It is my distinct pleasure to announce that Dr. Thomas M. De Fer has been appointed the Chief of the Division of General Medicine. Tom has served as the interim Division Chief for General Medicine since September 2019. He is a Professor of Medicine and Associate Dean for Medical Student Education at Washington University School of Medicine.
Tom is a St. Louis native and a distinguished alumnus of the University of Missouri, Columbia where he received his undergraduate and medical degrees, graduating magna cum laude. He did his residency in internal medicine at Jewish Hospital of St. Louis and has been on the faculty at Washington University School of Medicine since 1992. He is a distinguished educator and has played very important roles in running the internal medicine clerkship for many years. He also has additional training from the Stanford Faculty Development Seminars Program in Clinical Teaching, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement – IHI Open School for Health Professionals, the Harvard Macy Institute in leading innovations in healthcare and education, and the 360 Leadership Program through the Granger Network.
Tom also has extensive experience mentoring medical students and residents. He was the Director of the Ambulatory Care Experience for Students (ACES) Program in the Division of Medical Education for more than a decade. He was the Course Director for the Honors Medicine Sub-Internship Clerkship for two decades and the Clerkship Director for the Internal Medicine Clerkship for 20+ years.
Tom has served on a number of important hospital committees, including the Medication Use Safety Working Group of the Drug Usage Evaluation Subcommittee of the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. He chaired the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee at Barnes-Jewish Hospital for many years. He also was the Co-Chair of the BJC HealthCare System Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee. At Washington University School of Medicine, Tom has served on the Housestaff Evaluation Committee, Housestaff Selection Committee, Clinical Curriculum Committee and serves on the Committee on Oversight of Medical Student Education. He also serves an important role on the Carol B. and Jerome T. Loeb Teaching Fellows Selection Committee and serves on the Membership Committee of the Academy of Educators and the OUTmed Advisory Board. Tom also serves on the Preclinical Curriculum Committee. He has been a reviewer for the Medicine Subject Exam for the National Board of Medical Examiners for many years and currently serves on the USMLE Cross-Step Interdisciplinary Review Committee, the USMLE Evidence-Based Medicine Interdisciplinary Review Committee, and the USMLE Patient Characteristics Advisory Panel for the National Board of Medical Examiners.
Tom has won a number of distinguished honors and awards for medical education, including the Ruth-Marie Fincher, MD Service Award from Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine and the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine in 2020, the Samuel R. Goldstein Leadership Award in Medical Student Education, the Clerkship Director of the Year for almost two decades, Clinical Teacher of the Year more than 10 times, and the Sydney S. Pearl Award for Inspirational Teaching multiple times. He has also received the Practice of Medicine Small Group Leader of the Year and the Clinical Lecturer of the Year multiple years. Tom is an inaugural member of the Academy of Educators at Washington University School of Medicine.
Tom serves as a reviewer for the American Journal of Medicine, the Journal of General Internal Medicine, and the Teaching and Learning in Medicine Journal. He is an outstanding bedside teacher and has been an invited presenter for CPC for many years. He also attends on the inpatient internal medicine rotation and supervises residents in the Center for Outpatient Health.
Tom’s academic interests extend to evaluation of grading practices, equity and objectivity, student evaluations, development of curriculum materials and curriculum development. He is an outstanding leader and has been successful playing an active role in curriculum renewal and development of the Gateway Curriculum, in medical student and resident education, and continuing medical education.
We are very fortunate to have Dr. De Fer accept this leadership role as the Chief for the Division of General Medicine. Please join me in congratulating Dr. De Fer on his new leadership appointment.