Newswise — WASHINGTON (Aug. 26, 2014) — The George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) is pleased to welcome Richard J. Simons, M.D., an internationally recognized leader in academic medicine, to serve as the senior associate dean for M.D. programs. In this role, Simons will provide leadership for the ongoing development, implementation, and evaluation of the school’s undergraduate and graduate medical education programs. He will also serve as a professor in the Department of Medicine.

Simons comes to GW with an extensive background in leading medical education programs. Most recently, he served as the associate vice president for health affairs at Dartmouth and the senior associate dean for medical education at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, where he helped guide Geisel through an extensive accreditation process, securing a full eight-year term from the Liaison Committee for Medical Education (LCME). He also helped champion the ongoing redesign of Geisel’s M.D. curriculum. Prior to that, he served as the vice dean for educational affairs at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, where he developed novel approaches for teaching the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Core Competencies, initiated the Clinical Skills and Advisory Program, and led several major curricular changes for the College of Medicine. In these roles, Simons made significant contributions to the success of the medical education programs.

“I am delighted that Dr. Simons will be joining the leadership team at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences. His expertise and dedication to enhancing academic medicine, as well as his commitment to training leaders of tomorrow in the medical field, makes him an outstanding choice for this important position,” said Jeffrey S. Akman, M.D., Walter A. Bloedorn Professor of Administrative Medicine, vice president for health affairs, and dean of SMHS.

As senior associate dean for M.D. programs, Simons will oversee the accreditation of all undergraduate and graduate medical education programs. He will supervise the M.D. admissions office, financial aid office, student affairs, and curricular affairs. Additionally, he will provide oversight for the Office of Medical Education, the Clinical Learning and Simulation Skills Center, the Office of Student Opportunities, the Graduate Medical Education (GME) Programs, and the Office of Continuing Education in the Health Professions (CEHP). As a member of the SMHS leadership team, he will work in partnership with the clinical and academic affiliates of the SMHS including the GW Medical Faculty Associates, the GW Hospital, and Children’s National Health System. Simons will also continue the tradition of collaborative scholarship and innovative educational excellence to assure preparation of medical school, residency, and fellowship graduates for clinical practice and medical research.

"I am thrilled to be coming to GW at this time. Dr. Akman's leadership and vision for the school is inspiring. I am looking forward to being a part of his leadership team and advancing medical education here at GW,” said Simons. “I especially look forward to meeting and working with the students, residents, faculty, and staff at this outstanding institution in the nation’s capital.”

Simons is a nationally recognized scholar in the field of medical education, having published in prestigious journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association. He was as the former president of the Clerkship Directors of Internal Medicine and a member of the Residency Review Committee for Internal Medicine. He also served on test-writing committees for the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME), the In-Service Training Exam for Internal Medicine (past chair), and on the question writing committee for the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Simons is the recipient of many awards and honors, including the Edithe J. Levit Distinguished Service Award from the NBME, and in 2012, he was elected to Mastership in the American College of Physicians. He was also elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society.

Simons received his B.A. in chemistry from Eastern Nazarene College, his medical degree from the Penn State College of Medicine, and completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of Michigan Health System. He served as chief resident and instructor in the Department of Medicine at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. He also completed a geriatrics fellowship at the University of North Carolina Hospital in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Simons is certified in the practice of internal medicine and geriatrics by the American Board of Internal Medicine and will see patients at the GW Medical Faculty Associates.

Simons will arrive at GW on Sept. 22.


About the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences:Founded in 1824, the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) was the first medical school in the nation’s capital and is the 11th oldest in the country. Working together in our nation’s capital, with integrity and resolve, the GW SMHS is committed to improving the health and well-being of our local, national and global communities.