A message from Dean Jackson

Greetings, alumni! As we wrap up 2022, I want to spotlight some of our amazing faculty at the School of Medicine. I’ll start with an important national honor for Dr. Betty Drees, dean emeritus of the School of Medicine. Dr. Drees received the 2022 Elizabeth and Emily Blackwell Award for Outstanding Contributions to Advancing the Careers of Women in Medicine from the American College of Physicians. This award recognizes an individual who has furthered the careers of women medical students, residents and physicians through leadership development and mentoring.

The faculty and friends of the School of Medicine came together on Oct. 28 to celebrate those who were promoted in 2022 and those who were recognized as recipients of the School of Medicine Faculty Awards.

Faculty award recipients include:

  • Jannette Berkley-Patton – Excellence in Diversity & Health Equity
  • Willard Morrow – Christopher Papasian, Ph.D., Excellence in Teaching
  • Karl Kador – Betty M. Drees, M.D., Excellence in Mentoring
  • Jacqueline Walker – Clinical Affiliate Teaching Award
  • Peter Koulen – Faculty Researcher Award

In addition to these awards, for the first time ever, we also recognized a faculty member engaged in service to the community with the Faculty Community Service and Engagement Award. This year’s recipient was Dr. Alie Scholes. Dr. Scholes is an assistant professor of emergency medicine and has served as a year 1 and 2 docent for more than a decade. She has established a culture where students are empowered to serve, take responsibility for their patients and put to practice the knowledge they have amassed in their education.

It was a big year for promotions at the School of Medicine. We celebrate 75 faculty promoted this year: 50 to the rank of associate professor and 25 to professor, including the first two Black women faculty in Children’s Mercy’s 125-year history. In academic medicine, underrepresented minority women are scarce, and few are in positions of leadership. I am proud to congratulate Dr. Amy Beck and Dr. Bridgette Jones, assistant academic dean of students.

The School of Medicine continues to support and encourage the success of all of our faculty. Mentorship and faculty development happen when diversity champions are invested and accessible. Our associate dean of DEI, Dr. Tyler Smith, and assistant dean, Doris Agwu, are formidable leaders. Under their leadership, the School of Medicine was nationally recognized as a 2022 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) awardee based on our school’s commitment, programs and initiatives in diversity.

Meeting with our talented students and faculty, working with our staff who keep us on a steady path and connecting across the country to promote our university and medical school continue to fuel us at the School of Medicine. In the next year, we are looking to continue work that allows us to construct a new building at our campus in St. Joseph. We also look forward to progress on the new Health Sciences Building, which will allow the dental school and the medical school to enhance the educational environment for all our students. The excitement coming in 2023 will carry the school forward and bring with it more research initiatives, student-facing programs, innovations in our curriculum and the additional recruitment of faculty who elevate our national academic reputation.

Mary Anne Jackson, M.D. ’78
Dean, School of Medicine

School of Medicine receives NIH grant to continue cardiovascular outcomes research program

The UMKC School of Medicine has received a nearly $400,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to continue and build upon a successful two-year training program in clinically oriented cardiovascular disease outcomes research through the Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics and UMKC’s new Healthcare Institute for Innovations in Quality (HI-IQ). The funding covers the first of five years of support through the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, bringing the total grant funding to just less than $2 million.

Immense research investments have improved the care of patients afflicted with cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death and disability in the United States. But continued evaluation of patient-centered outcomes, including patient symptoms, function and quality of life and how to apply that knowledge in clinical settings is needed, said John Spertus, M.D., professor, clinical director and endowed chair in metabolic and vascular disease research.

“Collectively, our committed team will provide formal training, mentorship and research experiences for trainees to make significant contributions to the scientific literature, embark on successful academic careers, and improve the value and patient-centeredness of medical care,” Spertus said.

Hands-on research is one of the key components of the program that provides a basic foundation in clinical research, including a master’s degree in bioinformatics with a clinical research emphasis, and specialized skills for outcomes research, coupled with academic survival skills.

Hallmarks of the research experiences include multi-disciplinary group and individualized mentorship to meet each trainee’s needs, as well as access to numerous existing data. Clinical populations for primary data collection and implementation, training in entrepreneurship and highly experienced statistical support are provided to support trainees’ success.

Program enhancements are also planned that include a more robust collaboration with the University of Missouri system, increased engagement in clinical trial design and a growing focus on implementation science with access to HI-IQ’s multistakeholder collaboration of 19 regional hospitals.

50 Years of Improving the Health of Our Community

A look at the unique qualities, accomplishments of the UMKC School of Medicine

Fifty years ago, UMKC launched a bold experiment in educating the medical leaders of the future. Today, the UMKC School of Medicine is a cornerstone of Kansas City’s medical community.

Along the way, the school has grown into a national leader and trend-setter in medical education with innovative research that has improved the health and well-being of Kansas City, the state of Missouri and beyond.

Here are five things that make UMKC’s School of Medicine so special:

  1. The UMKC School of Medicine is one of only two medical schools nationally that accepts students upon high school graduation and puts them through a rigorous program that earns them B.A. and M.D. degrees in just six years. Upon entering the B.A./M.D. program, students are classified as professional students. They begin studying medicine on their first day and clinical experience begins immediately. The initial two years also include courses leading to bachelor’s degrees in liberal arts, chemistry or biology. Clinical experiences increase in the third year, when students work together one-half day a week in an outpatient continuing care clinic. They also work on two-month internal medicine rotations throughout each of their final three years.This unique and innovative curriculum provides students with early and continuous patient-care experience and fully integrates liberal arts/humanities, basic sciences and clinical medicine. The learning environment de-emphasizes competition and encourages learning through close faculty-student interaction and student partnerships.
  2. As a foundation of UMKC’s medical education program, the docent system takes the best of apprenticeship learning and combines it with small-group teaching, mentoring, peer coaching and other techniques. Students start their education by joining a docent team, where they learn from one another, as well as from faculty physicians known as docents. In this setting, docents provide clinical instruction while also guiding students’ personal and professional development. The system develops the attitudes, beliefs, competencies, habits and standards students need to be the best physicians possible.
  1. In 2021, the school expanded its program to St. Joseph to address the state’s rural physician shortage. The new campus is a partnership with Mosaic Life Care and is aimed at increasing primary care providers to improve patient access throughout Missouri. The disparities in care in rural areas result in higher rates of death, disability and chronic disease for rural Americans, and have intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic. Expansion of the UMKC medical school to the northwestern region of the state will serve to bridge this gap, knowing that students training in rural programs are three times as likely to remain in practice in those areas.
  1. Throughout its history, the UMKC School of Medicine has established a strong tradition of community outreach – a practice its students engage in early on and one that graduates carry with them into their careers.
    • Our Healthy Kansas City Eastside, a community health collaborative created to address COVID-19 in underserved neighborhoods, administered more than 11,000 vaccinations in Kansas City neighborhoods with high health care disparity. Backed by nearly $5 million in CARES Act funding through Jackson County, Jannette Berkley-Patton, Ph.D., professor of biomedical and health informatics and director of the UMKC Health Equity Institute, took up the challenge to bring the message as well as the needed vaccines to Kansas City communities with some of the lowest vaccination rates in the city.
    • The Sojourner Health Clinic was founded by a group of medical students in 2004. Students have organized this program as a service-learning project: Students from across the health sciences campus learn about working with vulnerable populations outside of the hospital setting and how to create and sustain a free health clinic, while providing a needed service to the Kansas City community.
  1. UMKC is one of 20 universities in the country where Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Health Studies, and Pharmacy share a single, walkable campus, fostering exceptional student learning opportunities. Why does that matter? That co-location encourages interprofessional collaboration on clinical care and research from the get-go. Together, our four health sciences schools share the vision and spirit, along with the resources and academic programs, to launch you into the right health professions career. Our unique structure positions UMKC as a leader in interprofessional education — a cross-discipline approach that prepares students to provide the best patient care in a collaborative team environment. UMKC is Kansas City’s top provider of health care professionals.

CME Transcripts

The UMKC School of Medicine Continuing Medical Education program was open from early 2010 through December 31, 2016.  For transcripts falling within this time frame, please call 816-235-6809.  If you need transcripts for any CME activities occurring from 2017 forward, please contact the program sponsor directly.

Producing leaders in health care


Since 1971, the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine has been preparing and producing tomorrow’s health care’s leaders.

Each year, we celebrate as our graduates join the ranks of those that came before them, beginning their careers in a variety of health care and related industries. Across this country, our graduates have established themselves as leaders in patient care, research, education, organized medicine, the military, industry and government.

Among the leadership positions held by UMKC School of Medicine graduates:

  • Chief of the Division of Cardiology at the Mayo Clinic
  • Deputy Director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
  • Founder of Massachusetts General’s In-Vitro Fertilization Unit
  • Chairman of Radiology at Boston Medical Center
  • Surgeon General of the United States Air Force

The UMKC model of medical education is known for producing skilled and caring clinicians, with many serving in myriad leadership roles.