Postfellowship Pathways: Blazing a Trail in
By Suzanne Rose, MD, MSEd, AGAF
Dr. Rose is a professor of medicine and senior associate dean for education at the University of Connecticut
What led you to pursue a career in medical education?
School of Medicine.
Believe it or not, I pursued my path in medical education
even prior to attending medical school. I was a high school
teacher with a master’s in education, working during the
summer of 1979 under the auspices of the Student Conservation Association at Grand Canyon National Park. Sitting
on the edge of the canyon at sunset, I made the momentous
decision to attend medical school, requiring attendance at
a postbaccalaureate program at Columbia University. While
considering medical schools, I knew that I wanted to combine my interest in education with medicine and I therefore
chose to attend Case Western University School of Medicine.
Since the mid-1950s, Case had been committed to innovative educational programs with a systems-based approach
to the curriculum.
Throughout my career I focused on medical educa-
What do you enjoy most about working
tion, preparing my senior resident talk on “the resident
as teacher” – not yet a hot topic. My path as a GI fellow,
including a chief fellow year at the Cleveland Clinic, re-
confirmed my interest in education leadership. During
my first postfellowship position at the University of
Pittsburgh, I was able to lead the GI second-year course,
oversee GI electives for students and residents, and work
on the GI fellowship curriculum. It was at that time that
I began my involvement in AGA with committee work
related to education and women’s issues in GI. I also refo-
cused my scholarly work in education, eventually editing
a textbook in GI and hepatobiliary pathophysiology, and
working on other projects.
in medical education?
There are so many aspects of medical education that make
work fun and rewarding. Perhaps the most rewarding is
the ability to make a difference that affects the learner as
well as the patients and communities that they will serve.
I also enjoy the diverse experiences and opportunities in
education and the ability to work with others in creative
What are your responsibilities in a typical week?
One of the great things about a focus in education is that
there never is a typical week. In the 32 years since my graduation from medical school, I have had the great fortune to
fill many different roles: course director, electives director,
fellowship program director, associate dean for student affairs, associate dean for undergraduate medical education,
and associate dean for continuing medical education. For
the past 6 years, I have been the senior associate dean for
education at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, overseeing undergraduate medical education, graduate
medical education, continuing medical education, and the
Over time I have had less interaction with students
and residents as my administrative responsibilities have
grown, but I know it is critical to maintain a presence with