Mark A. Schuster, MD, PhD, has been appointed to a second five-year term as Dean and CEO of the Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine (KPSOM).
According to Chair Holly J. Humphrey, MD, the board firmly believes that Dean Schuster’s leadership is critical to the next phase of growth and development for our medical school—one of the nation’s newest and most innovative.
“This reappointment is based on Dean Schuster’s extraordinary accomplishments during the past four and one-half years. These achievements involved the work of many, including the school’s faculty, staff, students, and leadership along with critical collaborations with many from Southern California Permanente Medical Group and other Permanente medical groups and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals,” Humphrey wrote in an announcement addressed to members of the medical school community.
Under Dean Schuster’s leadership, the school successfully reached milestones with three separate accrediting and regulatory bodies. The California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) granted provisional approval, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) granted the school preliminary accreditation with eight commendations, and the WASC Senior College & University Commission (WSCUC) granted the school candidacy status with five commendations, including praise for the school’s work on equity, inclusion, and diversity (EID).
He also recruited leaders, faculty, and staff of national stature who reflect the diversity integral to our school’s mission.
“While COVID-19 disrupted all facets of life as we knew it, Dean Schuster and his team successfully opened the doors, kept the school operational, protected the community’s safety, and matriculated the first two classes of students,” Humphrey wrote.
KPSOM has had tremendous success in recruiting two classes of talented, compassionate, and committed students. Not only did the admissions effort yield the highest ratio of applicants to positions of any medical school in the country, but the school’s inaugural class had one of the highest percentages of students from groups underrepresented and under included in medicine among U.S. medical schools—a percentage that then increased with our second class.
Under Schuster’s leadership, the school has sponsored trainings on inclusivity and mitigating bias, incorporated EID into the curriculum across all four years of medical school, and created, updated, and implemented a plan to support an actively anti-racist institution as well as a plan to continually nurture and strengthen the school’s culture.
Schuster has also led efforts to establish collaborations and programs across the region. This resulted in the creation of a joint MD-PhD program with Caltech, joint master’s degree programs with UCLA and University of Southern California, and commitments from local research enterprises such as City of Hope and Huntington Memorial Research Institute. Additionally, the school developed affiliations with many federally qualified health centers across southern California and relationships with a variety of organizations that support the health of our local communities every day. These regional alignments, coupled with recognition in Forbes, LA Times, New York Times, NPR, TIME, and many other media outlets, have contributed to advancing KPSOM’s reputation as a nationally prominent medical school.
“Along with the entire Board of Directors, I wish to extend my thanks to Dean Schuster and to the faculty, staff, students, and leadership as well as to Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals and the Permanente medical groups, for their ongoing commitment to the Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine. Your efforts inspire us on our path to thrive as an institution and live up to our most ambitious aspirations tightly aligned with our mission, vision, and values,” Humphrey said.