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James Woolliscroft named dean of the University of Michigan Medical School


ANN ARBOR, MI – James O. Woolliscroft, M.D., has been selected as dean of the University of Michigan Medical School, pending approval by the U-M Board of Regents at its June meeting. The five-year appointment is effective July 1.

“Dr. Woolliscroft’s exceptional leadership during the past 10 months as interim dean clearly demonstrates his ability to build upon the existing excellence of the Medical School and lead it to even greater stature,” says Robert P. Kelch, M.D., executive vice president for medical affairs and CEO of the U-M Health System.

During Woolliscroft’s tenure as interim dean, the Medical School saw the expansion of state-of-the-art scientific and clinical facilities, including the W.K. Kellogg Eye Center project and the Brehm Type I Diabetes Research Center; the rise in NIH funding; an increase in our permanent endowment; and a top-10 rank in U.S. News & World Report magazine, among many other accomplishments.

“The Medical School is a mission driven organization. It is an honor to be chosen to lead our superb faculty as we seek greater understanding of health and disease, educate the next generation of physicians and scientists, and provide the highest quality of clinical care to our patients.” Woolliscroft says.

Since joining the U-M faculty in 1980, Woolliscroft has demonstrated his commitment and leadership acumen, serving in many critical roles. He has been an effective advocate and leader in all areas of the Medical School mission, and his reach has been broad. He is a strong supporter of:

expanding the School’s research and educational reach globally through unique collaborations around the world.
continuous improvement in the curriculum and learning environment to better meet the needs of the School’s medical students.
a resource management system that ensures the School is using assets most effectively, and is a model nationally.
an application for a Clinical and Translational Science Award at the National Institutes of Health, which will accelerate the U-M clinical research enterprise.
Before becoming interim dean in 2006, Woolliscroft served as the executive associate dean of the Medical School since 1999. He is an internationally recognized medical educator and has played major roles in medical student, resident and fellow education at the U-M. He has helped to establish standards for education and accreditation at a national level for medical student and graduate medical education.

His research interests in medical education have resulted in numerous publications, invited presentations and visiting professorships across the United States and internationally. Woolliscroft was selected as the first Josiah Macy Jr. Professor of Medical Education, an endowed professorship awarded through a national competition in 1996. In January 2001, he received a second endowed professorship, the Lyle C. Roll Professor of Medicine, recognizing his work in enhancing the practice of medicine through education. He was chosen as a fellow of the AAMC’s Council of Deans in 2003-2004. In 2004, he received the Society of General Internal Medicine’s Career Achievement in Medical Education Award.

Woolliscroft received his bachelor of science degree in 1972 and his medical degree in 1976 from the University of Minnesota. At Michigan, he completed his Internal Medicine residency in 1979 and served as Chief Resident in 1980. In 1980, he joined the faculty of the Department of Internal Medicine and rose through the academic ranks, being promoted to professor of Internal Medicine in 1993. He has a joint appointment as professor in the Department of Medical Education.

“The future of academic medicine holds both unique challenges and tremendous opportunities. We look forward to Dr. Woolliscroft’s leadership in the coming years,” says Kelch.

Written by: Mary Beth Reilly


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