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K. Ranga Rama Krishnan, MB, ChB

Dean, Rush Medical College
Senior Vice President, Rush University Medical Center

Since joining Rush in October 2015, Krishnan has reorganized Rush Medical College’s curriculum to keep the college at the vanguard of medical education. Among other features, the new curriculum provides students with prerecorded instructional content. This innovation reduces class time spent on lectures and shifts the emphasis to teams of students collaborating on case studies.

Students also work on state-of-the art simulators in the Rush Center for Clinical Skills and Simulation. As it is implemented during the 2017–2018 school year, the revised curriculum will help students develop critical clinical skills earlier, better preparing them to enter residency training after graduation and to make an immediate impact on patients.

Prior to joining Rush, Krishnan served for eight years as dean of the Duke–NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore (now Duke-NUS Medical School), a joint venture between Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and the National University of Singapore. During his tenure, Duke–NUS developed a new teaching method called Team LEAD (for Learn, Engage, Apply, Develop) that since has been adopted by other universities and by high schools.

Krishnan arrived at Duke University Medical Center in 1981, when he began a residency in psychiatry, which he followed with a fellowship in neurobiology. He joined the Duke faculty in 1985 and was a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences from 1995 to 2015. As chairman of the department from 1998 until 2009, he implemented an innovative continuing-education network while overseeing more than 490 faculty members.

A native of Madras, India, Krishnan received his medical degree from Madras Medical College in 1978, after which he served a rotating internship at Madras Medical College Government General Hospital. Beginning in 1980, he served as senior house officer at Queen Elizabeth Hospital at the University of West Indies in Barbados.

A member of several editorial boards at various scientific journals, Krishnan has written two books on, as one title has it, “the art of learning.” He authored more than 50 textbook chapters and 400 peer-reviewed papers on the subjects of elderly depression, dementia, Alzheimer’s, panic disorder, bipolar disorder in late life, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. A member of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly known as the Institute of Medicine), Krishnan has received numerous honors and awards, including the Distinguished Scientist Award from the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry and the C. Charles Burlingame Award for his lifetime achievements in psychiatric research and education.

Founded in 1837, Rush Medical College was the first medical school in Chicago. Today, with an enrollment of more than 500 students, it is one of the four colleges of Rush University, which also includes the College of Nursing, the College of Health Sciences, and the Graduate College. The University’s total enrollment is more than 2,500 students.