Rebecca Rainer Pauly, interim senior associate dean for medical education at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine (VTCSOM), will assume the role of vice dean of the school on Sept. 1. She will succeed Daniel Harrington, who helped lead the development of VTCSOM since its conception and served as vice dean since 2015. Harrington retired from his roles as a psychiatrist and vice president of academic affairs at Carilion Clinic in April and will assist with the transition with Pauly through September.

Pauly has served as interim senior associate dean since November. She is a professor of medicine at VTCSOM and vice chair of the department of medicine at the medical school and Carilion Clinic and will continue in these roles as vice dean.  

“I am excited to step into the role of vice dean,” Pauly said. “Serving as the interim senior associate dean for the past eight months, I developed a unique perspective about the VTCSOM team and what might be front-burner issues for our school.”

She said some of these issues include reducing medical student debt and enhancing scholarships and exploring the creation of an accelerated medical school program for a small subset of students focused on primary care practice.

“VTCSOM is well positioned to explore and develop creative and strategic approaches to these issues,” she said. “We have outstanding and highly engaged students, trainees, faculty, and staff who thrive in collaboration and success of the team.”

“Dr. Pauly will bring a wide range of experiences in academic medicine to the role of vice dean,” said Lee Learman, dean of the school.

From 2013-19, Pauly was at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), where she was professor of medicine and biomedical and health informatics and served as associate dean for faculty development and director of the master’s in health professions education program. While at the University of Florida from 1997-2013, Pauly served as associate vice president for health affairs for equity and diversity, vice chair for medical education in the department of medicine, and chief of the division of general internal medicine. 

Pauly’s investment in education is evidenced by excellence in teaching awards, international presentations, and publications. She has launched mentoring instruction and recognition programs at the University of Florida, UMKC, and VTCSOM and Carilion Clinic. She is a strong advocate for faculty and trainees. She serves as faculty advisor for VTCSOM’s Group on Women in Medicine and Science and has been recognized in Best Doctors in America from 2007-present and was selected to the prestigious Gold Humanism Honor Society. 

She received the 2020 TEACH Feedback Award from VTCSOM and Carilion Clinic for her involvement with both learners and faculty in enhancing feedback skills. In addition, she was co-chair of the VTCSOM strategic planning committee. This assignment required deep dives into data; engagement with multiple stakeholders including students, trainees, faculty, staff, leadership, and the community; organization, efficiency, and writing skills. The strategic plan is a dynamic and forward positioning instrument for VTCSOM and will define the priority areas for the dean’s office over the next five years.

“Dr. Pauly’s creativity, administrative skills, and leadership experience will help catalyze the success of our medical school strategy, operations, and partnerships,” Learman said.

Pauly graduated with a bachelor's degree, cum laude, from Vanderbilt University and earned her medical degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Medicine.  She served her residency in internal medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a fellowship in cardiology at UAB, and a research fellowship in vascular biology at the National Institutes of Health.

Share this story