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Building a Dream Team to Change Medical Education in Southern Nevada

Meet Marin Gillis, PhD, LPh, Senior Executive Dean for Faculty Affairs and Learning Innovation  

Philosopher, bioethicist, and award-winning medical educator, Dr. Marin Gillis, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Roseman. As a member of Roseman University College of Medicine’s Dream Team, assembled by Dean Joe Greer, MD, to shape new thinking at this emerging school of medicine, Dr. Gillis says she was sold on Summerlin the minute she saw Red Rock Canyon and all the parks and trails perfect for dog walking. 

“It doesn’t hurt that my affinity for pink flamingoes that I developed in Miami, also works in Las Vegas,” she laughed.  

Dr. Gillis, who recognizes the intersection of ethics, humanities, and the arts in medicine, initially came to Nevada years ago to look at the art collection assembled for Nevada Cancer Institute.  She has done considerable work with arts and Alzheimer’s, recognizing a cerebral response to art.  And she has used drawing and art to help medical students learn to better explain and illustrate health conditions with their patients.

While at the University of Nevada Reno School of Medicine years ago, she started an artist in residence program for fourth year medical students in which they had to represent the experience of being a health professional from an artist’s perspective.  Along the way, she has encouraged many of her medical students to self-publish their artistic works on Issu’s digital platform called ELOQUOR, with the goal of helping them to stand out amongst competitors when seeking residency interviews. 

“My mission is to incorporate other disciplines to help medical students be the best clinicians they can be and faculty members be the best medical educators they can be,” said Dr. Gillis. “Interprofessional and transdisciplinary education creates a unique academic culture within a medical school, and that’s the goal at Roseman.  We will emphasize visual literacy, statistical literacy, and cultural literacy to ensure our clinicians develop the keenest observation skills possible. The art of observation plays an important role in medicine, particularly in the fields of pathology, dermatology and radiology.”

Dr. Gillis, a Harvard Macy scholar, is a published author of dozens of peer-reviewed articles as well as her own book on ethics and medical biotechnologies.  She is committed to the advancement of evidenced-based ethics and humanities education and advancing women and other underrepresented communities in academic medicine.

Marin Gillis of Roseman College of Medicine