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Alison J. Whelan, MD

Chief Academic Officer

Alison J. Whelan, MD
Alison J. Whelan, MD, leads the AAMC’s initiatives to transform medical education and workforce preparation across the full continuum of medical education.

Alison J. Whelan, MD, became the AAMC’s chief academic officer in January 2021. In this role, Dr. Whelan oversees efforts that prepare and assist deans, faculty leaders, educators, and future physicians for the challenges of 21st century academic medicine. She leads a staff that addresses critical medical school data, administrative, and operational issues; explores new models of successful mission alignment; focuses on key student and faculty issues; transforms current models of education and workforce preparation across the full continuum of medical education; and supports medical school accreditation activities.

Dr. Whelan joined the AAMC as chief medical education officer in 2016. Prior to joining the association, she served as a professor of medicine and pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis (WUSTL School of Medicine). She held multiple education roles during her tenure, including course director, clerkship director, curriculum dean, and the inaugural senior associate dean for education. In this role, she oversaw the continuum of medical education from medical school admissions through continuing medical education. She also liaised closely with the MD-PhD program leadership. Dr. Whelan led or oversaw local accreditation for LCME®, ACGME, and ACCME, and she participated in overall university accreditation as well as accreditation for a new master of public health program. She was responsible for interprofessional education and led the creation of a Center for Interprofessional Education, a joint venture between the school of medicine and two completely independent organizations: Goldfarb School of Nursing and St. Louis College of Pharmacy.

An internist and clinical geneticist, Dr. Whelan continued both clinical care and research involvement until she left WUSTL School of Medicine. She created and ran the hereditary cancer clinic, co-ran an interdisciplinary Marfan clinic, was co-director of the Siteman Cancer Center Hereditary Cancer Research Core, and served five years on the Siteman Cancer Center Executive Committee.

Dr. Whelan received her bachelor’s degree from Carleton College in 1981. She earned her medical degree from WUSTL School of Medicine in 1986 and completed her postgraduate work and residency at the former Barnes Hospital, now Barnes-Jewish Hospital.