WSU welcomes second candidate for medical school dean

SPOKANE, Wash. – The second of three finalist candidates for founding dean of the new WSU College of Medicine will visit the Spokane campus today.

“These three candidates are the best from what was a very strong pool of applicants,” said Gary Pollack, dean of the WSU College of Pharmacy and chair of the founding dean search committee. “I believe each of them would do a tremendous job shaping and leading the new WSU College of Medicine.”

Dawn DeWitt, MD, is a professor of medicine at the University of British Columbia. She’s also the associate dean for the university’s MD Undergraduate Program. She was recently named governor of the British Columbia chapter of the American College of Physicians. Her professional interests are medical education and diabetes.

DeWitt will participate in a series of meetings with university faculty and administration and community leaders on Monday. Then she will appear at an open forum from 4-5 p.m. in the first floor auditorium of the Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences Building, 205 E. Spokane Falls Blvd.

DeWitt is the second founding dean finalist candidate to come to Spokane. Dr. David Gozal, a pediatric sleep researcher from the University of Chicago, visited last week. The third finalist will come to campus on Monday, August 31 and also participate in a public forum.

“These visits are a very important part of the selection process to make sure we get the person who is the best fit for leading our program. The new dean will have the important responsibility of setting the tone and direction for the new College of Medicine,” said College of Medical Sciences acting dean Ken Roberts. “I’ve enjoyed learning about each of the candidates through our initial interviews and reference checks, but there’s no substitute for spending time with them on campus and seeing how they interact with people here.”

The new dean will serve as head of the WSU medical school, which was authorized by the legislature and governor during the 2015 legislative session. The hiring of the dean is an important requirement toward gaining national accreditation for the new school, which hopes to begin recruiting and admitting students during the fall of 2016. WSU expects to begin teaching its charter class of medical students in August 2017.

First- and second-year medical students will do their academic work on the WSU Spokane campus. Third- and fourth-year students will be assigned to WSU clinical campuses in Spokane, the Tri-Cities, Vancouver and Everett; they will do their clinical rotations in clinics and hospitals in and around those cities.


Doug Nadvornick, WSU College of Medical Sciences, 509-358-7540,

Terren Roloff, WSU Spokane, 509-358-7527,