University News

Med School names dean for career aid

Senior Staff Writer
Sunday, September 25, 2011

Brian Zink was named an assistant dean for medical student career development at the Alpert Medical School Wednesday, a newly created position he will assume Oct. 1.

Zink, who served as chair of emergency medicine at Miriam and Rhode Island hospitals, said the Med School created the position as a way to improve the career advising services already offered there.

Edward Wing, dean of medicine and biological sciences, said Zink will be responsible for four tasks: helping faculty advise medical students about their careers, helping write dean’s letters for students’ residency applications, overseeing the Med School’s career development center and expanding the curriculum for the “doctoring program,” a Med School requirement that gives students experience in doctors’ offices.

Previously, Zink worked in the dean’s office at the University of Michigan, where he interacted regularly with medical students, an aspect of his work he said he missed while working at the hospitals.

Zink said he had been having discussions with colleagues at the Med School, including Wing, about becoming more involved with student life, which led to the creation of his new position.

“I inquired, and they were receptive,” he said.

“From the first time he came to Brown, he’s shown interest in the dean’s office,” Wing said. “He is passionate about it,” he said. “It’s our opportunity and his.”

In addition to these functions, Zink said he will work on expanding the reach of a web-based medical career advising program called “Careers in Medicine,” which students will use throughout their four years. The program requires students to take self-evaluations in their first year and then saves the results for later reevaluations. These evaluations help students decide what path to take in the medical field after graduation.

Zink called this program “robust” but said it must be accompanied by “team of dedicated faculty” and widespread student use.

“Most med schools offer some career development program,” Zink said, “We’re trying to create a very comprehensive program that leads to people making great decisions.”

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