A. Cherrie Epps, Ph.D. Annual School of Medicine’s Education Symposium

dean symposium

Students, faculty, staff and special guests attended the officially named A. Cherrie Epps, Ph.D. Annual School of Medicine's Education Symposium which was held on April 14 - 15, 2015 to address "Scholarly Innovations in Educating Students from Disadvantaged Backgrounds." The symposium, initially named the "Dean's Education Symposium," was named in honor of Dr. Epps, recognizing her as a pioneer in medical education, the first female dean of the School of Medicine, the only African-American woman with a Ph.D. degree to become dean of a U.S. medical school and first female president and chief executive officer of Meharry Medical College.

Featured speakers and workshop facilitators included Sondrea Tolbert, J.D., M.Div., assistant pastor, Fairfield Missionary Baptist Church & director, National Consortium of Black Women in Ministry, Nashville Chapter, who provided the invocation;  Marquetta L. Faulkner, M.D., M.B.A., FACP, FASN, acting senior vice president, health affairs and interim dean, School of Medicine, who provided an overview of Dr. Epps' life achievements and Larry Gruppen, Ph.D., professor and former chair of the Department of Medical Education, University of Michigan Medical School, who served as the Association of American Medical Colleges Medical Education Research Certificate Program workshop facilitator.

During her remarks, President Epps recognized Dean Faulkner and Cassandra Ward, Ed.D., associate dean, School of Medicine Curriculum Evaluation & Effectiveness and assistant professor, Department of Professional & Medical Education, for organizing and developing the symposium. Dr. Epps went on to thank students, staff, employees, alumni and the board of trustees for all they continue to do to move the mission forward.

In a letter describing the anticipated impact of the symposium, Dean Faulkner wrote, "Meharry Medical College was founded more than 100 years ago to improve the health and health care of minorities and medically underserved communities. As part of this mission, Meharry seeks to increase the competitive applicant pool for health professions' schools and expand programs to enhance underrepresented minority student academic performance. The A. Cherrie Epps, Ph.D. Annual School of Medicine's Education Symposium builds on these principles, offering activities to enhance knowledge of innovations to stimulate interest in health professions' schools among elementary and high school students."

President Epps noted in her remarks the importance of helping students achieve, "Many of the students taught today are up against some of the very same challenges that you and I may have faced as a student in terms of learning," said Epps. "That is why we work hard every day to make a difference in the lives of our students. We know their struggles."

Dr. Epps has recently published an article entitled The Strategic Impact of a Post Baccalaureate Pre-medicine Intervention Program on Medical School Academic Performance which was featured in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved (JHCPU). The first fifty (50) attendants received a free copy of the JHCPU.