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By Leena Kamat
A leading family medicine researcher has been named Western's newest dean.
Last week Carol Herbert was appointed the position of the new dean of the faculty of medicine and dentistry as of September 1999.
Herbert was the chair of the department of family medicine at the University of British Columbia for 10 years until she went on sabbatical last December.
"I am delighted to be coming to Western. It is an excellent university which is known for its 'student-centredness,'" Herbert said. She added she believes London and Western can provide international leadership in research excellence.
Greg Moran, VP-academic at Western and chair of the selection committee for the new dean, said he was pleased with Herbert.
"I think we've managed to steal away one of the leading academics [in this field] in Canada I think she brings a clear sense of direction to health care research and education," he said.
David Banting, associate dean of the faculty of medicine and dentistry at Western, agreed. "We think her personal characteristics and experience will serve her very well."
Banting said the faculty is looking for leadership in a time of rising costs of medical education. Banting added Herbert's experience in family medicine will add a different perspective on medicine compared to the current dean, Robert McMurtry. McMurtry is an orthopedic surgeon, Banting said.
McMurtry has been the dean for the past seven years. He said he made the decision to not continue as dean because he felt seven years is long enough. He added he has some catching up to do in his field, but he loved his time as dean at Western.
"I wouldn't have missed it for anything," he said. "Good luck [to Herbert] she's a terrific person."
McMurtry said he considering furthering his experience in the medical profession and is also looking at a senior academic positions at international universities or a senior level government job.
Shiva Jayaraman, president of the first-year medical class, thought Herbert was a well qualified candidate and had a very diverse resume.
"I'd like to see her continue the close relationship between the students and the dean of medicine," Jayaraman added.
Robert Woollard, the current chair of the department of family medicine at UBC, worked closely with Herbert for 10 years. "I think she'll enjoy [being dean] and will do an impressive job," Woollard said. "You're lucky to get her."