medical Journal, and the Lancet. Chopra recently was selected to serve as Deputy Editor for the Annals of Internal Medicine, becoming the first hospitalist and the only international graduate to serve in the role since the launch of Annals in 1927.

Chopra’s research is dedicated to improving the safety of hospitalized patients through prevention of hospital-acquired complications. His work focuses on identifying and preventing complications associated with vascular access devices, with a particular emphasis on peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs). Chopra’s research has informed national and international policies and guidelines related to vascular access in hospitalized patients. In a study published this spring in the journal BMJ Quality and Safety, he and his colleagues reported on how the Michigan Appropriateness Guide for Intravenous Catheters (MAGIC), a tool he created, led to reduced complications and improved outcomes for patients in over 50 Michigan hospitals. MAGIC is currently in use in hundreds of U.S. hospitals. 

One of Chopra’s passions is mentorship and he has served as an active mentor to faculty, residents, medical students, and undergraduates who are interested in medical careers. His division oversees the educational activities of trainees in the internal medicine residency program in connection with general medicine hospital wards and other inpatient sites. He also has served as a mentor for physician scientists and oversees two fellowship positions for Hospital Medicine embedded within the National Clinician Scholars Program (formerly the RWJ Scholars program). In recognition of his efforts to mentor and train the next generation of physician scientists, he received the Distinguished Clinical and Translational Research Mentor Award by the Michigan Institute for Clinical Health Research in 2019.

He is the recipient of numerous teaching and research awards including the Kaiser Permanente Award for Clinical Teaching at the University of Michigan School of Medicine, the Jerome W. Conn Award for Outstanding Research in the Department of Medicine, the Society of Hospital Medicine Excellence in Research Award, and the McDevitt Award for Research Excellence. 

Chopra’s father was a diplomat and an ambassador from India to many countries. As a child, Chopra attended elementary school in Paris, middle school in Cairo, and high school in Japan. He speaks seven languages and continues to partner with many universities in countries where he previously lived.

Chopra said he is excited by the opportunity to work with the CU School of Medicine faculty and staff and to continue building strong partnerships with the university’s clinical, research, and community partners.

“As a leader, I focus on service, collaboration, accessibility, and transparency,” said Chopra. “I believe the best leaders are enablers and achieve success by helping those they lead reach their full potential. As an immigrant, I uniquely understand the value that diversity of views, people, ideas, and culture bring to guiding decisions and strategy.

“I also recognize that ideal leaders must not be ‘top down’ but, rather, must lead from within – which is why I am proud to still serve as a rank-and-file hospitalist. I look forward to bringing my unique blend of clinical, scholarly, and mentoring expertise to CU and the Department of Medicine. I am thrilled about the possibilities that are ahead and hope to take the research, programmatic, and clinical standing of the department to new heights.”

Chopra succeeds David Schwartz, MD, who has been department chair since 2011. Schwartz remains on CU School of Medicine faculty as a professor of medicine.

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