Dear Colleagues,

Training the next generation of physician leaders is a crucial part of our mission. Most of us think of training for physicians occurring when they are in medical school, residency or fellowship — but learning and training never stops.

We also need to train our practicing doctors in MU Health Care in a variety of ways. Sometimes, this falls under continuing medical education (CME) for learning or relearning material in a particular field of study. However, there is another type of post-graduate learning which is important for a select number of our faculty and that is leadership training.

Who will one day be the future department chairs, center directors and chief medical officers, deans and, yes, executive vice chancellors for health affairs? I don’t know, but I do know we have some amazing faculty here at the MU School of Medicine who are now primed and ready to take on new leadership roles after attending the inaugural Physician Leadership Academy at MU Health Care and the School of Medicine.

2022 inaugural class of the Physicians Leadership Academy and
Congratulations to our inaugural class of the Physicians Leadership Academy and the class organizers and speakers.

The inaugural class of the Physician Leadership Academy includes:

  • Brian Bostick, MD – Medicine
  • David Chang, MD – Otolaryngology
  • Geetha Davis, MD – Ophthalmology
  • Margaret Day, MD – Family and Community Medicine
  • Jonathan Heidt, MD – Emergency Medicine
  • Detlef Ritter, MD – Pathology
  • Kimberly Brandt, DO – Psychiatry
  • Christelle Ilboudo, MD – formerly with Child Health
  • Olugbemisola Obi, MD – Child Health
  • Hariharan Regunath, MD – formerly with Medicine
  • Brandi French, MD – Neurology
  • Alexandra James, MD – Child Health
  • Megan Johnson, MD – Ob, Gyn & Women’s Health
  • Christine Schneider, DO – Medicine
  • Matthew Smith, MD – Orthopaedics
  • Nabila Khaleel, MD – Child Health
  • Andrew Wheeler, MD – Surgery
  • Mistie Mills, MD – Ob, Gyn & Women’s Health
  • Amanda Swenson, MD – Family and Community Medicine
  • Jonathan Shirshekan, MD – formerly with Medicine
  • Muaid Ithman, MD – Psychiatry

These doctors took part in monthly four-hour-long learning sessions organized by Steve Whitt, MD; Stephen Keithahn, MD; Craig Rooney, PhD; Pam Mulholland and Peter Callan, with guest lecturers from across the health system and campus, as well as national speaker Stephen Beeson, MD, founder and CEO of Practicing Excellence.

During these sessions, they discussed a range of topics such as communication with and leading people, understanding one’s leadership style and the business of health care. For some of these rising leaders, they have already seen their careers advance, such as Dr. Brandi French, who was recently named the interim chair of the Department of Neurology. With the knowledge and training they have received, I expect even more of these leaders will be called upon to serve our health system and medical school.

Dr. Barohn gives opening comments
I was honored to give opening comments to these rising leadership stars when the course kicked off in January and was asked to participate in the recent graduation ceremony for this first cohort of physician leaders.

I want to thank both those who led the leadership discussions for the last six months and the participants, the rising physician leaders at MU. I am very proud to be the EVC and dean for these amazing physicians.


Rick Barohn, MD
Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and Hugh E. and Sarah D. Stephenson Dean, School of Medicine