|Charles Christianson appointed associate dean for clinical education|
Charles Christianson, associate professor of family medicine, has been named to the new position of associate dean for clinical education at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Among other accomplishments and responsibilities, Christianson is responsible for direction of the clinical sciences teaching in the first year of the medical curriculum, leads faculty efforts in professionalism education, and co-directs the Center of Excellence for Drug Abuse Education, one of the first four such centers nationwide established by the federal National Institute on Drug Abuse.
“This is a very important step for us as we continue to expand and build upon our very successful patient-centered curriculum for medical and health education,” said H. David Wilson, vice president for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences. “Dr. Christianson will oversee the clinical component of our medical students’ years one and two, including behavioral sciences and professionalism.”
Christianson also will supervise a major focus on years three and four of medical education, working with departments to support and develop clinical faculty. “We want Charlie to study carefully the last two years of medical school, especially how to make them better,” said Wilson. “We want to revisit basic sciences learning during the clinical years of a medical student’s four-year curriculum. We want to enhance our clinical education.” Christianson said, “Our patient-centered approach in the first two years is increasingly recognized nationally as a model for medical education in the 21st century; now we need to bring the same creativity to the third and fourth years. Fortunately, we have many physicians throughout the state who are committed to the education of our students.”
Christianson will address several key issues in his new clinical education role such as training students in management of chronic disease, improving education in areas such as geriatric and end-of-life care, and pain management, and increasing medical school support for and communication with clinical faculty throughout the state. “We also will continue to study and evaluate our innovations in education.” This work has been recognized by a number of publications and presentations at national academic meetings.
Moreover, Wilson said, Christianson will work with the SMHS associate dean for research to enhance and coordinate practice-based research in primary care, and health services research. Christianson brings broad and varied experience in medical education and in primary care practice. He directs NORTHSTAR, the Northern States Ambulatory Research Network, a collaborative effort of primary care providers and health organizations in the state to improve the quality of care, especially in the rural setting.