Q&A with Dr. Alicia Monroe

Dr. Alicia D. H. Monroe joined the Baylor College of Medicine family in February of this year as the senior dean of education and senior vice president of academic affairs and faculty development. She was previously the chief academic officer and vice dean of educational affairs at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine and professor of family medicine. Read more about Dr. Monroe’s educational and professional background in this press release and in this Q&A:

Dr. Alicia Monroe

Dr. Alicia Monroe

How did you get into the academic side of medicine? Following graduation from medical school, I went into full-time clinical practice in a staff model health maintenance organization (HMO). My career vision when I entered medical school was that I would graduate, complete my residency and then go into full time clinical practice. I am enthusiastic about patient care and working with patients, and I really believed that this would constitute a full and exciting professional life. What I learned after two years of clinical practice was that although I loved my patients and really enjoy patient care, intellectually and collaboratively, that model was not enough for me. I didn’t want to stop being a physician, but I thought, “What could I add?,” and I thought about teaching.

What are your clinical and research interests? I’m really interested in physician-patient communication, health behavior change, cultural competence as well as a new healthcare method called value-based practice. It is a clinical process that integrates patients’ values with the best scientific evidence. I’m very interested in training providers to efficiently gather data on patients’ values and really using that data along with evidence-based science to deliver high-quality healthcare and efficiently use resources. So it’s a strategy to do the things that we must do as healthcare changes.

What is your vision for Baylor College of Medicine? Baylor College of Medicine has a distinguished history and an extraordinary portfolio of strengths. My vision is to be a steward, in collaboration with the leaders, faculty, students and staff, to enhance the already excellent portfolio of the schools and programs to achieve the mission imperative of creating and applying science to further education research and community service. If we are leaders who are redefining health professions education, how are we using the best science (e.g., biomedical, social science, public health, leadership, organizational change) to drive educational excellence? We should borrow broadly from the sciences to support our training so that our learners are best prepared to not just practice, but lead in this new healthcare and research environment, so that education serves as the platform to prepare our graduates to be leaders in health care, scientific research and other science related careers.

How do you like Houston so far? I like Houston! There’s a lot to learn and there’s a lot to do. There are so many wonderful neighborhoods and communities and so many lovely places to go and things to visit. I’m still in a little bit in the “Alice in Wonderland” phase in that there’s still a lot to experience.

What is your favorite thing about Baylor College of Medicine so far? I would say the people. The students are fantastic and the faculty are extraordinary. Also, the ways in which Baylor touches the community, both in the K-12 outreach programs, programs that touch the poor and the underserved, as well as the ways in which Baylor uses scientific discoveries to improve clinical care.

Tell us about your family I have a husband and three kids – a son and two daughters. Our son is married and so I have a lovely daughter-in-law. We have one grandson and two grand-dogs. The two grand-dogs, Daisy and Buddy, live with us.

Most people wouldn’t know that I … Love to sing. One of the joys of my early life was singing in choirs, and I sang in a gospel choir in college. I really love music; it’s good for the soul. Most of my singing now is congregational singing, but singing gives me joy.

Anything else you want to add? I’m really excited to be at Baylor. I’m excited to get acquainted with the people and to learn more about the many strengths of Baylor through the eyes of the outstanding faculty and students. I’m excited to hear their stories of their journey, how Baylor College of Medicine is supporting their life goals and how Baylor College of Medicine might do more to further the successes of our students and our faculty.