Rogers takes reign of national group on combined degree programs

Brenda Rogers, M.D.
Brenda Rogers, M.D.

More and more medical schools throughout the United States are incorporating accelerated medical education into their programs. As they do, questions are bound to arise. That’s where the Association of American Medical Colleges Group on Combined Baccalaureate-MD Programs steps in.

The UMKC School of Medicine has been at the forefront of the group’s leadership from the beginning, starting with Louise Arnold, Ph.D., the School’s former associate dean for medical education who in 2002 was founding chair of the group.

Earlier this year at the group’s annual meeting, that leadership role made it full circle back to the School of Medicine with Brenda Rogers, M.D., ’90, associate dean for student affairs, assuming the chairperson’s role in the group’s four-year leadership cycle.

Rogers said the UMKC School of Medicine has a strong identity among medical schools with accelerated programs. So when those questions do come up at the group’s annual meeting, it’s not uncommon that educators turn to Rogers and UMKC for answers.

“Dr. Arnold has set this wonderful national reputation for us as a resource,” Rogers said. “We get questions at that meeting frequently of, ‘How should we do this,’ and someone will say, ‘well, UMKC has been doing this for 40 years. How do you guys do that?’ We have that reputation.”

Rogers said she has developed a deep appreciation for her role as leader and a resource for other educators within the group, going back to a time nearly seven years ago when she started attending the group meetings with Arnold.

“It makes me feel older, but it’s very fulfilling. You hope it’s helpful to them,” Rogers said. “It is kind of because of her (Arnold’s) legacy that our program needs to be very supportive, and it is, with this national group.”

By the same token, Rogers said she has found other medical educators within the group to be valuable assets of information to deal with issues that pop up at the UMKC School of Medicine.

“Some of the people I’ve me in the group through Dr. Arnold have helped me with struggles in student affairs issues. They’ve been good resources for me,” Rogers said. “The collaboration has been fantastic.”

That idea of working together to share ideas, said Rogers, is the whole reason for the group, which has morphed from a handful of medical schools to a group that represents almost 100 schools across the country. The group gets together for one day during the AAMC’s annual meetings. Rogers said that in her one-year role as chair, she would encourage more communication among the group’s membership throughout the year as well as encourage new members to become more involved in the program.

“We share information about things we’re individually working on to accomplish the same goal,” Rogers said. “We’re sharing information.”

From that standpoint, the purpose of the group hasn’t changed in the 10 years since it was formed. It’s merely grown.

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