College of Medicine Names New Assistant Deans of Student Affairs

Sara Cross, MD

Catherine Womack, MD, associate dean of Student Affairs and Admissions for the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine, has named Sara Cross, MD, Deirdre James, MD, and Andrew Olinger, MD, as the new assistant deans of Student Affairs.

As assistant deans, they will assist in the writing of Medical Student Performance Evaluations (MSPEs) and help with recruitment and fundraising. In addition, they will provide guidance at new student orientations and graduations, work to develop and execute multiple student-focused programs across campus including MPOWER and the Financial Literacy Program, as well as provide mentorship and career counseling for all students in order for them to be prepared to select the career with the best fit for them.

Dr. Sara Cross, an associate professor of Medicine/Infectious Diseases and Medical Education, teaches infectious disease courses to first- and second-year medical students. She also has a clinic on HIV and general infectious diseases. Dr. Cross completed her fellowship in infectious diseases at Washington University and her internship and residency in internal medicine at Washington University/Barnes-Jewish Hospital. She was recently named to Governor Bill Lee's Coronavirus Task Force, as well as awarded the Golden Apple teaching award for the infectious diseases sub-specialty.

Dr. Deirdre James, an assistant professor of Medicine, specializes in endocrinology. Dr. James, originally from Pensacola, Florida, is a graduate of Florida State University. She earned her medical degree from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, later moving to Memphis where she completed her residency in Internal Medicine, her chief residency, and endocrine fellowship at UTHSC.

Andrew Olinger, MD

Dr. Andrew Olinger, an assistant professor in Internal Medicine, specializes in primary care and medical education. Dr. Olinger is a graduate of Millsaps College and attended medical school and completed his residency at the University of Tennessee. He is originally from Memphis and has a passion for the city and its history.


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