November 9, 2001

Vanderbilt faculty, student attend AAMC meeting

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Dr. Steven G. Gabbe

Vanderbilt faculty, student attend AAMC meeting

Dr. John E. Chapman

Dr. John E. Chapman

Constance Mobley

Constance Mobley

Representatives of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine played a key role in this week’s annual meeting of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). It is the organization’s 125th anniversary.

Dr. Steven G. Gabbe, Dean of VUSM, carried the school’s flag at the beginning of the opening session on Sunday in a processional made up of representatives of the 22 medical schools who participated in the first meeting of what would become the AAMC in June 1876 in Philadelphia.

Representatives from each of the 22 medical schools still in existence carried banners or flags of their schools as the annual meeting opened. Representing the medical departments of the University of Nashville and Vanderbilt University in 1876 were T.A. Atchison and W.T. Briggs.

“It was a way to acknowledge that the AAMC is 125 years old and a way to say thank you to the organizations who had the vision to become part of our organization,” said Kathleen Turner, AAMC vice president for membership and constituency services.

Also at this week’s meeting, Dr. John E. Chapman, associate vice chancellor for Medical Alumni Affairs, became a Distinguished Service Member of the AAMC on Monday. He joined an elite group of 47 Distinguished Service members who must be voted into the group by the association’s executive council.

Chapman, who stepped down as Dean of VUSM last year after 25 years, has been active in the AAMC since 1961. He has been both a member and a chair of various committees in the organization, including serving on the Council of Deans, an association of deans of medical schools that identifies issues affecting academic medicine and develops strategies to achieve the various missions of medical schools.

Also attending this week’s meeting was Constance Mobley, a third-year medical student, one of five U.S. medical students to receive a Herbert W. Nickens, M.D. Minority Medical Student Scholarship. The awards are given to outstanding minority medical students who have demonstrated leadership in eliminating inequities in medical education and health care. Mobley and the other four students received a $5,000 stipend and a certificate of merit on Monday.

The award honors the tireless work of Nickens, the first vice president and director of the Division of Community and Minority Programs at the AAMC, in addressing the educational, societal, and health care needs of minorities. The AAMC established the Herbert W. Nickens, M.D. Memorial Fund to continue to advance Nickens’ lifelong concern for justice in medical education and health care.

Mobley has been active in community service activities around Nashville including tutoring and organizing health fairs for the underprivileged. She is a leader in the area of diversity within the student body of the medical school and currently serves as the regional director of the Student National Medical Association.

“This is a very prestigious award and as one of five recipients, I feel like I was in very good company when I received the award on Monday,” she said.

The AAMC is a non-profit organization that comprises the 125 accredited United States medical schools, 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, 90 academic and professional societies representing nearly 100,000 faculty members and the nation’s medical students and residents.

Dr. Deborah C. German, senior associate dean for Medical Education, also attended the conference and participated in a panel discussion on “Professionalism Across the Continuum.”