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Chase leaving to study what makes good doctors

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2006 - Spring


In December the medical school’s deputy dean for education, Herbert S. Chase Jr., M.D., announced that he would be ending his six-year tenure at the end of the academic year on June 30. Chase will return to Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, where he spent 22 years before coming to Yale, to continue his research into the kind of teaching that makes a good doctor. “I am interested in looking at physician performance and patient outcomes, and asking whether and how one’s medical educational background influences the quality of a physician’s performance,” Chase said.

Recruited in 1999, Chase was asked to evaluate the medical school curriculum and recommend and implement changes necessary to meet the challenges of a new landscape in medicine. He championed the merging of courses in related disciplines and encouraged a more fluid curriculum that would integrate the basic and clinical sciences over four years of study. As deputy dean he oversaw the revamping of the anatomy course for first-year students; the creation of the Society of Distinguished Teachers to reward outstanding faculty; and the implementation of the Clinical Skills Program, which provides rigorous instruction and assessment during the first two years of medical school. According to Dean Robert J. Alpern, M.D., “Yale has benefited greatly from [Chase’s] commitment, enthusiasm and dedication to the medical students, and we take great pride in Herb’s accomplishments as deputy dean.”

Chase said that credit for his achievements is not his alone. “Whatever was accomplished, was accomplished with great effort by dozens of faculty.”

—John Curtis

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