(COLLEGE STATION, TX) — Concluding a 10-month nationwide search, The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents on Friday approved Thomas (Sam) Shomaker, M.D., J.D., as new The Jean and Thomas McMullin Dean of Medicine for the Texas A&M Health Science Center (TAMHSC) College of Medicine and vice president for clinical affairs for the TAMHSC.
Dr. Shomaker currently serves as professor of anesthesiology at The University of Texas Medical Branch and Chancellor’s Health Fellow in Healthcare Reform/Reimbursement at The University of Texas System. He will begin his duties Aug. 1.
As the TAMHSC-College of Medicine dean, Dr. Shomaker’s challenges will include preparing future physicians to practice medicine in a changing economic environment as well as a culture of scientific advancement. Serving as chief administrative and academic officer of the college, Dr. Shomaker will be responsible for the organization, operation, development and evaluation of instruction and research programs. As vice president for clinical affairs, he will oversee the operation, planning and integration of clinical activities for the TAMHSC.
“Dr. Shomaker brings enthusiasm, experience and expertise to a very big job – completing the expansion of our College of Medicine,” said Nancy W. Dickey, M.D., president of the Texas A&M Health Science Center and vice chancellor for health affairs for the A&M System. “He brings a commitment to assuring not simply growth but recognized excellence to the program and its graduates. The executive team of the College of Medicine and the entire TAMHSC is excited about the leadership and vision he brings to our academic enterprise.”
Dr. Shomaker says he is deeply honored to be selected.
“Dr. Dickey and the great team in the College of Medicine and across the health science center are addressing critical health care issues in communities across Texas, and I am eager to contribute to this important work,” he said. “As I take on this new role, I am aware of the contributions made by past and current leaders of the College of Medicine.”
Dr. Shomaker replaces Christopher C. Colenda, M.D., M.P.H., who was dean for almost seven years before accepting a position in October 2009 as chancellor for health sciences at the West Virginia University Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center. Edward J. Sherwood, M.D., served as interim dean of the TAMHSC-College of Medicine during a nationwide search for a new dean.
Roderick E. McCallum, Ph.D., TAMHSC vice president for academic affairs and search committee chair, says the committee was very fortunate in attracting competitive and high profile candidates.
“Following campus interviews by the top candidates, Dr. Shomaker clearly emerged as the leading candidate,” Dr. McCallum said. “Dr. Shomaker brings extensive experience and insight to the position.”
Dr. Shomaker adds that he is humbled to join the ranks of leaders like Dr. Dickey, Dr. Colenda and Dr. Sherwood who have made the college the outstanding institution it is today.
“Although the current health care environment is highly complex and challenges abound, working together, the faculty, staff and students of the college will improve the health of the communities we serve,” he said. “I am confident that the best is yet to come for the College of Medicine.”
Dr. Shomaker was dean of Austin Programs at The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston from 2006-09. He also was president of the Central Texas Institute, a community advocacy and support group working to build academic medicine in Central Texas.
Formerly a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy Reserves, Dr. Shomaker has served on the faculty of the University of Utah, where he was a professor in anesthesiology, residency program director for anesthesiology, associate dean for curriculum and minority affairs, and senior associate dean for academic affairs before serving as interim dean in 1998-99. In addition to serving as interim dean at the University of Hawai’i, he served as vice dean for academic affairs and vice president and chief operating officer for University Clinical, Education and Research Associates.
Dr. Shomaker is a member of the Group on Regional Medicine of the Association of American Medical Colleges. He received his Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree magna cum laude from the Georgetown University School of Law in 1979 and his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) from the University of Hawai’i John A. Burns School of Medicine in 1986, with a baccalaureate from St. Louis University. He completed his internship in surgery at the University of Hawai’i and residencies in anesthesiology at the University of Utah and University of Florida.
Dr. Shomaker and his wife, Dr. Suzanne Yandow, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon, have three children.
Founded in 1977, the TAMHSC-College of Medicine is committed to educating, training and equipping physicians who are compassionate about their patients and dedicated to the communities in which they serve. With several clinical affiliations, the college consists of approximately 1,600 basic scientists and clinicians who instruct students during the course of their medical education.