NYU School of Medicine named in Tulane alumnus’ honor


Courtesy of NYU Langone Health

New York University School of Medicine is being renamed in honor of Dr. Robert Grossman, Dean of NYU School of Medicine.

Deeya Patel, News Editor

At the 2019 Violet Ball hosted in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Dr. Robert Grossman, a Tulane alumnus from the Class of 1969, received the news that the New York University School of Medicine is being renamed in his honor. Grossman has served as the dean of the medical school for 12 years. 

“This is a fitting honor for the leader who has overseen the institution’s tremendous growth, the redevelopment and modernization of its First Avenue campus, and perhaps most notably, was the architect of the shift to free-tuition scholarships for all current and future NYU School of Medicine medical students,” Kate Malenczack, a media relations specialist, said. 

The announcement came as a complete surprise to Grossman. 

“Ken and Elaine Langone were the last speakers,” Grossman said. “And Ken got up there and spoke for about 10 minutes. And then Elaine, his wife, got up there. And frankly, I wasn’t paying much attention. And she says, ‘We’re renaming the NYU School of Medicine,’ and then they put it up on the slide and saw my name up there and I was gobsmacked. It was unimaginable. It was never something I would aspire for or thought about.”

The medical school is being renamed NYU Robert I. Grossman School of Medicine. The decision serves as a testament to the work Grossman, alongside Ken Langone, chair of the Board of Trustees of NYU Langone Health, has accomplished for the medical school, including eliminating tuition and creating a three-year medical school program for students who already have an idea of what field they would like to practice to save them time and money. 

“It’s a great program. The point of it is that a lot of students coming to medical school, number one, know what they want to do, and much more sophisticated, say, when I was an undergraduate. They major in things like neuroscience and biochemistry. And so by being much more sophisticated, we felt that students could actually navigate our curriculum easily in three years. And the fourth year of medical school is by and large superfluous because students spend a lot of time auditioning for residency. So what we did was that when you get accepted into the three-year program, you get accepted into the residency.” 

Grossman attributes a great deal of his shaping as a physician and a leader to his education at Tulane. 

“It was a great experience. To me, it was foundational. It gave me a unique experience going to New Orleans and experiencing the unique environment of Tulane in the 1960s. It was a different place, believe me, but it was an environment of a lot of rigor in education and a lot of fun. I was probably on the rigorous side than on the fun side. I got a fantastic education, which served me very well when I went to Penn Medical School. I really felt the experience at Tulane made me a well-rounded person.”

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