Dean X. Parmelee, MD, Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine
An early pioneer of team-based learning (TBL), Dean X. Parmelee, MD, has been a champion of medical education innovation for more than three decades.
When Dr. Parmelee joined Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine in 2001 as associate dean for medical education, he teamed up with faculty colleagues to transform the largely passive curriculum to one that engages medical learners. In the 15 years since, he has been instrumental in the design and implementation of many TBL modules incorporated throughout the Boonshoft School of Medicine curriculum. Dr. Parmelee has also worked to develop curricula that underscore the healing and compassionate qualities of physicians. For example, he helped implement and continues to teach in the Healer’s Art course, designed by Rachel Remen, MD, an elective in which nearly 80 percent of first-year medical students enroll.
Dr. Parmelee is a well-known champion for active learning techniques at Boonshoft School of Medicine and beyond. He served as the inaugural president of the Team-Based Learning Collaborative, a national not-for-profit group that promotes TBL in higher education. He is a widely published scholar on active learning, authoring and coauthoring many book chapters and peer-reviewed articles. He has also edited four textbooks on TBL, including Team-Based Learning in Health Professions Education, which has been translated into other languages. With his expertise in active learning and academic administration, Dr. Parmelee was also instrumental in establishing a medical school in Saudi Arabia and has served as a consultant faculty developer to institutions in the Middle East, including Iran; Southeast Asia; Africa; and more than 30 states in the United States.
In addition to his support of students and active learning strategies, Dr. Parmelee is an equally committed advocate and mentor for his faculty peers. “Dr. Parmelee has created a community of medical educators, which will be his ultimate legacy,” says Margaret M. Dunn, MD, MBA, dean of Boonshoft School of Medicine.
Dr. Parmelee has received many honors for his contributions to medical education. The American Psychiatric Association awarded him the Roeske Certificate of Recognition for Excellence in Medical Student Education in 2001 and appointed him a Distinguished Fellow in 2003. In 2012, he received the Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award from the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education and was named the Kegerreis Distinguished Professor of Teaching, Wright State University’s highest recognition for educators.
Dr. Parmelee earned his bachelor’s degree at Antioch College and his MD at the University of Rochester School of Medicine. He trained in adult and child psychiatry as a resident and clinical fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Prior to joining Boonshoft School of Medicine, Dr. Parmelee was on the tenured faculty at the Virginia Commonwealth School of Medicine, where he also served as director of the second-year curriculum and medical director of the Virginia Treatment Center for Children.