(Credit: Allen Kramer)
(Credit: Allen Kramer)

Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital Department of Pediatrics first in nation to exceed 1,000 faculty members

Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital Department of Pediatrics first in nation to exceed 1,000 faculty members

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Recently the Department of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital reached a milestone with the hiring of its 1,000th faculty member. Today, more than 1,011 physicians make up that faculty, and while the numbers are impressive, the story behind the numbers is what makes this department truly impressive. The latest milestone is part of a continuation of growth the department has seen over the years, more than doubling in size since 2007.

“Being the first in history means we cover the waterfront,” said Physician-in-Chief Dr. Mark W. Kline. “Texas Children’s forte is taking care of kids with the most complex medical conditions. We have expertise in every conceivable area no matter how complex or serious a child’s illness.”

In the past few years, the organization has added more than 100 new physicians a year across all subspecialties at Texas Children’s Hospital’s Main Campus with a much bigger footprint across the community including Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, health centers, The Center for Children and Women, newborn units across the community that are staffed by Texas Children’s physicians and our latest partnership with Children’s Hospital of San Antonio.

“It’s a great story of our capacity and expertise,” said Kline. “We are less siloed and leave a mark across a broad geographical area.”

Kline said the vast expertise of the department means a capacity to deliver on every area of the Texas Children’s mission including patient care, education, research and service while driving innovation in healthcare. Amongst the goals of the department is educating young doctors who are the future of pediatric health care. Last year 40 new pediatric residents began their careers at Texas Children’s, this year that number has grown to 43 and it’s a program that continues to distinguish itself amongst others in the nation. Not only is it the largest program offered, the program includes a general pediatrics track, a global health track as well as the newest addition for 2015 applicants, the pediatrician-scientist training and development program. The program is intended for those with an interest in becoming a physician-scientist.

“I tell applicants it doesn’t matter where your interests gravitate throughout your residency, we have someone who can mentor you in that area,” said Kline. “This is a program to broaden horizons.”

Having the largest faculty and expertise in every recognized subspecialty gives Kline and other leaders the opportunity to recruit the best and brightest faculty. While leading growth has come easy, managing growth while preserving the cultural values of the institution presents a bigger challenge.

“The way we’ve ensured our culture remains strong is having a mix of new talent along with those who have been engrained in the culture for years,” said Kline. “We are creating that same mix at the leadership level to preserve our culture while continuing our growth.”

Kline recently created a new leadership structure with Dr. Susan Blaney, Dr. Sheldon Kaplan and Dr. Gordon Schutze appointed to new executive vice chair positions allowing the strengthening of the leadership structure with broader representation.

Kline said he doesn’t see a plateau in sight and hopes the growth will continue as the hospital continues its efforts to offer the best care at Texas Children’s Hospital’s Main Campus, expands its services at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus and soon begins its latest venture in The Woodlands.

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