Internal Medicine

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  • Chairman's Message

    Welcome to the Department of Medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi.

    Dr. William C. Little
    Dr. William C. Little

    I am very pleased to introduce you to our department and institution. I have recently come to the University of Mississippi Medical Center Mississippi after serving 22 years as Chief of Cardiology at Wake Forest School of Medicine.

    I choose to come to UMMC to contribute to our unique mission. We are the only academic medical center in Mississippi and the only provider of many sub-specialty services. We also serve as the “safety net” hospital for the state with some of the greatest health care needs in the nation. As such, we provide care for a large and varied patient population. Unlike many other academic medical centers, we are not focused on shifting “market share,” but instead we are meeting important health care needs and providing an outstanding opportunity for our trainees.

    I am impressed by our faculty’s commitment to the mission of addressing the health care needs of Mississippi, the strong educational program, and the unique potential for research. My decision to come to UMMC was importantly influenced by the opportunity to build on the foundation established by Dr. Rick deShazo and Dr. Shirley Schlessinger.

    The DOM provides more education, more clinical care and will do more research than any other department. Education and research are what distinguish us from the non-academic practice of medicine. We are not only providing health care to meet the needs of Mississippi, we are training the next generation of physicians. UMMC has an important commitment to education and this is the greatest strength of our department. Our goal is to preserve and strengthen this. The most important way to enhance our education mission is by continuing to strengthen our clinical and research programs.

    How we care for patients and the values we put into practice have a profound influence on how our trainees will subsequently practice, think, and behave. Our efforts to enhance quality, service, efficiency and professionalism are even more important here than in a non-academic setting. There are also opportunities to address unmet health needs, particularly where we are the sole provider of service in Mississippi.

    We have the greatest opportunity to enhance UMMC by increasing our research. Personally, I have found research to be extraordinarily rewarding. Involvement in research is important for faculty development and satisfaction, providing the very best patient care, and providing the best education.
    As we look to expand our research, UMMC has important resources. There is great work going on here in Allergy, Endocrine, Nephrology, Geriatrics, the Jackson Heart Study and others to mention only a few. From heart, kidney, bone marrow, and most recently, liver transplantation to the nationally recognized MIND Center (Memory Impairment and Neurodegenerative Dementia Research) and Jackson Heart Study, we are committed to improving patient care and human health. We have a large and diverse patient population that is under represented in most clinical trials. Not only are we addressing the health issues of obesity, diabetes and hypertension that are rampant in Mississippi, we are working to develop better care for these conditions.

    With Dr. John Hall’s outstanding physiology program and the other basic science departments, UMMC has a national reputation and rich history of discovery. To advance our research agenda, we are participating in cutting edge clinical trials, collaborating with our basic science colleagues to translate their discoveries into patient care, and working to provide for the mentoring needs of our faculty and trainees.

    I am honored to serve as Chair of the Department of Medicine and look forward to leading the continued growth in each of our mission areas. I believe the opportunities are abundant. We are fortunate to have the strong support from our leadership and our colleagues in other departments, and I look forward to strengthening these relationships as we all work to achieve the University’s mission of improving the lives of Mississippians through educating our future healthcare professionals, engaging in clinical research, and being at the forefront of providing innovative patient care.

    William C. Little, MD
    Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine