August 5, 2002
SIU Med School Alumnus Named Dean
Southern Illinois University Carbondale Chancellor Walter Wendler has named Dr. J. Kevin Dorsey as dean and provost for SIU School of Medicine. The appointment is effective August 16, and is subject to ratification by the SIU Board of Trustees.
Dorsey, a professor of internal medicine, had been serving as interim dean since November and was one of five finalists in a national search.
"Dr. Dorsey is the first physician with a degree from this school to head this school," Wendler said. "He is a person of great vision, energy, and integrity and the school will continue to succeed under his leadership. I'm please he has accepted the position."
Dorsey is the third dean for the medical school that began in 1970; he succeeds Dr. Carl J. Getto who left SIUC last fall for the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics and Medical School in Madison.
"It is a rare privilege to be selected to lead an institution that not only I care so much about, but also one which cares so much for the people of Illinois whom we serve," Dorsey said. "Our challenge will lie in expanding the services we provide such as cancer care and women and children's programs, outreach efforts in rural Illinois and our young medical research enterprise during the current time of economic difficulty."
Dorsey joined the SIUC faculty as assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry in 1973 and then returned to earn his medical degree at SIU (1978). After additional training, he rejoined the faculty in 1983 when he was named an assistant professor and coordinated clinical teaching activities for first-year medical students. In 1998, Dorsey was named as associate provost for the southern region in Carbondale. For 15 years, he also was a rheumatologist with The Carbondale Clinic.
Dorsey earned his bachelor's at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Conn. (1964) and his doctoral in physiological chemistry at University of Wisconsin (1968). He was a postdoctoral fellow in biology at The Johns Hopkins University (1970-73). After earning his medical degree at SIU (1978), he completed his internal medicine residency and a two-year fellowship in rheumatology at the University of Iowa in Iowa City (1981, 1983).
He is board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology by the American Board of Internal Medicine and is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American College of Rheumatology. He is a member of Sigma Xi and Alpha Omega Alpha medical honorary society.
Dorsey's recent research activities have focused on the clinical reasoning skills of medical students, problems in diagnosing domestic violence, and teaching empathy as a part of medical education. He was awarded a John Templeton Spirituality in Medicine Curricular Award in 2000. He is a reviewer for Teaching and Learning in Medicine and Academic Medicine. He served on the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination biochemistry test committee for the National Board of Medical Examiners (1994-96).
His honors include teaching awards from the medical school as well as from students. In 1993, he was the first SIU medical school graduate to be named a Distinguished Alumnus.
Dorsey's community activities include serving as vice chair of the board of trustees for Southern Illinois Healthcare. He is a member of the Task Force to Improve End-of-Life Care in Carbondale and helped establish a free clinic in Jackson County.
Dorsey plans to move to Springfield but will continue to spend time in both Springfield and Carbondale as the School of Medicine has programs at each location.
The SIU School of Medicine is based in Carbondale and Springfield and is a state-assisted school established to help the people of central and southern Illinois meet their health care needs. It is specifically oriented to educating new physicians to practice in Illinois communities. Since 1975, 1,778 physicians have earned SIU medical degrees and two thirds are now in primary care fields. The School consistently ranks among the leaders of all U.S. medical schools in the percentage of graduates practicing in the primary care fields. As part of its focus on training caring, competent physicians, it has been widely recognized for its innovative teaching and testing techniques.