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Flexner Deans’ Lecture Series

Flexner Deans' Lecture Series

Physicians of Tomorrow, Meet the Leaders of Today

How can you connect your medical training to your personal calling? What are the newest and next frontiers in medicine? And what does it mean to be a truly exceptional physician?

To answer these pressing questions, the Flexner Deans’ Lecture Series brings you into conversation with physicians who are pushing the boundaries of their medical calling.

Have you ever wondered about…

  • Uncovering a public health crisis? We brought in Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, who helped unearth the Flint water crisis and lead recovery efforts.
  • Doing medicine aboard a space shuttle? Dr. Drew Gaffney came to campus to speak about his experience as a former Senior Flight Surgeon-Astronaut.
  • Dedicating your career to underserved populations? Dr. Kimberly Manning, aka “The Grady Doctor,” shared the lessons she’s learned from everyday teaching experiences at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.
  • Applying stand-up comedy to your specialty? Dr. William Flanary, aka “Dr. Glaucomflecken,” blended his characteristic humor and education to deliver a talk on his career as a joke-telling ophthalmologist.

From renowned epidemiologists to MD TikTok sensations, the medical superstars that come to campus through FDLS will do more than share life-lessons. They’ll challenge you to think critically about your own medical calling and future.

Eight Lectures, Hundreds of Campus-Wide Ripples

With a new speaker every month of the academic year, FDLS inspires powerful waves of conversation across VUSM’s campus.

  • Gather with the medical student community each month for a lunch and lecture with the speaker.
  • Join a small group for informal dinner conversation with the speaker at a classic Nashville eatery.
  • Explore the talk’s pressing questions further with the students and faculty in your learning communities and colleges.
  • Submit your own proposal for a student lecture.
    Each year, medical students apply to deliver a half-hour talk during the spring semester, and the entire community comes out to support the two chosen speakers.

A Student-Energized Tradition

With roots stretching back to an unscheduled Deans’ Hour in the early 2000s, this open block in the curriculum morphed into a formal lecture opportunity under the direction of Bonnie Miller, MD, who was in her role as Associate Dean for Medical Student Affairs at the time.

Now, a student team cultivates the vision for the series each year, brainstorming speakers, soliciting feedback from the student body, and hosting the lectures in collaboration with the Office of Medical Student Affairs. Interested in joining the team? Applications to serve a three-year term on the committee go out each spring semester.

2022-2023 Spring Lecture Series

Please note: Upcoming events will held in person. 

Mar. 27, 2023
Alex Lupi, VMS IV & Ekiomoado Olumese, VMS IV

Flashcards vs Frameworks: Developing a System for Lifelong Learning”

Alex Lupi is a fourth-year medical student from Stafford, VA. He studied neuroscience at The University of Virginia where he served as an EMT throughout college.He took a gap year to teach adaptive skiing in Aspen, CO. At Vanderbilt, he has been involved in leading a virtual wilderness medicine lecture series, pre-med mentorship as SMC mentorship chair, teaching POCUS, and was a founding member of the Vanderbilt Clinical Problem Solvers Group. He plans to pursue a career in emergency medicine and is passionate about improving how we learn in medicine.

Decolonizing Global Health As A Trainee: A Reflection on Historical Contexts, Lessons from Sierra Leone, and Contributing in a Meaningful Way”

Eki Olumese, MPhil, is a fourth-year medical student originally from Maryland. She attended Southern Methodist University for undergrad, where she developed her interest in the medical humanities. After college, she studied Health, Medicine and Society at the University of Cambridge, completing her dissertation in History of Medicine; specifically, she studied health policies in 20th century Sierra Leone and the way they shaped Sierra Leone’s contemporary healthcare system. As a medical student, Eki has served as Co-President of the Social Mission committee, SNMA Academic advisor and URM recruitment coordinator, and was selected to be an SNMA global health fellow. She also completed her research immersion project in Pediatric Emergency Triage in Kenema, Sierra Leone. Eki aspires to work at the intersections of global health and health policy as an emergency physician and advocate of marginalized communities. She believes in critically appraising our efforts to work in partnership with international health professionals and globally minoritized communities to find ways to collectively advance health and wellbeing.

Mar. 6, 2023
John L. Tarpley, MD, FWACS, FACSMargaret Tarpley, MLS

Experiences and Reflections on Medical Education in Sub-Saharan Africa”

Watch the presentation

Feb. 21, 2023
Ana V. Diez Roux, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H.

Improving health in cities: a challenge and opportunity for public health research and action”
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Jan. 27, 2023
Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D.

Headshot of Kay Redfield Jamison

Jamison discussed her research in mood disorders, personal experiences shared in “An Unquiet Mind,” and more from her powerful book, “Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide,” an important wellness topic within the MD community.
Watch the presentation

Jan. 5, 2023
Alex Jahangir, MD, MMHC

A Fireside conversation with Dean Donald Brady and Dr. Alex Jahangir and his book ’Hotspot, A Doctor’s Diary from the Pandemic’: Leadership Lessons Learned Leading through the Pandemic.
Watch the presentation

2022-2023 Fall Lecture Series

Please note: Upcoming events will held in person. 

Dec. 12, 2022
Jay Wellons, III MD, MSPH

“You tell my baby’s story for all the world to hear” – the communal and redemptive act of storytelling in medicine
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Nov. 21, 2022
Qaali Hussein, MD, FACS

“Leading in a Hostile Work Environment”
Watch the presentation

Oct. 25, 2022
Dr. Wes Ely

“Every Deep-Drawn Breath: Vanderbilt’s Role in Revolutionizing ICU Care Globally”
Watch the presentation