College of

Dean's Update

August 27, 2015

Leadership in Academic Affairs

While challenges are inherent to any change in leadership, they also bring opportunity. I am writing today to provide an update on the college’s leadership transition and the appointment of new leadership roles. As we move into the final development phase of the new “Shared Discovery Curriculum,” the college needs academic leadership of this huge project while continuing to provide excellent educational programs in the legacy curriculum. Over the summer, and before the changes in the Dean’s Office, Academic Affairs posted a new position for an Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education (UME) to lead the effort on the Shared Discovery Curriculum (SDC). The search committee interviewed several excellent candidates, and I am happy to announce the appointment of Dr. Dianne Wagner as the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education. Dr. Wagner will immediately assume responsibility for final development and implementation of the Shared Discovery Curriculum.

While the SDC development and implementation will be led by the Associate Dean for UME, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Peggy Thompson as Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Dr. Thompson’s role will be to provide overall leadership to the preclinical, clinical, and academic support aspects of the legacy curriculum. Parts of the legacy curriculum will continue through the 2018-19 academic year as we complete the transition to the Shared Discovery Curriculum. Drs. Thompson and Wagner will work very closely as we deliver parts of two curricula.

With Dr. Thompson’s transition to Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, we recognized the need for additional leadership to ensure that the Grand Rapids community campus continues to prosper. I am happy to announce Dr. Angie Thompson-Busch has accepted the role of Grand Rapids Community Assistant Dean.

Finally, parts of Academic Affairs will continue to report to me including Student Affairs under Associate Dean Wanda Lipscomb, OMERAD under Director Brian Mavis, Admissions under Assistant Dean Joel Maurer, and Executive Director Carol Parker, as well as the Associate Dean of UME and Interim Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. As a part of this transition, the college will incorporate the functions and team of the College-wide Assessment office into the Shared Discovery Curriculum structure.

Please join me in congratulating Drs. Wagner, Thompson and Thompson-Busch. Below is information about each of these tremendous leaders.

Dr. Thompson is a family medicine physician who has led the Grand Rapid’s campus as Community Associate Dean for 10 years and has been Assistant Dean for Clinical Curriculum for two years. She graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in biochemistry and molecular biology, and subsequently, from the University of Michigan Medical School. Dr. Thompson completed one year of an obstetrics and gynecology residency before training in family practice at the Medical Center Hospital of Vermont. She moved to Grand Rapids in 1990 and was active in teaching both residents and medical students, serving for several years as the lead clerkship director for the family medicine clerkship. She has a long history of innovative medical education, partnerships in inter-professional education, community leadership on numerous boards, and excellent work with students and faculty across the state. Dr. Thompson wrote the college’s successful application to be one of the 10 pilot schools for the AAMC Core Entrustable Professional Activities for Entering Residency program.

Dr. Wagner is a professor of medicine and Fellow of the American College of Physicians who has a long history of teaching awards and excellence in our preclinical, clinical, residency, and assessment programs. She graduated from the University of Illinois Abraham Lincoln School of Medicine and completed her internal medicine residency at Michigan State University. Additionally, she participated in the CHM primary care faculty development fellowship. She has a key leadership role in the AAMC Core Entrustable Professional Activities for Entering Residency pilot, has many years of experience with the NBME, and has led university and college efforts in simulation, interprofessional education, and patient safety. Her most recent role in the college has been as Associate Dean for College-wide Assessment. In addition, Dr. Wagner has been a part of the design process for this curriculum including the first draft as grant project in 2011.

Dr. Thompson-Busch grew up in Grand Rapids. She completed a PhD in pharmacology from the University of Michigan in 1991, an MD from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 1995, and a pediatric residency at Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center in 1998. She returned to Grand Rapids to teach pediatrics to medical students and residents in 2012 and has been working in the Academic General Pediatric Group at Spectrum Health Medical Group and as the pediatric clerkship director for MSU CHM in Grand Rapids since. During her time at Spectrum, she has received the Pediatric Residency Program Outpatient Teacher of the Year Award from GRMEP and an Outstanding Core Faculty Award from MSU CHM. Not only is she passionate about mentoring undergraduate and graduate medical learners, she also dedicates her time to the community of Grand Rapids, the new Shared Discovery Curriculum, lifelong learning, the AAMC Core Entrustable Professional Activities for Entering Residency pilot, and her two teenage sons and husband.

Aron Sousa, MD
Interim Dean