The Georgetown University School of Medicine’s Dean for Medical Education Stephen Mitchell will conclude his 20-year term June 30, the university announced in a campus-wide email Oct. 22.
After his term ends, Mitchell will assume the title of dean emeritus, an honorary title for a retired dean. University President John J. DeGioia (CAS ’79, GRD ’95), will conduct a nationwide search for the next School of Medicine dean, along with Executive Vice President for Health Sciences and Executive Dean of the School of Medicine Edward Healton, according to the email.
Mitchell hopes his successor will continue the growth and success of the medical school he cultivated as dean, Mitchell wrote in an email to The Hoya.
“I am most deeply grateful for the recent privilege of serving as leader of medical education at Georgetown for nearly two decades,” Mitchell wrote. “Now new leadership will continue building on these improvements that will help maintain our School of Medicine as one of the top medical schools in the world.”
As dean, Mitchell helped create the Longitudinal Academic Tracks, five tracks within the School of Medicine which allow students to engage with various areas of interest in conjunction with the four-year medical school curriculum, according to DeGioia’s email. Mitchell also contributed to establishing the medical school’s academic families, which provide mentorship for first-year and second-year medical students.
Mitchell will continue to serve as a faculty member in the department of medicine while serving as dean emeritus. Mitchell will also continue his work as a clinician in the division of rheumatology at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Mitchell wrote.
Mitchell has epitomized Georgetown’s values through his maintained devotion to the school’s success, according to Healton.
“We’re grateful to Ray for his years of service to Georgetown, his embodiment of the Jesuit principle of cura personalis, and for his passion, enthusiasm and dedication for medical education,” Healton wrote in an email to The Hoya. “We are privileged to have him continue as a member of our community.”
Mitchell has received every residency teaching award in the department of medicine in his tenure at the school, according to the university website. Mitchell’s teaching and mentorship have also been recognized by his students, who nominated him for multiple Golden Apple awards. The Golden Apple commendation recognizes professors with outstanding professional and personal qualities that have enhanced the medical education of members of the class.
Mitchell first joined Georgetown’s faculty in 1988 when he accepted a position providing teaching and care for patients with rheumatic diseases at Medstar Hospital, according to DeGioia’s email. Mitchell began his tenure as dean for medical education in May 2002.
Mitchell’s dedication to teaching and the practice of medicine has helped shape the course of medical education at Georgetown for over 30 years, DeGioia wrote in the email.
“Over the course of his years of service, Ray’s leadership has had a tremendous impact, both here at Georgetown and throughout the medical community,” DeGioia wrote. “Our University is fortunate to continue to benefit from Ray’s membership in our community as Dean Emeritus, and look forward to his contributions as part of our medical education faculty for years to come.”
During his tenure, Mitchell oversaw an expansion of the Georgetown Experimental Medical Studies program, which prepares underrepresented students for success in medical education, according to DeGioia’s email. He also helped establish the Academy for Research, Clinical and Health Equity Scholarship, a six-week pipeline program for undergraduate students interested in pursuing medical studies.
Mitchell also played a role in the creation of the Curricular Innovation, Research and Creativity in the Learning Environment grant program, which has awarded $1.5 million in competitive curricular development grants.
Mitchell cites his greatest accomplishment at Georgetown as fostering an environment at the medical school that prioritizes the health and prosperity of students.
“As the nation deals with burn out among health professionals, I am perhaps proudest of work our team has done to focus on student well-being and our learning culture,” Mitchell wrote. “This promotes formation of the whole person as St. Ignatius would want us to do.”