A Letter from the Dean

A New Year always holds the promise of new beginnings and opportunities. The Geisel School of Medicine finished 2021 on multiple high notes and we are now building on those for a brighter future in 2022 and beyond.

This fall Geisel received full reaccreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), which is responsible for accrediting medical schools in the U.S. and Canada. The reaccreditation is a testament to the strength of our education programs, and the incredible work of our faculty, staff, and students. While there are many strengths in Geisel’s MD program, the LCME report identified opportunities for improvement and work in those areas of focus continues. Workgroups consisting of faculty, staff, and students are also convening in January and February of this year to review and make recommendations to update the ongoing action plans in these focus areas.

In October, the medical school embarked on a comprehensive strategic planning process to shape the future of our school. Our most recent strategic plan was developed at a time when we needed to take purposeful steps to address a financial challenge faced by the school. Many of the goals articulated in that plan have been accomplished, and now that we have built a strong financial foundation, it is time to cast our view forward with a plan for building on areas of excellence and identifying areas of growth.

There were new faces and leadership at Geisel last year as well, including Sonia Chimienti, MD, our new senior associate dean for medical education, Erika Brown, PhD, our new dean for faculty affairs, and Elizabeth Wilson, MD, who has been named the chair of the Department of Community and Family Medicine. Earlier last year, Barbara Jobst, MD, was named chair of Neurology, and Amber Barnato, MD, MPH, MS, was appointed the new director of The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. We also welcomed William “Nick” Ryan to the role of chief of staff for the Dean’s Office.

Last year a new Integrative Neuroscience at Dartmouth graduate program spanning the Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies, Dartmouth’s Arts and Sciences programs, Geisel, and Dartmouth-Hitchcock was established. The program is featured in this issue of Dartmouth Medicine.

You will also learn about the work of alumni and faculty committed to improving population health and reducing disparities in healthcare through both volunteerism and in creating sustainable health systems, the value of basic science research made possible by seed funding provided by Geisel’s Munck-Pfefferkorn grants, and how an endowed professorship helps fund ongoing research and the next generation of cystic fibrosis research scientists.

While there are certainly challenges ahead for Geisel, and world in general, with our amazing faculty, staff, and students, as well as a dedicated and supportive alumni community, I believe 2022 holds significant promise and opportunity for our school.

Duane Compton, PhD
Dean, Geisel School of Medicine