It is my pleasure to announce that Dr. Melvin Blanchard, Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Medical Education and Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency Training Program at Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM) is being promoted to Vice Chair for Education in the Department of Medicine. Dr. Blanchard is a distinguished physician educator who has received numerous awards at WUSM based on his outstanding didactic and bedside teaching. He has made enormous contributions here in graduate medical education (GME), training several generations of residents and students during his time as head of the Division of Medical Education and the Internal Medicine Residency Program. Many new initiatives occurred during his leadership including development of the Primary Care Track, the Internal Medicine Practice at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital, the Global Health Program, the Balance in Medicine Program, as well as significant expansion of the Mentors in Medicine and C-STAR programs. Dr. Blanchard has been very active in GME leadership nationally, serving as President of the Association of Program Directors in Medicine (APDIM) and as a longstanding member of the APDIM Council . Dr. Blanchard has also been very active in diversity and inclusion efforts and community service activities at WUSM. In recognition of his activities to reduce health disparities, he received the Humanism Award in Medicine in 2012.
This Vice Chair position is being created to advance and strengthen our department’s commitment to undergraduate, graduate and continuing medical education. In this new role, Dr. Blanchard will oversee and coordinate the department’s broad portfolio of educational and training activities. Dr. Blanchard will work closely with the CME Office, GME office, the Offices of Medical Student Education/ Student Affairs, and the Academy of Medical Educators. He will lead new initiatives to enhance educational scholarship and share best practices among our GME residency and fellowship Program Directors and UME Course and Thread Directors. In order to free up more time for Dr. Blanchard in his new role, a search for a new Division Chief for Medical Education will begin in the next few months. The search for the next division chief will be led by Dr. Eva Aagaard, Senior Associate Dean for Education and the Carol B. and Jerome T. Loeb Professor of Medical Education. Dr. Blanchard will continue to serve as Division Chief of Medical Education until a new division chief is recruited.
As part of our overall efforts to expand and enhance educational programs in the department, Dr. Dominique Cosco will take over for Dr. Blanchard as the interim Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency Program. These changes will take effect March 18. Dr. Cosco, Associate Professor of Medicine, is currently Director of Teacher Development in the Academy of Medical Educators at WUSM. She is also the Program Director of the Primary Care Track in the Division of Medical Education. Dr. Cosco is a nationally recognized medical educator who was recruited to WUSM from Emory University. She received her BA in molecular, cellular and developmental biology from the University of Colorado in Boulder, CO and her Medical Degree from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA. As a faculty member at Emory University for the past 10 years, she served as an Associate Program Director of the Emory University Internal Medicine Residency Program, and she directed the Global Health Distinctions Program. She is widely recognized for her role as Director of the Coaching Program at Emory and as Director of the TEACH (Teaching Educators Across the Continuum of Healthcare) Program in the Society of General Internal Medicine. She has also held significant educational and leadership roles in APDIM. Because of her exceptional skills and expertise she has received a number of honors and awards for her educational contributions and citizenship. Dr. Cosco has already enriched our residency program and we look forward to continued enhancements of our residency program under her leadership.
Please join me in congratulating Drs. Melvin Blanchard and Dominique Cosco on their new roles.
Victoria J. Fraser, MD