Friday, June 15, 2018

From The Dean

Friday, June 15, 2018

I’ve been in Chicago since Tuesday at one of the thrice-yearly meetings of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the national accrediting body for U.S. and Canadian medical schools. By the way, we now have 151 medical schools in the U.S., while Canada has 17. Since our population is about ten times that of Canada, the number of medical schools in the two countries is roughly proportional.

As a member of the LCME, I am joined by almost two dozen other deans, educators, faculty, and students who constitute the committee that adjudicates the accreditation status of the 168 schools. At this meeting, as is typical, we reviewed about two dozen action plans, status reports, and survey team reports. It is hard work, but the group is extremely collegial and effective.

We often tend to spend more time discussing the specifics of a given medical school and less on the broader philosophical issues—like how to best gauge the effectiveness of a school’s overall educational program in achieving that school’s programmatic goals. Sure, we can use comparative data like national exam pass rates to assess knowledge content and application. But how do we best assess whether a school is producing compassionate and caring doctors, or doctors who communicate well?

To its credit, the LCME does discuss and wrestle with these broader issues, but we haven’t come up with any really good answers, in my opinion—at least not yet. If you have any ideas, let me know and I’ll be glad to pass the thoughts on.

Joshua Wynne, MD, MBA, MPH
UND Vice President for Health Affairs
Dean, UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences

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Cathy Perry Retirement Celebration on June 27

Please join the Department of Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) in honoring and thanking Cathy Perry for her 40 years of service to UND. In April of 1978 Cathy began her UND career with the Department of Pathology, which included the MLS program. She continued her position as Administrative Officer when the Department of Medical Laboratory Science was established in 2015. A reception celebrating Cathy’s tremendous contributions to UND will be held on Wednesday, June 27, 2018, from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Room E224 of the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences, 1301 North Columbia Road in Grand Forks.

Everyone is welcome and we hope to see you there!

Zen in 10 this summer

Zen in 10 focuses on stretching, breathing, and having fun with coworkers. Go back to work with less stress, more energy, and better body functioning.

Sessions will be held from 10:40 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays through June 28 on the East Patio of the SMHS, weather permitting. In case of inclement weather, Zen in 10 will meet in SMHS classroom W201.

Services provided by Kay Williams, Certified Yoga and Relax and Renew Instructor®.

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Solberg named one of ASCP's "40 Under Forty"

​​​​​Brooke Solberg, PhD, MLS, chair of the UND SMHS Department of Medical Laboratory Science, has been recognized as one of the American Society of Clinical Pathology's (ASCP) "40 Under Forty."

The ASCP 40 Under Forty program recognizes Society members under the age of 40 who are making an impact on pathology and laboratory medicine. Pathologists, laboratory professionals, and residents are chosen annually through an application or nomination process. The program has recognized worthy members of the laboratory team both nationally and internationally.

Solberg teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in MLS, with a focus on hematology, hemostasis, laboratory issues, and educational principles. She also works flex-time as an MLS in hematology at Altru Hospital in Grand Forks, N.D. Before joining UND's team, she held an MLS position in hematology at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, Minn. She currently serves as President of North Dakota’s chapter of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS).

Five individuals are selected as the 40 Under Forty Top Five through a combination of public voting and committee selection. To learn more about Dr. Solberg's selection and the nomination's next steps, see the ASCP online here.


Note forthcoming changes to SMHS bylaws

The faculty, staff, and students at the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences should be aware that the Faculty Assembly recently approved of the following changes to the School's bylaws:

  • Change to the Medical Student Academic Performance Committee (MSAPC) Charge:

The Medical Student Academic Performance Committee (MSAPC) shall be responsible for holding hearings concerning issues of leave of absence, dismissal, probation, and remediation, advancement, and graduation of medical students. In arriving at recommendations concerning suspension, dismissal, and remediation, MSAPC will be guided by the Guidelines for Student Performance and Due Process and by the guidelines and policies recommended by MCC and FAC.

  • Bylaws Committee Charge. The Committee will:

1. Review the UND SMHS bylaws formally on a biennial basis to ensure they reflect the needs and functions of the School.

2. Address any issues or concerns about the bylaws at any time at the request of the Faculty Academic Council, any standing committee of the Faculty Academic Council, or on the basis of a submitted written petition proposing an amendment to the ylaws.

3. Incorporate into the bylaws all amendments approved by the SMHS faculty.

4. Incorporate into the bylaws any purely editorial change in wording not requiring approval by the SMHS faculty.

These changes will be incorporated into the bylaws shortly, and can be found online here.

Eighth Annual R-COOL-Health Scrubs Academy is coming up!

The 8th Annual R-COOL-Health Scrubs Academy, hosted by the Center for Rural Health, will take place at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Grand Forks June 25–28. SMHS students, faculty, and staff can expect to see junior high students, healthcare providers, and other volunteers around the School and campus attending and presenting sessions that expose participants to the various career options in healthcare and encourage them to enter the field.

Thank you to all the staff, faculty, and students who have volunteered their time and efforts to make this Academy happen. If you have any questions, please contact Kylie Nissen at 701.777.5380.

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Julie Blehm and Robert Olson present Psychiatry Grand Rounds on June 20

Julie A. Blehm, MD, and Robert J. Olson, MD, will give a presentation entitled "Physician Depression and Suicide" from 12:10 p.m. to 1:10 p.m. on Wednesday, June 20 at UND's Southeast Campus auditorium in Fargo. Dr. Blehm is an associate professor with UND’s Department of Internal Medicine and is the senior medical director at Blue Cross Blue Shield North Dakota. Dr. Olson is a clinical professor and the program director of the Psychiatry Residency Training Program in UND’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science. He is also a Psychiatrist with Sanford Health.

Upon completion of this program, the learner will be able to:

  • Explain the importance of an open dialogue among physicians about depression and suicide within the profession.
  • Describe the stigma surrounding depression and help-seeking behaviors among physicians.
  • Discuss the benefits of an environment that encourages caring vigilance among colleagues and appropriate help-seeking behaviors for depression and suicidal ideation.

This grand rounds presentation, sponsored by the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences and the School’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, is broadcast via videoconference to many sites throughout North Dakota and Minnesota and is also streamed via personal computers; although, attending in person will add to the experience as much of this grand rounds will be audience interaction. If you want information on how to attend, please contact Betty Jo Tostenson at 701.293.4101 or

The University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences designates this live activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.  Physicians should only claim the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

RefWorks "Write-N-Cite" no longer automatically available in SMHS classrooms

Any faculty who plan to teach RefWorks and its accompanying Microsoft Word add-in this summer or fall semester should be aware that "Write-N-Cite" will no longer be deployed automatically on SMHS classroom computers. Please contact Information Resources prior to your class in order to have the platform installed. Or you can call your librarian liaison to request alternatives, such as updated screenshots or video tutorials, or to schedule a librarian to teach the program to your class.

If you don’t know the name of your librarian, please call 701.777.3993.

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Great Plains IDeA-CTR grant writing workshop to be held at SMHS on June 18

One Monday, June 18, 2018, the Great Plains IDeA Clinical and Translational Research Network will offer area researchers a Grant Writing Workshop. The workshop will be held in SMHS room W202 from 8 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. and will cover writing for publication, writing grant applications, and speaking for success.

The workshop will be facilitated by Paul Casella, MFA, a graduate of Dartmouth College and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Since 1988, Casella has worked with health professionals to improve the clarity and effectiveness of their manuscripts for publication, formal presentations, grant applications, slides, posters, videos, and other media for scientific purposes. He was writer and primary editor of the funded Great Plains IDeA-CTR grant application.

This workshop schedule is as follows:

8 a.m. to 9:20 a.m.
Writing for Publication--This presentation examines the structures and positions of emphasis in the sentence, paragraph, and sections of the formal study to help authors authorize their claims. The session includes a test of reasoning that authors can apply to the articles they read and the papers they write.

9:30 a.m. to 10:50 a.m.
Writing Grant Applications--This session reviews the principles of good grant writing to produce clear, direct, and compelling proposals. It focuses on understanding the psychology of reviewers and the review process, how to engage readers and facilitate understanding, and how to manage the proposal writing process. The session also suggests proposal templates and includes exercises related to specific elements of a scientific proposal, particularly the Specific Aims page.

11 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.
Speaking for Success--This course reviews how adults learn as a means to examine effective delivery techniques to engage scientific and clinical peer audiences. It provides practical information on how to deliver powerful oral and PowerPoint presentations in the classroom, conference room, auditorium, and at regional or national meetings.

Register for the workshop here.

Questions? Contact Jonathan Geiger or 701.777.2183.

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