For Your Health
For Your Health

News from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences

Paul Olson named Assistant Dean of UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences Northwest Campus in Minot

Dr. Paul D. Olson, a critical care and family physician in Minot, N.D., and clinical assistant professor of emergency medicine at the UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences, has been named assistant dean for the School’s Northwest Campus.

In taking the new position, Olson is assuming the role of Dr. Scott Knutson, who was the School’s assistant dean in Minot for many years.

“I am an avid advocate for the medical community of northwestern North Dakota, and a believer in the need for medical education in our region,” said Olson. “I believe this advocacy encourages doctors to return here to provide care near home. I have always loved teaching and am looking forward to helping our region’s students be successful in their careers.”

A Williston, N.D., native, Olson completed an undergraduate degree at UND in 1983 and earned his M.D. from the University of Iowa College of Medicine in 1987. After completing a residency in family medicine in 1990, at what was then the University of North Dakota Family Practice Center in Bismarck, N.D., Olson has practiced both family and emergency medicine in North Dakota for more than three decades. He is certified by the American Board of Family Practice and licensed in North Dakota and Montana.

As the primary representative of the SMHS and the Office of the Dean in North Dakota’s northwest region, the assistant dean in Minot develops and meets curriculum goals and objectives for the School, provides a resource for volunteer/clinical faculty, recommends physicians for clinical faculty appointments, and serves as a student advocate who organizes third- and fourth-year student clinical rotations in the community.

The assistant dean also functions as a liaison between Northwest Campus students and the SMHS, works with clerkship directors, chairs, and faculty to optimize education on the Northwest Campus, reviews campus electives, and cultivates links between the SMHS and local hospitals/clinics to encourage their participation in the School’s educational mission.

Finally, the assistant dean in Minot helps manage the School’s Minot Integrated Longitudinal Experience (MILE) third-year clerkship program. Through MILE, medical students work with preceptors in each of the region’s many specialties as they follow a panel of patients throughout the year, accompanying them to consultant visits and procedures and following them through hospitalizations.

“We are very pleased that Dr. Olson will provide continuity and continued leadership on our school’s Northwest Campus after the wonderful tenure of Dr. Knutson,” said Joshua Wynne, M.D., dean of the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences and vice president for health affairs at UND. “One of special attractions of the Minot campus to our students is the MILE program, and I know that the program and campus experience are in good hands going forward.”