Dr. Kirch’s three-day trip to Sioux Falls is part of a nationwide tour of all medical schools in the United States. During his visit, Dr. Kirch is scheduled to meet with administrators from the Sanford School of Medicine, discuss health care reform and the changing practice of medicine with fourth year medical students, and provide the keynote address at the Gold Humanism Honor Society Induction Banquet at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 14 at the Holiday Inn Sioux Falls – City Centre. Additionally, he is scheduled to meet with leaders from the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Avera Health and Sanford Health.

A distinguished physician, educator and medical scientist, and a noted authority on the organization and management of academic medical centers, Dr. Kirch's career spans all aspects of academic medicine and includes leadership positions at two medical schools and teaching hospitals, as well as at the National Institutes of Health.

He assumed the position of AAMC president in July 2006 following six years as senior vice president for health affairs, dean of the college of medicine and CEO of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center at The Pennsylvania State University. Before joining Penn State, Dr. Kirch held a number of leadership positions at the Medical College of Georgia from 1994 to 2000, including serving as dean of the medical school, senior vice president for clinical activities, and dean of the school of graduate studies.

As a psychiatrist and neuroscientist, Dr. Kirch conducted research on the biological basis of and clinical treatments for severe neuropsychiatric disorders. Following the completion of his residency training at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, he joined the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in Bethesda, Md., where he was named acting scientific director in 1993. A native of Denver, Dr. Kirch received both his B.A. and M.D. degrees from the University of Colorado, which in 2002 presented him with its Silver and Gold Alumni Award. A prolific writer and public speaker, he has published more than 100 articles and book chapters, and made presentations to numerous medical, educational, scientific, and advocacy organizations.

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