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Medical Education

About the Department of Medical Education

The Texas A&M School of Medicine Department of Medical Education provides a mechanism to bring together core faculty educators committed to and passionate about moving the mission and vision of the college forward as it pertains to medical education. The department is dedicated to the education of our medical students as well as helping us to meet our goals of excellence around our college's mission and vision and ongoing full LCME accreditation.

Medical Education Mission

The mission of the department is to promote and nurture those key faculty within the School of Medicine dedicated to the improvement and advancement of both undergraduate and graduate medical education.

Medical Education Vision

The Department of Medical Education has established the following areas of vision:

  • Career/professional development and mentoring of all faculty within the department and within the school.
  • Collaboration with the Office of Faculty Development to improve the quality of teaching within the school,
  • Community outreach around topics of medical education
  • Development of core educators to fulfill the teaching needs of the school
  • Promotion of scholarly medical education research
  • Sponsorship of medical education activities

Department of Medical Education

Welcome from the Department Head of Medical Education

Diane Chico
Diane E. Chico, PhD 

The Department of Medical Education at the Texas A&M University College of Medicine was created in 2018 to bring together core faculty educators who are committed to, and passionate about, moving the overarching mission and vision of the College of Medicine forward as it pertains to medical education. The specific mission of our department is to promote and nurture faculty within the college dedicated to the improvement and advancement of undergraduate and graduate medical education.  The department includes basic scientists, clinicians, and medical educators whose activities focus on the education of learners that span undergraduate and graduate medical education and graduate studies.

Our departmental vision centers on the following key areas:

  • Career and professional development
  • Community outreach
  • Interdepartmental collaboration
  • Mentoring
  • Scholarship and research around medical education
  • Sponsorship of medical education activities

The formation of this new department brings together educators engaged in creating unparalleled advancement and opportunities within both the college and our community around medical education. The department brings together educators engaged in creating unparalleled advancement and opportunities within both the college and our community around medical education.  Our goal is to support the growth, development and success of our educators whose primary focus is in developing and promoting excellence in teaching of the biomedical and clinical sciences and in leadership in medical education. 

Stacey Arnold, EdD
As a career educator, I have had the opportunity to instruct students in the classroom and provide professional development for instructors to assist them in becoming better teachers for the students they serve. I am passionate about teaching and bring this passion to medical education. It is my desire to mentor and provide faculty development to educators in the College of Medicine to improve the quality of teaching, which contributes to greater student success.
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Timothy Boone, MD, PhD, Associate Dean, Houston Campus, Clinical Professor
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Charles E.L. Brown, MD, Clinical Professor
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Kevin H. Brown, MD, Associate Dean, Round Rock Campus, Clinical Associate Professor
Physician dedicated to academics and the mission of medical education. It's an honor to help train the next generation of physicians. I continue to enjoy taking care of patients and maintaining a private practice focused on compassionate and contemporary Women's Health. I've used my experiences with medical education, healthcare management, veterans health, and consultant work for malpractice defense, the Office of Inspector General (Texas), and CMO medical advisory to constantly move towards collaboration and improvement.
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Stephanie Bruce, M.D, Assistant Dean, Houston Methodist Willowbrook, Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor
Diane Chico
Diane E. Chico, PhD 
My commitment to medical education began with medical gross anatomy, having taken the course as a graduate student with first-year medical students. Engaging medical and health professional students in learning the fundamental concepts of the anatomical sciences and then teaching them how to teach themselves the details and clinical applications of the knowledge they have acquired continuously challenge me to become a more effective educator. Most importantly, the relationships built with the students as I contribute to, and observe their progress through medical school and with my colleagues invested in our learners’ professional development all motivate me to meet the challenges of promoting excellence in medical education. The interpersonal connection with students and colleagues to create a comfortable, dynamic learning environment for learners is as important as teaching the fundamentals in biomedical and clinical sciences. At the end of the day, seeing our learners recognize their potential and pursue their goals in the medical profession and academia makes teaching a most rewarding experience.
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Cristie Columbus, MD, Associate Dean, Dallas Campus, Clinical Associate Professor
Gloria Conover, PhD, Director, Medical Student Research, Instructional Assistant Professor  
Throughout my career as a biomedical educator, I have taught numerous undergraduate, graduate and medical students and postdoctoral trainees. I have inspired them to dream big and work towards achieving their full potential while being mindful of the challenges and opportunities of their environment. In my current positions as Instructional Assistant Professor and Director, I am thrilled to offer research learning opportunities that cultivate interdisciplinary scholarly collaborations to improve patient care. In particular, I am interested in developing courses on interprofessional telemedicine models of health care delivery and vertical integration of the medical school pre-clerkship to the clerkship curriculum. For more details on my vision to support life-long scholarship, visit our Medical Scholar Research Pathway Program. Through my teaching I facilitate learner engagement of state-of-the-art biologically-based technologies which will pave the way for highly robust personalized treatments to manage devasting illnesses. I aspire to be a role model to my students, and particularly to inspire those students from diverse groups with advice and support based on my own academic journey. For more details on my scholarly activity, I invite you to visit my TAMU profile
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Danielle Dickey, PhD, Instructional Assistant Professor and Interim Senior Associate Dean, Academic Affairs
Dr. Dickey is Instructional Assistant Professor in Medical Education and Interim Senior Associate Dean, Academic Affairs, Texas A&M Health Science Center. She received her Doctor of Education degree from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.
Robyn Fader, MD, Director of Internal Medicine Clerkship, Clinical Associate Professor
Dr. Robyn R. Fader received her undergraduate degree from Duke University and her medical doctorate from UT Medical School at Houston, where she was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha honor medical society. She completed her residency training in Internal Medicine at Baylor School of Medicine in Houston. She served as chief medical resident at Ben Taub Hospital and St. Luke's Hospital. She is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and a designated fellow of hospital medicine.
Dr. Fader joined Baylor Scott and White Health in 2008 as an inpatient medicine hospitalist, and she served as the medical director of the hospitalist group for 5 years. She joined the faculty of TAMU in 2010 and became the Internal Medicine clerkship director in 2017. She practices as an academic hospitalist and core faculty member for the Baylor Scott and White-Round Rock Internal Medicine residency program.
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Olawale Fashina, MD, Associate Dean, Central Texas Veterans Health Care System, Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor
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Margaret J. Foster, MLIS, MPH, Professor, Medical Education and Director
Margaret J. Foster, MS, MPH, AHIP, is a Professor at Texas A&M University School of Medicine where she serves as the Director of the Center for Systematic Reviews and Research Syntheses. With nearly 2 decades of experience collaborating on reviews, she has published in medicine, public health, veterinary medicine, education, agriculture, engineering, and other fields. She is the founder of the Systematic Reviews Caucus of the Medical Library Association, and the co-author of the first book written on systematic reviews for librarians- Assembling the Pieces of a Systematic Review: A Guide for Librarians (2017) and recently Piecing Together Systematic Reviews and Other Evidence Syntheses (2022). She received the Presidential Impact Award from Texas A&M in 2018.Link to Center website: 
Jennifer Friedman
Jennifer Friedman, MD, FACOG
The term, “lifelong learning”, has broad meaning, as it applies to a wide range of educational theories and individual experiences. I view lifelong learning from my endeavors and accomplishments as the ways that I have gained knowledge from them, grown from them and changed from them. I also see lifelong learning as a mutual relationship between learning and teaching. As a physician of 21 years, my patients have taught me about medicine and life and vice versa. As a mother, my 3 daughters have helped me grow and learn just as I have helped them. As a community member, civic duty and volunteer work are central to my active engagement and have given me a greater understanding of those around me, just as I have contributed to society. I am passionate about medical education because I view medical education as a mutual relationship between teaching and learning. I believe in my ability to give to and teach students about the unique life experiences I have been afforded, just as I believe in their ability to teach me about their unique lives.
Jeremy Gibson
Jeremy Gibson MD
My initial love of teaching was sparked during college by tutoring chemistry for high school students. The thrill of the “lightbulb” moment of understanding experienced by a student because of our efforts was addictive. That love of teaching was reaffirmed through my medical training to the point that I have often said that I don’t want to practice medicine if I can’t teach. Through my career, I have been privileged to teach in both the classroom and at the bedside. This allowed me to eventually take on leadership roles within medical education including chief resident, pediatric residency director, pediatric clerkship director, and vice chair of pediatric education. While I consider my current title as Executive Associate Dean of Academic Affairs as a high honor and privilege, it is still the opportunity to gain, share, and apply medical knowledge in a partnership with the student that is the thrill of my job.
Sheila Green
Sheila Green, M.S.L.S., Adjunct Associate Professor I spent many years applying my BS in Computer Science to corporate software training, quality assurance, and project management. I recognized I was more interested in information and what people did with it than I was in the technology that delivered the information. I now leverage my computer background, an MS in Library Science, and over a decade of medical libraries experience to partner with faculty, post docs, staff, and students to advance their goals for learning, teaching, research, and impact.
Angela Hairrell
Angela Hairrell, PhD
My passion for education started as a little girl hosting “school” for a diverse group of stuffed animals! From those humble beginnings, my career has been devoted to helping others help themselves through education. Whether it was teaching preschoolers their first sight words, reading to elementary school children and children with disabilities, test-taking to high schoolers, or teaching future Aggie teachers how to teach, my goal has always focused on helping everyone reach their highest potential. All these experiences culminate in the College of Medicine where I am privileged to watch and journey alongside future Aggie Docs as they become physicians. My desire is to provide support (academic and social) to our medical students, as well as ensure they develop life-long learning skills. In my mind, our future Aggie Docs are amazing and each one is capable of greatness.
Teresa Isbell
Teresa Isbell, PhD
Growing up in rural Texas, I know first-hand how important it is to have access to good medical care. Working for a medical school that has rural medicine as a priority means that I get to unite two passions: rural healthcare and education. Also, I am back where it all started for me: Texas A&M University. Now I am able to give back by helping future Aggie physicians get started on their careers. I am honored to be able to serve the College of Medicine and its students.
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Chetan Jinadatha, MD, Clinical Associate Professor
Dr. Chetan Jinadatha received his Medical Doctor from JJM Medical College, in India, and his master’s in public health from the School of Public Health, Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas. He completed his internship, residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in infectious diseases at Scott & White Memorial Hospital, in Temple, Texas. Dr. Chetan Jinadatha currently is the Chief of Infectious Diseases Section at Central Texas Veterans Health Care System in Temple, Texas. He is also a Clinical Professor, department of medical education, School of Medicine at Texas A & M University, College Station, TX. Dr. Jinadatha is practicing clinician, researcher, and educator. He is involved with education of medical students, residents and infectious diseases fellows. He has extensive experience as hospital epidemiologist and researcher. His clinical and research interests focus on the role of surfaces in causation of HAIs and how technology might be able to solve the problem of HAIs as well as Legionella and COVID prevention. Dr. Jinadatha has also testified as an expert witness in US Congress and participated in several task force related to Legionella prevention in the VA as well as wastewater surveillance for COVID. Dr. Jinadatha has also authored chapters in the APIC textbook of Infection prevention and control and has published several manuscripts in peer reviewed journals. Dr. Jinadatha hold multiple patents in the area of HAI prevention technologies and serves as a grant reviewer on various study sections.
Seamus Kelleher
Seamus Kelleher, Adjunct Assistant Clinical Professor
Seamus is an adjunct assistant clinical professor at Texas A&M School of Medicine and a much in demand motivational speaker. For almost five decades, Seamus Kelleher, a native of Galway Ireland, now residing in Naples Florida, has performed as a musician in major venues and festivals across the U.S. and Europe including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and the Excelsior in Rome. Seamus is currently an adjunct assistant clinical professor at Texas A&M School of Medicine and a much in demand motivational speaker. He was also an adjunct professor at New York University and Fordham University and a marketing executive in the corporate world. Throughout his career, Seamus has battled depression, anxiety, and an addiction to alcohol. His message during his classes at Texas A&M and in his motivational talks across the country is one of hope and resilience no matter what the situation. He provides his students with concrete tools and strategies to help ensure their mental wellness as they embark on their exciting journey. “When physicians and others in healthcare take care of their own mental wellness, I believe they are better equipped to provide the best possible care to their patients and they also position themselves for longevity in what is a wonderful but challenging profession,” says Seamus.
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Terri Kurz, PhD, Adjunct Assistant Professor
Terri Kurz, PhD is the Assistant Dean for Faculty Development. Since joining the School of Medicine in 2012, she has served in various roles in the Office of Faculty Development which provides support and resources for the professional development of the School of Medicine faculty. She is also an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Medical Education and teaches in the Education for Healthcare Professionals program.
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Rodney Lewis, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor
Rodney Lewis, MD, has been a teaching faculty member for the Texas A&M School of Medicine since 2008. He has served as the Surgical Clerkship Director on the Round Rock campus since the inception of the campus. He also serves as co-director for the Practice of Medicine course at the Bryan-College Station campus. Recently retired from over 30 years of clinical practice as a general surgeon, Lewis continues to teach with the desire to give back what he has learned to the next generation of physicians.
Gary McCord
Gary C. McCord, MD 
After being in full time private practice of radiology for several years following residency, I realized that I missed teaching, but had no time to do it. I ultimately cut back my practice time to enable me to spend some time teaching at the medical school. I started teaching in the Medical Gross Anatomy course in 1991 and then in the Neuroscience course that followed it, and have been doing so ever since. Teaching is a labor of love and you do it repetitively because you can’t imagine doing anything else. I get a real charge out of trying to take a complicated topic and make it understandable. To me, the key is showing that what you are teaching is practical and will actually be usable someday. That is what I aspire to do by bringing in interesting radiology cases that correlate with what we are teaching at the time. My advice to new teachers is always the same: Make it practical.
Rob Milman
Rob Milman, MD
The future of medicine depends on well trained and compassionate physicians. The delivery of excellent patient care and best possible patient outcomes begins with medical school training emphasizing knowledge and skills, critical thinking, and professional identify formation. I have a specific interest in health communication education and teaching learners how to apply concepts from the world of improvisational theater to significantly improve physician-patient and interprofessional communication. Ultimately, better communication leads to improved patient outcomes. For me, participating in the process of educating the future generation of physicians and passing down “pearls of wisdom” I learned along the way is exciting and very rewarding.
Catherine Pepper, MLS, MPH, Senior Associate Professor
Catherine Pepper received her M.P.H. in Public Health from the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth, Texas.
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Halil Sari, PhD, Director of Evaluation and Assessment, Instructional Assistant Professor
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Pawan Sikka, MD,Assistant Dean, Central Texas Veterans Health Care System, Clinical Associate Professor
Dr. Pawan Sikka is a pulmonologist specializing in Critical Care Respiratory Therapy. He is Chief Education/Associate Chief of Staff (ACOS) Education with Central Texas Veterans Health Care System-Temple. He received his medical degree from Maulana Azad Medical College and has been in practice for more than 20 years.
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Micheal Spohn, MD, Associate Dean, Bryan-College Station Campus, Clinical Associate Professo
Dr. Micheal Spohn is an award-winning emergency medicine physician, researcher, and educator with twenty years of service in the United States Air Force. Since 2009, Dr. Spohn has served as an emergency medicine physician at CHI St. Joseph Health Regional Hospital in Bryan, a Level II trauma center that sees more than 50,000 ED patients annually and is recognized as a major stroke, chest pain, and trauma center. He has received the hospital’s Reverence Award, Stewardship Award, and many other honors, and he is consistently ranked among the nation’s top medical professionals for patient care and compassionate service. In addition to his work in the emergency room, Dr. Spohn serves as Associate Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Medicine. In his additional capacity as Special Assistant to the Dean for Military Medicine, he helped found the Department of Military Medicine at Texas A&M. Since becoming the Emergency Medicine Education Director and Medical Student Clerkship Director, Dr. Spohn has consistently elevated the program. He has been named to the Texas A&M School of Medicine Faculty of the Year in Emergency Medicine for seven out of the last ten years. Before pursuing his career in emergency medicine, Dr. Spohn earned his B.S. in Management at the U.S. Air Force Academy and served twenty years in the military.
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Vincent VanBuren, PhD, Instructional Assistant Professor
Dr. Vincent VanBuren earned his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Lehigh University in 2002 for his dissertation on computational modeling of microtubules. He completed his postdoctoral training in bioinformatics at the Laboratory of Genetics at the National Institute on Aging in 2006. His expertise lies in computational biology, bioinformatics and biostatistics. Dr. VanBuren began his faculty appointment at the Texas A&M School of Medicine in 2006 and joined the Round Rock campus in 2015. He is an instructional assistant professor in the Department of Medical Physiology and the Director of Computational Biology and the Bioinformatics Laboratory. Dr. VanBuren was elected as Chair of the Faculty Advisory Committee for the School of Medicine in 2022.
Christine Cappelle Whitelaw, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor
Having enjoyed many years serving as an emergency room physician in a teaching hospital, I have worked with and learned from some of the most talented doctors and staff in the medical field. This opportunity to share that experience with the next generation of health care professionals is an exciting and fulfilling capstone to my career that I eagerly look forward to.
Scott Wieters, MD
“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” That quote by Ward, has directed and inspired my professional course. I’m fortunate to stand on the foundational shoulders of great mentors and have jumped in to medical education with both feet. I love the creativity of course development, enjoy the challenge of testing innovations like gamification and increasing fidelity of simulation. I’m passionate about reducing the knowledge translation gap by using Free Open Access Medical Education to equip students. I’m fueled by the lightbulb of “I get it” sparking, the proud smile of a successful procedure and thrive on helping students get back up again when they fall. Can you believe they pay us to do this?

Donna Startz

Administrative Coordinator 

Phone: 979.436.0187

Career Educator Awards

What are the Awards?

The Department of Medical Education Early Career Educator and Mid-to Late Career Educator Awards were created to recognize and honor the dedication and outstanding teaching/leadership by a member of the Texas A&M University College of Medicine employed/affiliated faculty and staff.

For each award, one faculty/staff member from each of our campuses and sites (9 locations total) will be recognized annually with a plaque and professional development award.

Early Career Educator award = $1000
Mid-/Late-Career Educator award = $1200

Who can be Nominated?

Nominations are welcomed for any faculty or staff member in the Department of Medical Education who meets the following eligibility requirements:

  • For the Early Career Educator Award, the nominee must not have been involved in teaching, mentoring, or leadership roles for more than six (6) years.
  • For the Mid-to Late-Career Educator Award, the nominee must be involved in teaching, mentoring, or leadership roles for greater than 6 years.
  • The nominees for either award cannot have won the award previously.

The Early Career Educator Award nominee must be or have been involved in three or more of the following activities. The Mid- to Late Career Educator Award nominee must be or have been involved in four or more of the following activities.

  • Teaching formal courses (UME, TAMU COM sponsored or affiliated residency programs, graduate sciences education) or who has done so until the semester in which the packet is submitted.
  • Counseling and/or advising UME, GME, or graduate students.
  • Directing UME or GME student research.
  • Directing graduate student theses and/or dissertations.
  • Serving as faculty advisor to student clubs/interest groups and/or activities.
  • Developing and/or introducing innovative teaching methods.
  • Participating in and/or directing the development of new courses or curriculum.
  • Participating in curriculum-related committees and/or task forces

Who can Nominate?

Nominations may be made by any campus or site dean, faculty, staff, student, or student organization in the College of Medicine. Multiple nominations from each campus or site are welcome. We encourage nominations for faculty and staff regardless of degree, area of focus, or appointments, provided that the above eligibility requirements are met. We encourage nominations of diverse teaching faculty and staff. The College of Medicine values diversity in its people and programs and strives to foster a diverse, inclusive, equitable, and respectful community.

Application for the annual Career Educator Awards opens June 1 and closes June 30.

Application Requirements

Applications must be complete and submitted no later than 5:00 pm on June 30.
If the application is incomplete, not in the format requested, or not received by the due date, the application will NOT be reviewed. No exceptions.


Scholarship Opportunities