From the Dean: The result of great teaching

We are proud of our post-MD residency training programs that the School sponsors around the state. We have programs in family and internal medicine, surgery, psychiatry, orthopedic surgery, neurology, geriatric medicine (fellowship), transitional, and hematology-oncology (a fellowship due to start next year). Although we have expanded (and are expanding) the number and types of residency training available in-state, most students still go out-of-state for training for a variety of reasons – often for family reasons or to get specialty training that isn’t available in North Dakota. I invariably hear rave reviews from out-of-state residency program directors about the quality of our graduates. A recent example of this is the naming of Dr. Siri Urquhart, a 2018 UND SMHS graduate, with the 2021 “J. Thomas Mangan M.D. Award for Primary Care Clinic” by the Internal Medicine Residency Training Program of the Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education where Dr. Urquhart is a resident. Part of the credit for the outstanding performance of Dr. Urquhart and others is due to the superb preparation that they receive from their clinical preceptors during their medical student clinical rotations. The outstanding teaching contributions of our clinical faculty members are greatly appreciated by our students – and their future patients! Congratulations, Dr. Urquhart, and congratulations to your teachers and mentors!

Spearheaded by Brian Schill, director of our Office of Alumni and Community Relations, and with the support of the UND Division of Marketing & Communications, the School won a gold award from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) in its promotion of the “World’s First Indigenous Health Ph.D. Program.” Now listed on the AAMC website, the promotional material prepared by Brian and the marketing team “included original documents and hyperlinks to materials directly related to the 2020 [media] campaign: news releases, website, recruitment video, house-built advertisements and photography, social media posts, and international media coverage of our first-ever program.” Congratulations to Brian and colleagues for their successful (and award-winning) promotion of this program, and of course special thanks and congratulations to Dr. Warne and his colleagues who imagined, designed, and implemented this first-ever program.

Finally, congratulations to our health sciences and graduate students who will graduate tomorrow. I’ve been (and will be) involved in a variety of pre-graduation celebratory events this week, including meeting (virtually) last night with our Casper, Wyo., contingent of students in our occupational therapy (OT) program and then later tonight (again virtually) with the Grand Forks cohort of OT seniors, along with our Master of Public Health students. The evening will be capped off with a virtual hooding ceremony for the graduating physical therapy students prior to UND commencement tomorrow, when over 200 health sciences and graduate students will receive their degrees. These soon-to-be graduates will join the 75 medical students who graduated last Saturday as the Class of 2021, a class that certainly will be memorable especially in view of the pandemic. For those graduates who will be entering the clinical arena, we are proud of the role the School played in educating these healthcare providers of the future. I know that you will join me in wishing all of them the best, especially given the perseverance they demonstrated to complete their education on time despite the challenges posed by SARS-CoV-2.

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