Racial Equity, Civic, and Community Engagement Resources

Racial Equity, Civic, and Community Engagement Resources:

Thank You Dr. Glass for Your Service, Dedication and Humor

As many of you know, Dr. Alan Glass is officially “retiring” this month and moving to Palm Springs, California. Normally, this would be devastating news, but Alan has agreed to continue to work with us long distance at a reduced effort maintaining part-time roles as an Advisory Dean, helping with admissions, and supporting the clinical skills center through the CCX in the COVID era.

Dr. Glass has been a member of the Washington University Community since 2004, when he was named the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Students and Director of the Habif Health and Wellness Center. In this role, he became a nationally recognized expert in the evolving health and educational needs of college students, including substance use and abuse, mental health and LGBTQ health. During his time on the Danforth, he introduced online alcohol education, created the first sexual assault position (now morphed into the RSVP center), and added radiology and full pharmacy services to the Habif Health and Wellness Center, among other accomplishments. His work as a leader on the Danforth led to national recognition of the school’s health and wellness programming.

Despite a full plate developing the clinical care and programming for students on the Danforth campus, Dr. Glass was committed to engaging here on the Medical School Campus- teaching and participating in admissions. He was so effective in these roles, that in 2009, he was named the Clinical Skills Section Leader within the Practice of Medicine Course, and in 2017, he was named the Assistant Dean for Medical Student Admissions. Within Practice of Medicine, he has been highly effective as a teacher, resulting in Distinguished Service Teaching Awards each year in the last 10 years. In his admissions roles, he has actively developed and supported holistic review and the enhanced recruitment of diverse applicants. He has been a critical mentor for the student members of LGBTQ Med and worked with them to enhance recruitment and retention of LGBTQIA applicants.

In 2018, I was fortunate to have Alan come to the Medical School Campus full-time. He has been a godsend as an educational leader. He has taken over as the Medical Director of the Standardized Patient (SP) Program. In this role, he has advanced the training and standardization of the SPs. He has worked with individual course directors to enhance the clinical scenarios and programs within their courses. He has worked with students to develop disability-training curricula. He has enhanced the high stakes examination OSCE (the CCX) and created new remediation processes. In addition, he has worked with me to pilot resident professionalism remediation using SPs and high fidelity simulation. Most recently, Dr. Glass has stepped up to serve as the Advisory Dean for Cori Society. For his many accomplishments, he was inducted into both the Academy of Educators and Gold Humanism Honor Society.

Although Dr. Glass will formally retire this month, I have no doubt he will continue to be an active presence here at Washington University Medical School for years to come, even from afar. Please join me in thanking Dr. Glass for his many, many contributions and wish him all the best in his new endeavors. We will have a formal celebration of his retirement in 2022, as he plans to return to see many of his student mentees graduate.

Thank Dr. McAlister for Your Dedication and Passion

Dr. Rebecca McAlister will be retiring from the University in October, continuing with us as a Professor Emeritus. Dr. McAlister is a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology who has served Washington University for over 30 years with distinction.

She has served as the Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education and Designated Institutional Official since the creation of the WUSOM/BJH/SLCH Consortium in 1997, and was the Program Director in Obstetrics and Gynecology from 1994-2009. Here at Washington University she has led us through multiple institutional site reviews, ensuring our ongoing accreditation and program growth to over 100 accredited training programs. She has mentored and supported countless programs and program directors through challenges and accreditation site visits. She has helped create programs for program director and program coordinator education, ensured implementation of core elements of quality and safety programming and spearheaded the creation of our new GME wellness programs.

Nationally, she has served with the Council on Residency Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology (CREOG) of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Education Committee since 2003, was on Council from 1998-2005, served on multiple committees and initiatives, and chaired the CREOG School for Program Directors and Managers. With the ACGME, she has served as a member of the Residency Review Committee and Milestone Committee for Ob Gyn for multiple years. She has won no less than 14 teaching awards and has represented Washington University SOM as a national speaker with the ACGME, AAMC and Universities across the country.

Throughout her career, she has been a champion of students, residents, and junior faculty and leader in the creation of an equitable and just learning and patient care environment. I am proud to call her a colleague. Please join me is wishing Dr. McAlister all good things as she moves into this next important phase of life.

Eva Aagaard, MD (pronouns: she/her/hers)
Carol B. and Jerome T. Loeb Professor of Medical Education
Senior Associate Dean for Education
Washington University School of Medicine

Call for Gateway Curriculum Facilitators

The Gateway Curriculum is searching for individuals to act as facilitators for several elements of the new curriculum. Selected faculty, fellows and residents will lead a variety of discussions and interactions with students, in collaboration with the module director. Please note you do not need to be a content expert and that some training is required. To learn more about this opportunity, please email Audrey Coolman.

Eva’s Excerpt August 2020

“Differences must be not merely tolerated, but seen as a fund of necessary polarities between which our creativity can spark like a dialectic.” ~ Audre Lorde

In the month of July, some of us engaged in a discussion about polarities. Polarities are often thought of as opposites- things that cannot co-exist or that result in diametrically opposing opinions or beliefs. As a result, polarities frequently result in OR thinking: stability OR change, health OR economy, compassion OR objectivity, confidence OR humility.

However, the poles of a polarity are interdependent- a ying and yang. When we hold strongly to a particular value or polarity, it can be challenging to see the upside of the opposing polarity and the downside of the polarity we identify with. Yet, each end of the polarity has positive results when appropriately attended and negative consequences if overly attended. You can learn more about this by watching this webinar. For both personal growth and to address complex system changes, we can try to move our thinking from OR to AND: stability AND change, health AND economy, compassion AND objectivity, confidence AND humility. By working through the upsides and downsides of each polarity, utilizing something called a Polarity Management Map, we can engage in creative thinking and problem solving to maximize the interdependence and work to achieve the upsides of each.

Those of us working on curriculum renewal have decided to use this framework to explore a specific issue around assessment: equity AND differentiation. As I have discussed before, significant concerns have been raised about racial equity in assessment, both with regard to standardized tests (MCAT, Step exams, Shelf exams) and clinical evaluation. In the OR way of thinking, this results in advocating for either pass/fail grading OR differential grading (A, B, C or honor, high pass, pass, fail). As is undoubtedly transparent, both of these options have upsides when done well and downsides when overemphasized. We began a Polarity Management Mapping Process to elucidate these in more detail. From this, we hope to identify action steps that allow us to maximize the upsides of both.

Led by Dr. Amanda Emke and supported by the myriad of exceptionally gifted educators we have here at Washington University, I am confident that we can develop strategies that mitigate the critical concerns that have been raised about racial equity in grading locally and nationally, while allowing our students to differentiate themselves for their unique skills and attributes. Moreover, it is my belief that this work, combined with the coaching and support programs led by Dr. Nichole Zehnder and supported by Dean Lisa Moscoso, will help us to train truly self-aware, lifelong learners who are able to create a brighter future for medicine, science and society. Like diversity itself, working through polarities to see the beauty of our different perspectives is what allows us to achieve true excellence.


Thank You Dr. Patrick Aguilar and Welcome Dr. Aaron Chamberlain

Dr. Patrick Aguilar has been spearheading the creative new Innovation Pillar for the Explore portion of the Gateway Curriculum. This novel pillar will introduce interested students to the business of medicine, health system improvement, and technology innovation in medicine. Dr. Aguilar has been an inspirational founder of this curriculum, forging partnerships with the Olin School of Business, I2, and the BJC Innovation Lab, among others. He formalized the MD/MBA program and was a huge contributor to the 4-week immersive Explore core curriculum. He leaves us for an innovation position of his own and will be greatly missed.

Dr. Aguilar has handed the reigns of the curriculum to Dr. Aaron Chamberlain. Dr. Chamberlain is an Associate Professor of Orthopedic Surgery who specializes in shoulder and elbow surgery. He has recently completed his MBA and has been instrumental in several health system innovations. He is passionate about education and has been working across Olin and School of Medicine to build relationships and support collaborative educational programs. Please join me in welcoming Dr. Chamberlain to our education team.

Eve Aagaard

Loeb Teaching Fellows announced

Hagemann, Mian, Miller-Thomas awarded fellowships for 2020-22

Thank you Dr. LJ Punch for your Inspiration and Contributions

Dear Colleagues;

It is with very mixed emotions that I tell you that Dr. LJ Punch has decided to step away from their roles here at Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Punch has been a true inspiration to me, our students, our residents and fellows, and I know many of you. Punch is a true champion of trauma informed care, excellence in community outreach, and ending violence. Punch is a gifted physician and a truly exceptional teacher and role model. They have had a remarkable impact on our curriculum and on my thinking surrounding structural racism and anti-racism education. I will be forever grateful for these contributions and will do my best to ensure we strive to achieve Punch’s vision for curriculum and community engagement. The COVID pandemic and racial unrest reinforced for them the work they feel compelled to do- serve our St Louis Community. LJ will be focusing time at “The T”, their anti-violence center on Delmar Blvd, through a variety of expanded initiatives around opiate use disorder and homelessness, continuing work with PrepareSTL, and developing a bullet related injury clinic for those whose lives have been impacted by gun violence. Our loss is very clearly St Louis’ gain and we are all lucky for that.