Santen named associate dean for medical education research and innovation

Sally Santen, MD, PhD, professor in the departments of Emergency Medicine and Medical Education, has been appointed associate dean for medical education research and innovation at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

Santen has published extensively on medical education innovations and research, including responsible and trustworthy trainee handovers from medical school to residency, moving Step 1 exams for medical students to follow their specialty clerkships, and medical student and resident assessment.

“Dr. Santen brings an extraordinary record of scholarship and achievement in medical education research and is nationally recognized for her expertise in assessing and improving medical education programs. I look forward to her leadership of our extensive team of medical education innovators and researchers, who have already established the College of Medicine as a national leader in this field,” says Andrew T. Filak Jr., MD, senior vice president for health affairs and Christian R. Holmes Professor and Dean of the College of Medicine.

In this new role, Santen reports to Philip M. Diller, MD, PhD, senior associate dean for educational affairs. “Dr. Santen is the right person to lead the medical education research efforts in the College,” Diller says.

As associate dean, Santen will devise and implement a strategic plan for medical education research at the College of Medicine; lead teams of educational researchers; develop faculty in educational research; contribute to the development, implementation and monitoring of the college’s ongoing medical education curriculum revitalization; support the submission of medical education grants; and advise on educational program design, development, quality measures and continuous improvement.


Sally Santen, MD, PhD

“I appreciate this opportunity to serve as a catalyst with College of Medicine faculty to take medical education research to the next level and contribute to the national conversation, to lead change and improve ways we educate,” says Santen, who also serves as the vice chair of research in the college’s Department of Medical Education.

“At the College of Medicine, Dr. Santen has been a key contributor to revitalizing the College of Medicine’s curriculum, lending her wide knowledge and expertise of medical education,” Diller says. In addition, Santen is currently working with the RADICAL (Research in Assessment Designed to Improve Care and Learning) educational lab in the Department of Internal Medicine with Eric Warm, MD, Richard W. and Sue P. Vilter Professor of Medicine and vice chair of education, Benjamin Kinnear, MD, associate professor, and Daniel Schauer, MD, associate professor, to improve assessment. In addition, she is assisting Laurah Turner, PhD, assistant dean for medical education, and Two Sigma to use artificial intelligence to assess and mentor students.

Santen is currently co-leading a two-year grant from the National Board of Medical Examiners Stemler Fund to evaluate and improve the continuum of medical education to determine whether medical school assessments can be aligned with residency performance to inform and evaluate medical school education practice. She also is an evaluation and scholarship consultant for the American Medical Association Accelerating Change in Medical Education consortium.

In 2016, Santen received the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine’s Hal Jayne Excellence in Education Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to emergency medicine through the teaching of others and the improvement of pedagogy. She also completed the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® (ELAM) Program fellowship in 2022.

Santen came to the UC College of Medicine in 2021 from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine where she was senior associate dean of assessment, evaluation and scholarship. Previously, she served as the assistant dean for educational research and quality improvement at the University of Michigan Medical School. She received her medical degree from George Washington University and her doctorate in education from Vanderbilt University. She completed her postgraduate training at George Washington University.

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