Will R. Ross, MD, MPH
Distinguished Educator Award
Will R. Ross, MD, MPH, associate dean for diversity and associate professor of medicine, is being honored for his longstanding efforts to improve knowledge of cultural competence, diversity and social determinants of health through service learning.
Ross joined the Washington University faculty in 1996 after serving as medical director of St. Louis Regional Medical Center. Since that time, he has played an instrumental role in ensuring that Washington University medical students have abundant opportunities to gain a deep and lasting understanding of how social factors impact health and health care delivery.
He has successfully integrated several service learning elements into the curriculum, including the Washington University Medical Plunge, a one-week orientation program providing students an overview of public health in St. Louis through lectures, tours and hand-on community projects; the first-year student Diversity Retreat; the spring Diversity Week, featuring a lecture series and discussions; the Saturday Neighborhood Health Clinic, in which students work with medical faculty to provide care to underserved individuals; and the five-week elective course Introduction to Public Health.
These popular programs fuel students' already significant enthusiasm for community health experiences and, they report, greatly enhance their ability to recognize, celebrate and adapt to the differences each patient brings to the physician-patient relationship.
He previously has been honored by the State of Missouri, the St. Louis American, and the Washington University Medical Center Alumni Association. In 2005, he received the Washington University Robert and Gerry Virgil Ethic of Service Award and has twice received the Washington University Humanism in Medicine Award.
Ross earned a bachelor's degree from Yale University in 1980 and a medical degree from Washington University in 1984. He completed residency training at Vanderbilt University and a renal fellowship at Washington University. He completed a master of science in epidemiology at Saint Louis University in 2008.