In my role as professor of pharmacology, and for the past 20 years as assistant dean and associate dean for educational programs, my efforts have been focused on issues related to the McGovern Medical School curriculum, medical student teaching and learning, and faculty educator development. As chairman of the McGovern Medical School’s “Texas Plan” committee, I initiated the introduction of an “Alternate Pathway Program” to assist medical students from disadvantaged backgrounds during their pre-clinical years. In 1994, I recommended and championed the introduction into the curriculum of the then relatively novel educational strategy of Problem-Based Learning (PBL) that resulted in a fundamental change in the way medical students, and subsequently nursing and dental students, are educated at UTHealth.
In addition to my work as associate dean, and continuing involvement with PBL, I am co-Principle Investigator for the NIDDK short-term research training grant that supports the McGovern Medical Student Summer Research Program that I direct. I was also chairman of the McGovern Medical School’s “Vision Committee” that helped promote and develop new educational initiatives, including an Academy of Master Educators (AME) for which I am the founding chair, and a competency-based curriculum. I also serve as the founding Director of the MMS Scholarly Concentrations Program that currently supports >100 and >200 students, respectively.
Regionally, I am an elected charter member of the University of Texas (UT) System Academy of Health Science Educators (AHSE). I am also a founding steering committee member of the Transformations in Medical Education (TIME) initiative, a collaborative partnership between UT System medical and undergraduate schools. For this initiative I serve as the Campus Director for A-PRIME, a TIME partnership of MMS with the undergraduate schools UT-El Paso and UT Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV).
Nationally, I served as the founding chairman of the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET), Division for Pharmacology Education (DPE), and as a charter member of the board of directors of the International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE), for which I still serve as chairman of the Public Affairs Committee. I have also served in leadership roles for the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), including service on the Group on Educational Affairs “Scholarship Project” Committee, the MR5 MCAT Review Committee and, as chairman, the Southern Group on Educational Affairs (SGEA).
I have received awards for my education and teaching activities, including the Master Scholar Award from IAMSE, the MMS Dean’s Teaching Excellence Award (> 20 times), and the Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award (ROTA), the highest honor bestowed upon faculty educators within the UT System. I am also recognized as a UT System Distinguished Teaching Professor.
I have several highly recognized peer-reviewed educational publications, have served as co-editor of the Web-based “Knowledge Objectives in Pharmacology”, and am co-author of a pharmacology review book, “BRS Pharmacology (6th edition)”. I have also served as director of the department’s medical student pharmacology course for more than 20 years.