Victor Dzau leaves Duke for a major job

February 20, 2014 

Victor Dzau continues to rise, just when it appeared the Duke University Health System chief executive and president’s star was in the heavens around Durham for good. He’ll now be the president of the prestigious Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academies.

The IOM, as it’s known, takes the lead on offering guidance on issues of medicine and health. It is independent but helps provide research and advice to those making health policies that affect this country and the world. When the IOM puts its name on something, presidents listen.

Dzau is obviously well-qualified. He has been chairman of the Department of Medicine at Stanford University and at Harvard. He has been at Duke almost 10 years, overseeing a vast expansion including the Duke Cancer Center, and helped elevate the already-lofty reputation of the university’s medical complex and its medical school.

Born in Shanghai, China, in 1946, Dzau has been a cardiologist and leader in medical research. He has been the face of Duke Medicine, an effective spokesman for the university and an active participant in the Durham and Triangle communities.

That he would take on a new and huge challenge at a time when many as busy as he has been would choose to retire is no surprise to those at Duke who have watched him work – and work and work. He’s a student of the big picture and of details. He keeps himself up to date on developments in his own field of cardiology and on issues pertaining to the ever-evolving nature of medical school education.

Certainly he’s up to the task at IOM, and the choice of Dzau has been widely praised. It’s something Victor Dzau is justifiably accustomed to.

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