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Office of Curricular Affairs

The Office of Curricular Affairs oversees the day-to-day operations of the M.D. program of the Saint Louis University School of Medicine.

Our office provides executive oversight of the entire SLU M.D. program. This includes the creation of schedules, selecting course directors and faculty to teach, monitoring integration and outcomes of the curriculum, administering assessments, and providing support to the committees that oversee and guide the curriculum. Our office also maintains the academic policies for the M.D. program.

The Office of Curricular Affairs coordinates accreditation site visits from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, and compiles relevant data and documentation related to the maintenance of accreditation.

Distinctive Aspects of Our Curriculum

A Focus on Active Learning
We learn best by doing, so our pre-clerkship curriculum emphasizes active learning. Our approach is to give students resources, time, and space for independent study, and then to bring students in for active learning where they acquire knowledge through applying concepts collaboratively. We mostly use Peer Instruction (PI), Team-based Learning (TBL) and simulation.
Health System Science Interwoven Throughout
Engaging with patients, the health care system and society is essential to being a good doctor. Throughout our curriculum, students learn about these issues in a way that develops socially minded and patient-centered physicians who will serve their patients well and be leaders in the American health care system.
Laying the Foundation Well
A solid grounding in the basic sciences of medicine is essential. Anatomy, physiology, histology, and embryology form the building blocks that doctors use to reason and think. Our curriculum starts with a robust semester-long course, Normal Structure and Function, which lays the foundation for building high-level clinical reasoning.
A Patient-centered Clinical Experience
Serving patients is at the heart of what we do, and it informs our curriculum. Students experience a wide breadth of patient-centered learning experiences, helping them become the patient-centered physicians we need to serve our city, state and country.
Dedicated Support for All Those Exams

We have dedicated courses and support designed to help students perform well on the licensing exams that every student must take to become a doctor. The nature of our curriculum and the support we provide have helped our students maintain a pass rate above the national average.

Experiences That Help You Choose a Career Path

Our curriculum has various electives and experiences built in that help students explore career options and discern a career path from the first year through the fourth year.

Faculty and Staff

Curriculum Deans
Headshot of Chad Miller
Chad S. Miller, M.D.

Senior associate dean for Undergraduate Medical Education

Chad S. Miller, M.D., is the senior associate dean of undergraduate medical education. He obtained his undergraduate degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale University in 1999 and his doctorate of medicine from Tulane University in 2004. He completed his residency training in internal medicine at Tulane University in 2007. Miller then served as associate program director for the internal medicine residency program and internal medicine clerkship director until 2015 when he came to Saint Louis University School of Medicine.    

Miller started at SLU School of Medicine as division director of general internal medicine and vice-chair of education for the Department of Internal Medicine. In 2017, he stepped into the dean’s office and eventually assumed his current administrative role. 

Headshot of Johan Bester

Johan Bester, Ph.D.
Associate dean of Pre-clerkship Curriculum

Johan C. Bester, Ph.D., is the associate dean for pre-clerkship curriculum at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. He is also an associate professor in family and community medicine, and associate professor in healthcare ethics. Bester provides leadership and oversight to the entire pre-clerkship curriculum at the School of Medicine. He supervises course directors and staff, and guides curricular philosophy, integration, practice and delivery. Bester also teaches in the healthcare ethics course in the medical school, and serves as the leader for the evidence-based medicine thread.

Headshot of James Duffy

James F. Duffy, S.J., M.D.
Associate dean of Clinical Curriculum

James F. Duffy, S.J., M.D., was appointed associate dean for clinical curriculum in January 2024. Duffy oversees the clerkship curriculum and the post-clerkship curriculum. He works closely with students, the Office of Curricular Affairs, and the Office of Student Affairs to provide an outstanding educational experience to prepare students for internship and residency.  

Headshot of Katherine Matthews

Katherine Mathews, M.D.
Associate dean of Health Systems Science

Katherine Mathews, M.D., is the associate dean of health systems science for undergraduate medical education, professor and research division director within the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Women's Health, and director of education for the Bander Center for Medical Business Ethics. She teaches leadership in the business of medicine and oversees several electives within the pre-clerkship curriculum. She partners with Jane Tucker, M.D., in the School of Medicine's Office of Community Engagement to bring high-quality health and wellness services to underserved populations in the region. Finally, she provides prenatal and postpartum care to low-income people with anxiety, depression, and other psychiatric issues.

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Neal Weber
Assistant dean of Program Evaluation and Assessment

Neal Weber is the assistant dean of program evaluation and assessment for the Saint Louis University School of Medicine. He has dedicated his career to advancing medical education through research and assessment, focusing on improving the quality of medical training and ensuring that students are well-prepared to meet the demands of the health care industry.

Headshot of Lynda Morrison

Lynda Morrison, Ph.D.
Assistant dean of Pre-Clerkship Curriculum

Lynda Morrison, Ph.D., completed her undergraduate degree at St. Olaf College, doctorate at Washington University, and two post-doctoral fellowships at Harvard Medical School before joining the faculty at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. Morrison's research focuses on herpes simplex virus pathogenesis, vaccine and antiviral drug development, yielding nearly 80 peer-reviewed papers. She has taught in and directed courses in the graduate program and the medical school and earned a certificate in University Teaching Skills. She is currently assistant dean of  preclinical curriculum and a course director for immunology, pharmacology and therapeutics, while continuing her research with colleagues across SLU and beyond.

Curriculum Staff
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Denise Parker
Business manager
Caroline 110

Headshot of Linda Gwinn

Linda A. Gwinn
Director of Curricular Management
LRC 114

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Zak Mussig
Director of Instructional Design and Assessment
Caroline 110, Office No. 110B

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Avery Levinger
Pre-clerkship coordinator
Caroline 110

Headshot of Monisha Hall

Monisha Hall
Pre-clerkship coordinator
Caroline 110

Headshot of Luz Carriedo

Luz Carriedo
Year 3 and Learning Communities coordinator
Caroline 110

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Chris Meyer
Year 4 coordinator
Caroline 110

Headshot of Nanette Parris

Nanette Parris
Facilities coordinator
LRC 114

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Austin Beachum
Tableau writer
Caroline 110

Clinical Skills and Simulation
Headshot of Tina Chen

Tina Chen, M.D.
Associate dean of Simulation and Clinical Skills

Tina Chen, M.D., was appointed associate dean of simulation and clinical skills in June 2018. Chen works to integrate evidence-based, hands-on simulation education into the medical student curriculum. She is also an associate professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine, where she serves as the director of simulation for the Saint Louis University Emergency Medicine Residency.

Headshot of Timothy Havens

Tim Havens, M.D.
Assistant dean, Clinical Skills Center

Timothy R. Havens, M.D., is the assistant dean of clinical skills. He obtained his undergraduate degree in computer engineering from Brown University in 2004, and his doctorate of medicine from Saint Louis University in 2010. He completed residency training at Saint Louis University in 2013 where he was named chief resident. He then joined the faculty at SLU and has been working there ever since.

Headshot of Denise Townsend

Denise Townsend
Director of Clinical Skills Center

Headshot of Wesley Burch

Wesley Burch
Education specialist, Simulation Center
LRC Lower Level

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Patrick Kerwin
Standardized patient coordinator
Clinical Skills Center
Education Union, Second Floor

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Adela Husic
Coordinator, Clinical Skills Center and Simulation Lab
Education Union, Second Floor