The Johns Hopkins University moved yesterday to plug a gap in its administration, naming anesthesiologist Edward D. Miller to be interim dean of the school of medicine, effective March 1.
Dr. Michael E. Johns, the current dean, said in December that he would leave Hopkins in June to become chancellor of medical affairs at Emory University. The announcement of his departure, along with that of Executive Vice Dean David A. Blake in January, sparked an outcry among some medical professors who were concerned that they would not be ably represented as Johns Hopkins' medical institutions enter the new marketplace of managed health care.
Naming Dr. Miller appears to be an effort to quell that concern, although he said yesterday he was not sure whether he would be a candidate for the job permanently. Dr. Miller and Dr. Johns were colleagues as faculty members at the University of Virginia.
The question the Hopkins medical school faces, Dr. Miller said, is the same faced by academic medical centers across the country: "How do we keep the research and the teaching and the clinical care on the forefront, the cutting edge? That's what this place is all about."
Dr. Miller said that his first effort would be to complete the searches for new chairmen of the departments of obstetrics, pediatrics, pharmacology, radiology, and the Hopkins institute in genetics.
In a statement, Acting University President Daniel Nathans praised Dr. Miller's work. "We used to speak of the ideal Hopkins leader as having triple-threat strengths in research, teaching and patient care," Dr. Nathans said. "Ed Miller adds a fourth strength, administration, to which he brings wisdom, decisiveness and generosity of spirit."
Dr. Miller, Hopkins' chairman of anesthesiology, arrived here from Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York in 1994. A graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the University of Rochester Medical Center, Dr. Miller did his residency at Brigham Hospital in Boston before joining the faculty of the University of Virginia.
Along with the search for a permanent medical dean, the university is still looking for a new president, a new provost, a senior officer for medical affairs and an executive vice dean for medicine.