Eva Aagaard, MD, senior associate dean for education at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been named the school’s inaugural Carol B. and Jerome T. Loeb Professor of Medical Education. Noted for her innovative ideas regarding the training of future physicians, Aagaard is spearheading efforts to renew the medical school’s education curriculum and will lead its expected implementation at the start of the 2021-22 school year.
She was installed as the Loeb Professor by Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton and David H. Perlmutter, MD, executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and the George and Carol Bauer Dean of the School of Medicine.
“For nearly two decades, the Loeb family has shown tireless dedication and extraordinary generosity to Washington University,” Wrighton said. “In particular, Carol Loeb’s enthusiasm about the School of Medicine has helped to elevate achievements in training, patient care and research by endowing faculty teaching fellowships and two other professorships. It is an honor to be able to establish a third professorship in her and her late husband’s name. I am pleased that the inaugural holder of this professorship is Eva Aagaard, a gifted physician and educator who is highly regarded for her innovation and mentorship to faculty and students.”
Aagaard joined the School of Medicine in September as the senior associate dean for education and a professor of medicine. She quickly initiated efforts to review and revise the medical education curriculum to reflect the fast-moving changes in the health-care industry and health professions education.
In her new role, Aagaard also wants to ensure the school best addresses social factors, such as poverty, that influence health and disparities in care. She aims to do so, for instance, by partnering with community groups and health-care centers. She also wants to focus on increasing professional development opportunities for faculty interested in education in all stages of their careers.
“The impact of this generous gift that recognizes the Loeb family and the role of Washington University School of Medicine as a world leader in medical education is profound and so timely,” Perlmutter said. “The world of health care and biomedicine is advancing rapidly, and Dr. Aagaard’s tremendous efforts in curriculum renewal will ensure that the newest and most innovative ideas influence how we mold physicians of the future and how we honor the legacy of the Loeb family.”
Before joining Washington University, Aagaard was at the University of Colorado as associate dean for educational strategy, a professor of medicine, and founding director of the university’s Academy of Medical Educators, the latter of which is geared toward creating an environment that promotes teaching excellence and enhancing medical education. Under her leadership, Washington University School of Medicine will launch an interprofessional Academy of Health Professions Educators during the 2018-19 academic year. A Teaching Scholars Program, which will provide faculty with training in educational theory, curriculum design, scholarship of education and leadership skills, will begin this fall.
Aagaard serves in national leadership positions with the American Board of Internal Medicine, National Board of Medical Examiners and the Society of General Internal Medicine, and she routinely collaborates with the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, among others.
“It is an incredible honor to be recognized as the inaugural Carol B. and Jerome T. Loeb Professor of Medical Education,” Aagaard said. “This honor recognizes the critical importance of medical education to the mission of Washington University School of Medicine. It is a tribute to the longstanding contributions of the Loebs to education and scientific discovery. They have supported a number of critical programs to boost education across both campuses.”
The professorship was created through the longtime, philanthropic commitment of Carol B. Loeb and Jerome T. Loeb, the latter of whom died in 2004. Carol Loeb taught mathematics to middle and high school students for more than five decades, while Jerome Loeb served as chairman of the board of May Department Stores Co. until his retirement in 2001. He then became an adjunct professor of marketing at Washington University, where he had earned a master’s degree in pure mathematics in 1964.
For nearly two decades, the Loeb family has directed funds to advance education at the School of Medicine and Danforth campuses. In 2001, the Loebs launched the Carol B. and Jerome T. Loeb Colloquium, which brings renowned mathematicians to the university. The following year, the couple established the Carol B. and Jerome T. Loeb Teaching Fellows program at the School of Medicine, designed to give faculty members two years of dedicated effort to enrich the education of students and residents.
In 2004, the Loebs endowed the Carol B. and Jerome T. Loeb Professorship in Medicine at the School of Medicine, which is held by David J. Murray, MD. Five years later, Carol Loeb established the Carol B. and Jerome T. Loeb Professorship in Orthopaedic Surgery, which is held by Martin I. Boyer, MD.
Carol Loeb is a member of the Danforth Circle Dean’s Level and of the William Greenleaf Eliot Society. She serves on the School of Medicine’s National Council. She has received numerous awards, including the School of Medicine’s 2nd Century Award, the university’s Robert S. Brookings Award and the DuPont Foundation Scholarship for Excellence in Teaching. She was a 2015 Woman of Achievement for Educational Philanthropy.
Additionally, Carol Loeb serves on the board of the Saint Louis Science Center, where she and her husband established the Carol B. and Jerome T. Loeb Prize for Excellence in Teaching Science and Mathematics.
“Carol is an exceptional role model, coach and mentor to a number of us on the faculty through her passion for teaching and education,” Aagaard said. “I will endeavor to live up to the example she sets, through my role as an educational leader and teacher.”