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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 in-person events will be available on livestream but will not be recorded via Zoom.

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.
Langford Auditorium

Jan. 27, 2023
Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D.
“Her research in mood disorders, personal experiences shared in An Unquiet Mind, and powerful book, Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide is an important wellness topic within the MD community.”
Light Hall, Room 208

2022-2023 Fall Lecture Series

Please note: Upcoming in-person events will be available on livestream but will not be recorded via Zoom.

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
Langford Auditorium

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

2021 – 2022 Spring Lecture Series

February 8, 2022

The David Satcher Lecture with David R. Williams PhD, MPH

March 7, 2022

Student Lecture with Evan Mercer and Somtochukwu Ukwuani

March 14, 2022

Grand Rounds with Kim Lomis, MD

(Event on Zoom, in person, or via livestream)

Location: Light Hall, 208

March 21, 2022

Philip W. Felts Lecture in the Humanities with J. Todd Frazier

(Event in person or via livestream)

Location: Langford Auditorium

March 28, 2022

Zoanne Clack, MD, MPPH (writer/producer of “Grey’s Anatomy”) Lecture

(Event in person or via livestream)

Location: Langford Auditorium

April 4, 2022

Simpson Lecture with Provost C. Cybele Raver

(Event in person or via livestream)

Location: Light Hall, 208

April 15, 2022

Robinson Lecture with Utibe R. Essien, MD, MPH

(Event in person or via livestream)

Location: Light Hall, 208

May 2, 2022

The John E. Chapman, MD Lecture in Medical Education with Dr. David Skorton

(Event in person)

Location: Light Hall, 208