Cincinnati Business Courier: Filak’s own medical practice lends the dean even more credibility

College of Medicine dean discusses his long career in medicine

Andrew Filak Jr., MD, Dean and senior vice president for health affairs at the UC College of Medicine was profiled by the Cincinnati Business Courier. As dean, Filak oversees 3,881 staff members, 1,743 students and a fiscal operating budget of $422 million, as well as hundreds of residents and postdoctoral fellows who serve UC Medical Center, Cincinnati Children’s, the VA and more.

As senior VP for health affairs, he oversees strategic planning for the university’s four health colleges: medicine, nursing, pharmacy and allied health sciences. Filak even maintains a limited medical practice which he told the Business Courier gives him additional credibility. He’s able to share with students how to navigate day-to-day challenges including electronic health records, billing and more.

“Some patients there I’ve been following since I was a resident. There’s joy in getting to know people and being a part of their lives for 20, 30 or 40 years,” he said.

Filak was asked about the biggest changes he's seen during his time at the College of Medicine. 

"Over the past 40 years, I’ve seen tremendous growth in the organization, both in the research we do and the people we bring in from all over the world," he said. "We’re still maybe not as well-known as we should be, even locally. I think people don’t realize how important a medical school is to a community. Having a medical school helps businesses recruit. It helps the image of the city."

When asked about some pandemic moments that would stay with him, Filak mentioned having to furlough people and cut pay, something he hopes he'll never have to do again.

"We’re graduating a class of medical students I feel very comfortable about, but their education was a little different," Filak said. "They had more online learning and a little less clinical for a while. They’ve more than made up for that, but they’ve had to adapt. And that took a lot of work on their part. I’m extremely proud of what everyone in the College of Medicine accomplished through Covid. Now we’re reentering a new world. I think we’re still figuring that out, and how we’re going to deal with this virus long term."

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Lead photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand

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