Announcing a Leadership Transition at our School of Medicine

October 22, 2019

Dear Members of the Georgetown University Community:

I write to share important news about our School of Medicine. Stephen Ray Mitchell, MD, MBA, (W’86, MBAE’13), the Joseph Butenas Professor of Medical Education, will conclude his service as Dean for Medical Education on June 30, 2020. Following the conclusion of his term as Dean, Ray will assume the title of Dean Emeritus and serve as a member of our medical education faculty in the Department of Medicine. I am deeply grateful to Ray for all he has done for our Georgetown community, and I wish to express my sincere appreciation for the many ways he has enriched our University since he first joined us on the Hilltop, more than three decades ago.

Ray’s tenure as a faculty member at Georgetown began in 1988, when he accepted a position to provide teaching and care for adults and children with rheumatic diseases at Georgetown University Hospital, where he would later open the Childhood Arthritis Center. From 1992-1999, he served as Residency Program Director in Internal Medicine, and initiated a Medicine Pediatric Residency in partnership with Kaiser Permanente in 1996 under the sponsorship of Partnerships for Quality Education and the Pew Charitable Trusts. He went on to serve as Associate Dean for Clinical Curriculum from 1998-2000, and as Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 2000 until May 2002, when he began his tenure as Dean for Medical Education.

As Dean, Ray was instrumental in the establishment of Longitudinal Academic Tracks to enable students to engage more deeply in specific areas of interest: population health, health justice, health care leadership, medical education research, and literature and medicine. Ray also led the effort to establish the School’s learning societies, which evolved to become academic families, providing mentorship for first- and second-year medical students.

During his tenure, he oversaw an expansion of the Georgetown Experimental Medical Studies (GEMS) program, which prepares underrepresented students for success in medical education. He also helped establish the Academy for Research, Clinical, and Health Equity Scholarship (ARCHES), a six-week pipeline program for undergraduate students interested in pursuing medical studies. Ray also created the Curricular Innovation, Research, and Creativity in the Learning Environment (CIRCLE) grant program to encourage creativity and reward excellence in medical education. In the past 18 years, CIRCLE has awarded $1.5 million in competitive curricular development grants.

In the last decade, Ray could often be found volunteering at the HOYA Clinic, a free medical clinic for families experiencing homelessness in Wards 7 and 8. Under his leadership, the dialogue began which led to the formation of the Georgetown University Health Justice Alliance, bringing together law, medical, and NHS students to address the health-harming social conditions that contribute to health and justice disparities faced by people living in poverty.

Over the course of his years of service, Ray’s leadership has had a tremendous impact, both here at Georgetown and throughout the medical community. His teaching and mentorship have been celebrated with multiple Golden Apple awards from his students, in recognition of “outstanding professional and personal qualities [that] have enhanced the medical education of members of the class.” He was inducted as a Master of the American College of Physicians in 2004, and as a Fellow in the Royal College of Physicians of London just last month. Ray has served on the Liaison Committee for Medical Education (LCME) and co-chaired the organization for the last two years. He has led accreditation visits to medical schools across the United States and Canada, and earlier this year, Ray led our School of Medicine through its own successful re-accreditation process.

Ray’s efforts and leadership have helped shape the course of medical education at Georgetown for more than thirty years, and for his extraordinary dedication to his teaching, the practice of medicine, his colleagues, and his students, we are deeply grateful. Our University is fortunate to continue to benefit from Ray’s membership in our community as Dean Emeritus, and look forward to his contributions as part of our medical education faculty for years to come.

In the time ahead, Dr. Edward B. Healton, Executive Vice President for Health Sciences and Executive Dean of our School of Medicine, and I will convene a committee as we begin planning for a national search for Ray’s successor. I look forward to opportunities in the coming months to gather as a community and express our appreciation to Ray, for his exemplary dedication on behalf of our University.

Please join me in sharing our gratitude with Ray as he prepares to conclude his service as Dean for Medical Education.


John J. DeGioia