From the Dean

Susan and I are looking forward to attending tomorrow night’s Recognition and Awards Banquet hosted by the UND SMHS medical student class of 2021. The festivities begin at 5 p.m. at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks. This annual event is held to celebrate hard work, promote professional relationships, and recognize those students who have excelled thus far in their medical school careers. We always enjoy this event, and hope to see you there!

Another upcoming event that I hope you can make is the winter meeting of the Faculty Assembly. Despite the name, staff and students are welcome to attend, as are faculty members. During this meeting I will deliver the State of the School address, in which I will go over the School’s agenda for the coming biennium (July 2019 through June 2021). Like the famous painting “Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?” by French artist Paul Gauguin, I plan to review the school’s trajectory over the past decade, and set the stage for future activities and challenges. The meeting will take place on Wednesday Jan. 30, 2019, from 3 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. in the Charles H. Fee, MD, Auditorium in Grand Forks (SMHS Room E101). For those on other regional campuses or unable to attend in person, the presentation will be live-streamed, and I’ll post my slides after the presentation as well. But I hope to see you there if feasible. And I welcome questions and discussion especially about our strategy going forward. Remember what we tell our students—the only silly or inappropriate question is the one not asked! I know that the budget situation and our discussions with the North Dakota Legislature will be of great interest to most of you, and I’m prepared to review the current status of those discussions.

Lastly, next month will be a busy one for me from the standpoint of LCME activities (Liaison Committee on Medical Education, the organization that accredits North American medical schools). First, I’ll be attending the winter meeting of the LCME where I and other members will adjudicate the accreditation status of various medical schools that have been visited recently by LCME survey teams. And then later in the month, I’ll be chairing a survey team visit to a west coast medical school. I always learn something from these activities that we can apply here at home. And I’m pleased that the LCME is responding to pressure from me and many of my LCME member colleagues to innovate and improve the accreditation process itself. Here’s an example of this responsiveness: the LCME has added a full day to our meeting schedule in February to discuss our strategic plan going forward. One of the strategic changes I and others would like to see is a shift from the current accreditation process of a high-stakes visit once every eight years to a more ongoing review process where attention to accreditation issues is part and parcel of the everyday activities of faculty governance. That’s one of the big issues (among others) that we plan to discuss. It promises to be a fascinating meeting! I’ll keep you posted on significant developments.

Joshua Wynne, MD, MBA, MPH
UND Vice President for Health Affairs
Dean, UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences