Student Affairs Resource Website

Learning Environment Committee

The Learning Environment Committee was formed to ensure the best educational experiences for our medical students, staff, and faculty by continuously proactively addressing, monitoring, and responding to issues in the learning environment across the WWAMI region.

History of the committee

In 2010, the school was cited for challenges in the learning environment based on our students’ experiences of mistreatment as reported on AAMC Graduation Questionnaire (GQ) results. This is a nationwide issue, but our rates of students reporting mistreatment were higher than the national average. The school made considerable efforts to ameliorate the situation, and the 2013 GQ showed improvement to near the national average of mistreatment. As a result, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the medical school accrediting body, found the school compliant in 2014. However, the 2015 GQ showed increased rates of student mistreatment, so the inaugural version of the Learning Environment Committee was launched in 2016. A number of interventions were deployed which resulted in notable improvement. However, in 2018, mistreatment numbers were still higher than the national average. LCME again deemed the school non-compliant regarding student mistreatment.

Restructuring of the committee

A new structural paradigm that provides for an overarching body with the authority to effect substantive change in the learning environment across UW Medicine was instituted. This model is centered on the idea that the learning environment touches all aspects of UW Medicine: It includes not only students, but anyone who is interacting in that environment, including nurses, therapists and other clinical staff, faculty, residents, researchers, and fellows. The overarching body, the Learning Environment Steering Committee, is chaired by Dr. Tim Dellit, Chief Medical Officer of UW Medicine. Others serving on this steering committee include undergraduate and graduate medical education leadership, chief medical officers, chief nursing officers, chairs, as well as other administrators working to enhance the learning and working environments. The steering committee will oversee subcommittees or “arms” responsible for various areas of the learning environment. As a result of the restructuring, the inaugural Learning Environment Committee became the Student Arm of this larger body.


The Student Arm aims to achieve representation from across the School of Medicine and WWAMI so that its members can benefit from rich perspective.

Chairs (Voting) (2)
Last Name First Name Site
Co-Chair McPhillips Heather SEA
Co-Chair (Interim Associate Dean for Student Affairs) Tolbert Gerald SEA
Voting Members (21)
Last Name First Name Site
Assistant Dean for the Colleges Jackson Molly SEA
Assistant Dean for Student Support, Student Affairs Tolbert Gerald SEA
Clerkship Director Mendiratta Vicki SEA
Clinical Clerkship Administrator Fear Sara SEA
Clinical Dean – Regional Doty Barb AK
Clinical Dean – Seattle TBD TBD SEA
Departmental Chair Esselman Peter SEA
Faculty Development Combs Heidi SEA
Foundations Block Lead Willford John WY
Foundations Dean Teintze Martin MT
Foundations of Clinical Medicine (FCM) Faculty Carlson Julie WY
Learning Environment Director Frank Melinda SEA
MSA Student Representative (MSA) Grabman Bart AK
Member At Large – Regional TBD TBD TBD
Member At Large – Seattle Kiefer Meghan SEA
MSTP Student Representative TBD TBD SEA
Office of Healthcare Equity (OHCE) Morales Leo SEA
Organization of Student Representatives (OSR) – MS2 Thigpen Kia Gianni SEA
Regional Foundations Representative Fuerst Peter ID
Rural Programs McCarthy John SPO
Student Affairs Wood Sarah SEA
Ex-Officio Members (Non-Voting) (9)
Last Name First Name Site
Center for Leadership & Innovation in Medical Education (CLIME) Jauregui Joshua SEA
Communications Blakeley Kim SEA
Data Campion Michael SEA
Educational Quality Improvement (EQI) Kim Sara SEA
Evaluation Schaad Doug SEA
MSA Student Representative Hopkin Blake WY
Organization of Student Representatives (OSR) – MS1 Rasmussen-Rehkopf Sarah AK
Organization of Student Representatives (OSR) – MS3 Devaraju Monica SPO
Organization of Student Representatives (OSR) – MS4 Herridge-Meyer Zannah SEA


Please click here to view what the committee is currently working on. (Coming soon.)