0
Members in the News
Psychiatrist Has Ambitious Plans as University President
Psychiatric News
Volume 37 Number 8 page 22-22

A psychiatrist will draw on his years of expertise in human learning to lead Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) into the future.

Anchor for JumpAnchor for Jump

Edward Hundert, M.D.: "We can weave experience and theory together in all of education."

Edward M. Hundert, M.D., is leaving his post as dean of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry to become president of CWRU on August 1.

Hundert is a psychiatrist and educator who, before his appointment as dean of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in 2000, served as the senior associate dean for medical education since 1997. He is also a professor of psychiatry and medical humanities at the University of Rochester.

While most medical students have two years of basic sciences followed by two years of clinical medicine, Hundert devised a curriculum that integrated the basic sciences and clinical medicine throughout the four-year program. He compared his plan to the double-helix structure of DNA: Like a molecule of DNA—which has two strands of nucleotides that parallel each another—students study scientific theory and clinical medicine simultaneously.

"I believe that by getting the students involved with real-world experiences with sick people before most would say they were ready, they are then driven to learn the theory behind the medicine," Hundert said in an interview.

Before coming to the University of Rochester, he was associate dean for student affairs at Harvard Medical School from 1990 to 1997 and was an associate professor of psychiatry from 1994 to 1997.

Hundert was involved in the formulation of medical ethics while at Harvard. In 1988 he became hospital ethicist at McLean Hospital, where he chaired the McLean Hospital Ethics Committee from 1992 to 1997. Hundert also served as chair of the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society Ethics Committee from 1992 until 1997. Last year he became chair of APA’s Task Force to Update the Ethics Annotations.

A prolific author, Hundert has written articles and book chapters on topics related to psychiatry, philosophy, medical ethics, and medical education. He also wrote two books, Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Neuroscience: Three Approaches to the Mind, published by Oxford University Press in 1989, and Lessons From an Optical Illusion: On Nature and Nurture, Knowledge, and Values, published by Harvard University Press in 1995.

As president of CWRU, Hundert plans to apply the principles behind the "double-helix" curriculum on a larger scale. "We can weave experience and theory together in all of education," he said. "For instance, anthropology majors could go to culturally diverse areas in the community and gain real experience with different cultures."

Hundert said that one thing that attracted him to the presidency of CWRU was that the faculty had already engaged in discussions about the relationship between experiential learning and the learning of theory.

"The students could then access the research laboratories, businesses, and cultural institutions of Cleveland—all places where life experience would then become the hook for them to learn rigorous theory."

Hundert also would like to link academic programs at CWRU to the community to benefit both the students and community. For instance, "science or engineering students might work in the academic or industry laboratory, music students would become involved with the music community, and an anthropology student would work in a culturally diverse community agency."

"We need to think about the responsibility of a national and international research university such as CWRU to the city it shares—Case Western is poised to link its academic enterprise to the city of Cleveland," said Hundert, "and Cleveland is also poised to link with the university."

To that end, Hundert has held talks with Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell and many of the city’s business leaders about developing new partnerships and "technology-transfer" opportunities. He said that he would like to see advances in science, technology, and medicine developed at CWRU become patented and licensed technologies.

"By combining the talents of our faculty with the complementary talents found in many of the businesses in Cleveland, we would like to move these discoveries into practical advances that can help humankind and also power the economy of northeastern Ohio."

Hundert also plans to build upon his work in ethics as head of the Midwestern university and said that all aspects of education "should develop one’s critical and intellectual skills to prepare them to be able to recognize and make" sound judgments.

Hundert said that he had to stop seeing patients five years ago to take on the demands of a full-time administrative leadership position. His training and experience in psychiatry, however, have prepared him well for his new appointment.

"When trying to be an agent of positive change in a world of conflict where emotions can often cloud judgment, it helps to have training geared specifically at managing these types of issues," he said. ▪

Anchor for JumpAnchor for Jump

Edward Hundert, M.D.: "We can weave experience and theory together in all of education."

Edward M. Hundert, M.D., is leaving his post as dean of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry to become president of CWRU on August 1.

Interactive Graphics

Video

NOTE:
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).