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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.

2021 – 2022 Lecture Series

September 20, 2021
David K. Randall
Black Death at the Golden Gate: How the Lessons of the SF Bubonic Plague Outbreak Apply to the Coronavirus Pandemic

2020 – 2021 Lecture Series

Art Van Zee, MD
The Promotion and Marketing of OxyContin: Twenty Years Later, An Opioid Crisis, Lessons Learned, and Opportunities Not to Miss

Stephen Trzeciak, MD, MPH
Compassionomics: The Revolutionary Scientific Evidence That Caring Makes A Difference

P. Preston Reynolds, MD
The History of African-Americans in Medicine

Panel Discussion
The History of African-Americans in Medicine: Abraham Flexner, Racism, and Vanderbilt

Philip W. Felts Lecture in the Humanities
William Flanary, MD
Life Lessons from a Joke-telling Ophthalmologist

Michael Ashley Stein, PhD, JD
Mental Health, Involuntary Treatment, Legal Capacity, and Human Rights

The David Satcher Lecture
Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD, MPH, FAAP
What The Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City

Mollie Limb, MS4
The Price of Pretending: Why I Hid My Depression and What I Learned from Asking for Help

Sanjana Salwi, MS4
Are Doctors Liars? How Examining Pelvic Exams on Anesthetized Women Can Help Us Improve Informed Consent

The John E. Chapman, M.D. Lecture in Medical Education
Nicole N. Woods, PhD
Back to Basics: Cognition, Curriculum, and Context in Medical Education