With more than 30 years of experience in osteopathic medicine—practicing as a physician, serving in leadership roles and teaching future doctors—it was as if Joel Dickerman, DO, has been preparing for his latest role his entire career. Dr. Dickerman is the dean and chief academic officer of the proposed Kansas Health Science Center – Kansas College of Osteopathic Medicine.

“I’ve always been interested in osteopathic education. This position gives me a great opportunity to continue that work in a city that is very enthusiastic about medical school training, and has a strong osteopathic community,” said Dr. Dickerman.

Dr. Dickerman knows what it takes to start a medical school from the ground up. He spent 10 years at Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Parker, Colo. where he was involved in establishing the school as an associate dean of clinical affairs and as a regional director of primary care. He has also held a variety of leadership positions in hospitals and medical centers and has received numerous awards for his work as a family physician and educator. Before joining the KHSC leadership team, Dr. Dickerman was the vice president for license assessment services at the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners.

“You have to be prepared to start a college of osteopathic medicine from scratch and understand the world of accreditation. I had first-hand experience with this for a decade during my years at Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine,” said Dr. Dickerman. “When you go through pre-accreditation and the accreditation process every year, you get very familiar with the process. Also, as a former program director, I know that the goal of medical school training is to excel in residency. I understand what residency programs need and the effective ways to help students prepare for those residency programs. My most recent work at the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners has helped me to become familiar with the process of studying for and performing well on a national examination. This combined experience gives us a big advantage.”

He, along with Senior Associate Dean J. Michael Finley, have nearly 70 years of collective experience in medical education and can help students successfully prepare for board exams and find residency programs. “We make a really stellar team,” added Dr. Dickerman.

Dr. Dickerman continues to keep his finger on the pulse of the osteopathic community of students, faculty and staff with his work as a founder, and distinguished presenter and author for Building the Next Generation of Academic Physicians (BNGAP). The non-profit recently opened the National Center for Pre-Faculty Development and Kansas Health Science Center is one of 25 organizations that are a part of this new center.

“My work with BNGAP has varied since I joined the organization in 2016. I’ve been asked to provide lectures for conferences and co-authored a chapter on leadership for their book. As far as KHSC’s involvement, this is a great affiliation for our campus with its national scope and we are exploring opportunities to collaborate together,” said Dr. Dickerman.

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