Reflections From Dean Kirkland

Associate Dean for Clinical Student Affairs


The theme of this semester’s Clinical Connections newsletter is “leadership.” For this newsletter’s scholarly article, I chose Leadership in Medicine from the McGill Medical Journal, not only as a shout out to our Canadian medical students but also because it provides some very cogent advice for physicians hoping to improve their leadership abilities. Included in the article is the following quote from Dr. Wiley W. Souba: 
“Five fundamental leadership principles are critical to building a better future: 1. recognizing that the work of leadership involves an inward journey of self-discovery and self-development; 2. establishing clarity around a set of core values that guide the organization as it pursues its goals; 3. communicating a clear sense of purpose and vision that inspires widespread commitment to a shared sense of destiny; 4. building a culture of excellence and accountability throughout the entire organization; and 5. creating a culture that emphasizes the development of leaders and leadership as an organizational capacity.  Leadership and learning are inextricably linked.
In the first edition of Clinical Connections, we talked about professional growth and development during medical education. To me, leadership serves an extension of this professional development as Dr. Souba’s first principle echoes. As you develop your professional identity, proficiencies, and value systems, opportunities for leadership will emerge. It will be up to you to rise to these opportunities. 
On the following pages, you will see how the AUC family of students, faculty, and graduates have demonstrated the qualities that define leadership. I have been very fortunate to spend the last year working with current 4th year student Ryan Sarver on the Admissions Committee and am continually impressed by his dedication, hard work, and strong desire to serve others. You will hear from Brittany Furrow and her leadership experience as a Clinical SGA Representative. You will also meet Dr. Mohamed Aziz, one of AUC’s new faculty members and learn about his incredible leadership in the specialty of cytopathology. And finally, you will hear from Dr. Aaron Tiffee, an AUC graduate who recently finished his Chief Resident year at Louisiana State University’s emergency medicine program. 
As you are reading through this newsletter, I encourage you to think about those leaders who have had a significant impact on your life and what qualities they exhibited. It is my hope that you will count some of your AUC faculty members among those leaders and know that they will observe with pride the leadership successes that await you in your medical career.  
As always, I welcome your feedback and suggestions for future newsletter topics. 
My very best to all of you!


Kimberly Kirkland, PsyD
Associate Dean for Clinical Student Affairs
Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Clinical Sciences