Commencement Speaker

James O. Woolliscroft, M.D.

Dr. James WoolliscroftJames O. Woolliscroft, M.D., is an internationally recognized leader in medical education who served as dean of the University of Michigan Medical School from 2007-15. He is the Lyle C. Roll Professor of Medicine and a professor of learning health sciences at the U-M.

Woolliscroft has devoted his career to improving physician and student education at all levels. During his tenure as dean, he also instituted a program for international collaboration and a transformative set of actions to strengthen the research activities on campus. Through a partnership with Peking University Health Science Center in Beijing, China, the Joint Institute for Translational & Clinical Research was formed. In 2008, he led the institutional effort to purchase an adjacent, former pharmaceutical R&D campus that is now the University of Michigan North Campus Research Complex. This site is a hub for exciting new research collaborations, including the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, one of the largest groups of health services and policy researchers in the nation, united to study how health care works and how it can be improved. Most recently, he championed the development of a new, innovative medical student curriculum that will empower U-M students to become collaborative leaders and change agents in the health care system.

Prior to becoming dean, he served in several leadership positions, including associate chair in the Department of Internal Medicine, chief of staff of the University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers, associate dean and director of graduate medical education, executive associate dean, and as interim dean of the Medical School from 2006-07. In 2013, he was elected to the prestigious National Academy of Medicine. In 2014, he received the Abraham Flexner Award for Distinguished Service to Medical Education — the highest honor bestowed by the Association of American Medical Colleges, in recognition of outstanding leadership in transforming medical education in the modern age.

Woolliscroft received his B.S. summa cum laude in 1972 and his M.D. in 1976 from the University of Minnesota. He completed his internal medicine residency (chief resident 1979-80) at the University of Michigan in 1980.