May 2023 Dean's Letter

I’m excited to write you as Commencement season is well under way. Weill Cornell Medicine’s graduating Class of 2023, including our 16th graduating class in Qatar, joins a distinguished and growing body of alumni who are advancing medical education, biomedical research, and population health around the world. At the same time, we welcome all our accepted students, who will become our future alumni in years to come.

These milestones take place against the backdrop of our institution’s 125th anniversary, and I believe the caliber and composition of our students prove that our educational philosophy remains as academically rigorous as ever, and our commitment to diversity and inclusion unwavering. 

On April 30, we also marked the 25-year anniversary of our renaming, in deep appreciation for the exemplary leadership of longstanding supporters Joan and Sanford I. Weill. Their generous gift in 1998 ushered in a new era at Weill Cornell Medicine — one that our graduating and matriculating students both benefit from and build upon.

To illustrate the impact of our commitment to care, discover, and teach, I would like to highlight some recent accomplishments.

  • We have crossed the $1 billion milestone for our We’re Changing Medicine campaign – a tremendous achievement in our eight-year, $1.5 billion campaign.  
  • Weill Cornell Medical College’s Class of 2023 celebrated a successful Match Day on March 17, learning where they will be doing their residency training. Of the graduating class’s 102 students, 100 secured matches and 88 matched to top postgraduate residency programs. Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar U.S. Residency Match Day was a success with the Class of 2023 students matching at elite institutions across the U.S.  
  • Of the more than 400 WCM physicians included in the 2023 “Top Doctors” guides reported earlier this year, 64 women were also recognized as Exceptional Women in Medicine and seven physicians as Top Black Doctors. The new distinction is part of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative by Castle Connolly, designed to honor top clinicians and help patients find outstanding doctors who share their backgrounds and experiences.
  • Newsweek recognized WCM’s Ronald O. Perelman and Claudia Cohen Center for Reproductive Medicine as America’s Best Fertility Clinic in 2023, honoring both faculty and staff. The national recognition came as a result of surveys completed by over 3,000 physicians and other fertility medicine professionals. Combined with the results of that survey were key performance indicators and accreditation data to produce the listing of the top 100 fertility clinics in the country.
  • Dr. Tobias Meyer, the Joseph C. Hinsey Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology and Professor of Biochemistry, was elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
  • There were 21 major competitive research awards totaling $56,666,750 received by members of the WCM community between February 1, 2023, and March 31, 2023.
  • Between January 1, and March 31, 2023, Enterprise Innovation reported 23 patentable invention disclosures (not including disclosures related to the tangible materials).
  • The Leadership in Academic Medicine Program (LAMP) celebrated its 10th year at Weill Cornell Medicine. This program has graduated over 350 faculty participants to date, 64% of whom are women and 11% underrepresented in medicine. LAMP graduates were 61% more likely to achieve promotion in academic rank and 77% less likely to leave Weill Cornell Medicine compared to matched controls.
  • Ph.D. recruiting drew 192 total candidates in-person in January and February. 178 candidates were sent acceptance letters across the NYC and Houston Methodist Ph.D. programs in February, with 83 students anticipated on our New York City campus and five at our Houston site for our fall class.
  • WCM hosted its 5th Annual Diversity Week from April 24-28. Dr. Deborah Tannen gave a keynote address titled, “Women and Men at Work: Let’s Talk (and Communicate),” and Dr. Aletha Maybank, Chief Health Equity Officer & Senior Vice President of the American Medical Association, delivered our Elizabeth A. Wilson-Anstey, EdD Lecture.

I encourage you to delve deeper into these stories and reflect on how the unwavering commitment of our physicians, scientists, faculty, staff, and students enables us to change medicine. Thank you for all you to do to make this possible.


Francis Lee, M.D., Ph.D.

Interim Dean, Weill Cornell Medicine
Interim Provost for Medical Affairs, Cornell University