Kristin Olson, associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, is the new Associate Dean for Curriculum and Medical Education at UC Davis School of Medicine.
In her new role, Olson collaborates with faculty, students and administrators to ensure the design, implementation and evaluation of the medical school's curriculum represents best practices in the nation’s evolving health care system.
She also serves as a bridge between the faculty and administration to enhance institutional support for education programs, and will partner with colleagues to pursue educational grants, contribute to the literature, and participate in national organizations that advance innovation and scholarship in medical education.
“Through her work on the faculty and in other university leadership and committee positions, Dr. Olson has demonstrated a commitment to helping students transform into culturally competent health-care professionals with the requisite skills and passion to effectively serve individual patients, their families, and their communities,” said Lars Berglund, interim dean of the school, in a recent message to staff and faculty. “I look forward to watching our students thrive under her leadership.”
Berglund noted that Olson will help advance UC Davis’ culture of diversity, equity and inclusion by using curriculum to reinforce aspirational goals of equity in all aspects of education, science and health care. She also will help prepare for the School of Medicine’s crucial Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) accreditation process, contribute to institutional readiness and compliance with LCME standards, and participate in the LCME site visits.
Olson, who specializes in gastrointestinal and hepatic surgical pathology, received her bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and her medical degree from the Ohio State University College of Medicine. She completed an anatomic and clinical pathology residency at the University of New Mexico, and a surgical pathology fellowship at UCLA. She joined UC Davis School of Medicine in 2011 as an assistant professor of pathology, where she quickly became a favorite faculty member among trainees.
During her tenure here, Olson has been involved in teaching medical and nursing students, as well as resident and fellow physicians. Excellence in medical education has been a hallmark of her work and career for years. In 2010, she was honored with the University of New Mexico’s Leadership in Education Award for “outstanding performance and lasting contributions to graduate medical education.”
At UC Davis, Olson received the Boris Ruebner and John Rosenquist Excellence in Teaching Award from the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in 2013 and 2018. She was recognized with the UC Davis Pathology Resident Program Faculty Teaching awards in 2013 and 2014, as well as a Kaiser Teaching Award for Excellence in Teaching in Clinical Studies in 2015. This year, she received the UC Davis Outstanding Instructor Award in Basic Sciences Award.
Olson reports to the Vice Dean for Education and serves as an essential member of the vice dean’s leadership team, where she will be working with colleagues to further the goals and excellence of UC Davis School of Medicine.