Skip to main content

New Appointments at University of Utah School of Medicine

As part of a comprehensive campaign to transform medical education, three top leadership appointments, effective immediately, have been announced by Michael L. Good, MD, Senior Vice President for Health Sciences. These appointments support new educational and curricular initiatives at the SOM and are part of its MedEdMorphosis 2021 Strategy.

Wayne Samuelson, MD, is appointed Dean of Medical Education for the University of Utah School of Medicine (SOM). Sara Lamb, MD, is appointed Vice Dean of Education for the SOM, and Cynthia Best, MBA, is appointed Vice Dean for Finance & Administration for SOM. Good, who serves as SVP for Health Sciences and CEO of University of Utah Health will continue to serve as Executive Dean for the School of Medicine.

“The collective vision and expertise of these accomplished leaders will help us innovate our medical curriculum in ways that align with strategic institutional priorities focused on optimizing health for all Utahns,” said Good. “These new initiatives are ambitious and require dedicated focus from seasoned leaders.”            

The SOM has a long history of excellence in its medical education program as manifested by its reputation, support from the state, and achievements of its graduates. As medicine and health care continue to evolve, the nature of medical education is also changing. Medical schools have an obligation, rooted in their missions, to train students and educators to be prepared for this changing landscape—including innovations designed to diversify trainees, curriculum, programs, facilities and more.

In response to the needs of our community, Intermountain Healthcare and U of U Health recently announced an ambitious partnership to jointly develop a new medical educational program—the first of its kind in the United States—to be used to train the next generation of physicians in population health. Earlier this year, U of U Health joined 17 other health care systems and hospitals throughout the state to declare systemic racism a public health crisis, and outlined steps to overcome health disparities in Utah communities. The School of Medicine is in the final stages of planning its new building for medical education and discovery.

Wayne Samuelson, MD who previously served as Interim Dean of the School of Medicine (SOM) from May 2017 to August 2018, will be responsible for all aspects of medical education and continue to supervise continuing medical education and  health equity, diversity & inclusion. He will also oversee the SOM affiliation with Veterans Affairs and represent the School nationally as a member of the Council of Academic Deans. “Dr. Samuelson has served this academic institution with distinction as a professor, administrator, and clinician.” Good remarked. “His leadership will ensure educational excellence for everyone who teaches and trains at our School of Medicine.” A professor of medicine, Samuelson received BA and MD degrees from the University of Utah. He completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in pulmonary disease at Duke University Medical Center.

Sara Lamb, MD has served as Associate Dean of Education for curriculum since 2010, orchestrating the ongoing reform of the new medical school curriculum and leading the Core Educators program. In this role she will oversee, coordinate and guide educational functions in the SOM including leading the MedEdMorphosis initiative, helping to guide the population health scholars’ program, and supervise curriculum reform efforts. Additionally, she will provide supervision of all Associate Deans and Assistant Deans, and the MD Program Curriculum office staff. Samuelson notes, “Dr. Lamb is a visionary and progressive leader. She approaches education and culture change with impact in mind. The school of medicine is fortunate to have her as our new vice dean for education to help lead these groundbreaking innovations.” Lamb is an associate professor of internal medicine and an adjunct associate professor of pediatrics. Lamb received a BA in biology at Albion College and an MD at Michigan State University. She works as a hospitalist within the Division of Inpatient Pediatrics and as an internist in the Division of General Internal Medicine.

Cynthia Best, MBA has served as Associate Dean for Finance & Administration in the SOM since July 2011. She is responsible for all Dean’s Office financial operations, the malpractice insurance trust fund, system development, and SOM department oversight. “In decades of service to our SOM, Ms. Best has demonstrated superb financial acumen and management,” states Samuelson. “She knows this institution inside and out and has successfully led us through several financial storms over the years. We are fortunate she is continuing as a leader in the school of medicine now as vice dean.” Best received a BA in accounting and an MBA, with an emphasis in health care, at the University of Utah. 

Michael L. Good is currently serving as Interim President of the University of Utah while continuing as CEO, University of Utah Health, Senior Vice President of Health Sciences, and Executive Dean of the School of Medicine.