Erin Quinn (center)—seen here on her last day as dean with admissions counselors Susan Wong (left) and Katie Lewis—stepped down from her Keck School administrative positions to create a community-based, multi-specialty residency program at Community Memorial Health Systems in Ventura, but will remain a member of the Keck School faculty.
HSC Weekly 2011-02-18
Erin Quinn steps down from Keck School admissions post
By Jon Nalick
Erin Quinn, associate dean for admissions and educational affairs for the Keck School of Medicine, stepped down from her administrative position earlier this month.
Quinn, who joined USC as an administrator in the Department of Family Medicine in 1989 and was named assistant professor of family medicine in 1990, later acquired additional administrative duties as associate dean of women in 1993 and associate dean for admissions and educational affairs in 1998.
She was also director and core professor for the Baccalaureate/M.D. Program—a collaborative education program between the College of Letters, Arts and Science and the Keck School of Medicine—from 1994 to 2010.
Quinn, who remains on the Keck School faculty as a professor of family medicine, is stepping down from her other posts to help create a community-based, multi-specialty residency program at Community Memorial Health Systems in Ventura.
Keck School Dean Carmen A. Puliafito said that in her role as associate dean for admissions, Quinn “has been a tremendous asset to the Keck School. She has led the M.D. program’s Office of Admissions, as well as the undergraduate Baccalaureate/M.D. Program, with passion, dedication and commitment.”
He noted that during her tenure as associate dean the medical school steadily increased its number of applications received—jumping 30 percent in the last 10 years, while at the same time improving the quality of the applicant pool, as evidenced by higher MCAT scores and GPAs.
Clive Taylor, emeritus senior associate dean, praised Quinn’s service as outstanding and highlighted her role as associate dean for admissions at a time when the school sought to elevate the standards of its medical education.
He said, “The quality of admitted students clearly was a key element. While we identified a number of candidates, both internally and externally, who were well qualified for the role, Dr. Quinn stood out for her manifest enthusiasm, her commitment and the integrity that she brought to the process.”
He added, “The results of her efforts speak for themselves as the Keck School has achieved educational outcomes that rank among the very best.”
During her tenure, Quinn was repeatedly recognized by students and faculty for her teaching in Professionalism and the Practice of Medicine (PPM)—for which she twice received the school’s award for Outstanding Teaching—the Master of Public Health program, the Master’s in Global Medicine program and a selective in Health Policy for medical students.
Quinn oversaw an admissions team that was one of the first in the nation to evaluate medical school applicants holistically—considering not just test scores but life histories and other qualitative factors such as “how they got to where they were, who they were … all sorts of things,” she said.
Quinn estimated that she helped select and train as many as 2,000 Keck students, adding, “I’m still in touch with so many of them—I go to more weddings than you can imagine,” she said. “They’re my legacy and the most important thing to me is that they are compassionate and caring. Together with my admissions committee, we found amazing individuals who became compassionate and caring physicians working throughout California and across the nation.”
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