John Polk, MD, MEd, Associate Dean for Diversity & Inclusion to Retire

Headshot of Dr. PolkAssociate Dean for Diversity & Inclusion John Polk, MD, MEd, has announced his plans to retire from BUSM on April 30. A Class of 1974 BUSM graduate, he also served as an Assistant Dean in the Student Affairs Office for 12 years and on the Dean’s Advisory Board for 10 years. He led the Diversity & Inclusion Office for three years.

During his tenure in the D&I Office, he worked to select a new director to lead the Early Medical School Selection Program, secured external funding for the program and helped create the URG junior faculty research initiative. He collaborated with the Medical Education Office on inclusive pedagogy, and with BU Medical Group, Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, BU School of Public Health and Boston Medical Center to develop the Glossary of Cultural Transformation, and with various School departments and offices to hold the Rebecca Lee Crumpler and Solomon Carter Fuller Symposia.

During his 12 years in the Student Affairs Office, Polk worked with Associate Dean Angela Jackson and the Student Affairs staff to support 85 student organizations to increase engagement among medical students, faculty and staff. In 2018, Polk and Kenneth Grundfast, MD, developed the Professionalism Resource Service to provide coaching and support of professionalism for students, faculty and staff.

Polk received his training in cardiothoracic surgery at Boston Medical Center and his training in pediatric cardiac surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital. He was an attending surgeon at Boston Medical Center prior to developing a program in Pediatric Cardiac Surgery at Michigan State University. He spent the last 20 years of his active surgical career as a thoracic surgeon in private practice in southeastern Massachusetts as part of the Southcoast Multidisciplinary Thoracic Oncology Clinic.