John Polk Appointed Associate Dean for Diversity & Inclusion

John Polk, MD, EdM, has been appointed Associate Dean for Diversity & Inclusion (ADDI), effective July 1. He succeeds Rafael Ortega, MD, Professor and Chair of Anesthesiology, who has stepped down to focus on his department chair responsibilities.

For the past 12 years, Dr. Polk has served as an Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. He also has worked as a professional coach for the past five years with physicians focused on career development, leadership and management of workplace conflicts.

Dr. Polk received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Temple University, his MD from BUSM in 1974 and an EdM from BUSED (now known as Wheelock College of Education & Human Development) in 2012. He received a Certificate in Coaching from BUSSW in 2014. He completed residencies in general surgery at University of California-Irvine and affiliates, and cardiothoracic surgery here at BUMC. He was a fellow in pediatric cardiac surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital. After a three-year stint as an adult and pediatric cardiac surgeon at Michigan State University, he was a thoracic oncological surgeon in southeastern Massachusetts for 20 years prior to his arrival at BUSM.

He will lead the BUSM Diversity & Inclusion Office staff and a team of Assistant Deans, working closely with their counterparts at the SPH and GSDM on the Medical Campus and with Associate Provost of Diversity & Inclusion Crystal Williams.

Dr. Polk’s is committed to recruiting, supporting and promoting a diverse group of students, staff and faculty by creating an environment that nurtures the growth and development of each and every member of this community in their role in the study and the practice of medicine, biomedical research and health of the public.