UAMS Names Pediatrics Chair Fiser as College of Medicine Dean

By todd

LITTLE ROCK – Debra H. Fiser, M.D., has been named dean of the UAMS College of Medicine. The announcement was made today by UAMS Chancellor I. Dodd Wilson, M.D.


Fiser, professor and chairwoman of the Department of Pediatrics in the UAMS College of Medicine, joined the UAMS faculty in 1981. She became department chairwoman in 1995. The Department of Pediatrics is the college’s largest department with more than 195 faculty and 950 professionals, paraprofessionals and support staff. It is based at longtime UAMS clinical and teaching affiliate, Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH).


Fiser, who is the first woman to serve as the UAMS College of Medicine dean, will assume the deanship Sept. 1. She succeeds Dean E. Albert Reece, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., who has been the college’s dean since January 2002. Reece resigned effective Sept. 1 to become vice president for medical affairs at the University of Maryland and dean of the School of Medicine.


“Dr. Fiser’s leadership will be vital as the College of Medicine is challenged to produce more doctors to meet rising health care needs in our state,” said UAMS Chancellor I. Dodd Wilson, M.D. “Dr. Fiser has done an outstanding job of leading the UAMS Department of Pediatrics during a period of expansion of its education, patient care, research and community outreach services. She understands our commitment to quality health care in Arkansas.”


The dean is the chief administrative and academic officer of the College of Medicine and reports to the chancellor. Fiser will be responsible for 26 medical school departments with more than 1,000 full- and part-time faculty members, a central professional practice plan, 581 undergraduate medical students and more than 692 residents and fellows.


“The UAMS College of Medicine has a faculty and staff dedicated to fulfilling its mission of preparing well-trained physicians for careers in medicine,” Fiser said. “I am honored to follow the proud tradition of Dean Reece, Chancellor Wilson and the deans who built this college from a small medical education program with 20 students into a world-class medical school on the state’s only academic health sciences campus.”


Fiser, who was born in Newport and grew up in West Memphis, is a board-certified specialist in pediatric critical care. She received her medical degree from UAMS in 1977, followed by a residency at the University of Kentucky School of Medicine. She completed a critical care fellowship at the University of Florida College of Medicine in 1981. Her interests include health services/outcomes research.


Fiser served as chief of pediatric critical care medicine at UAMS from 1981-1995. She also is a professor in the UAMS departments of Anesthesiology and Psychiatry..


In 1980, the UAMS Department of Pediatrics was moved to ACH where UAMS pediatricians and pediatric specialists now provide the majority of medical care.

The department ranks among the top 10 pediatric departments in the country in size and programs. Its faculty includes internationally known clinicians and researchers who attract patients from around the world.


Fiser is immediate past president of the Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs, an organization of pediatric chairs in the United States and Canada. She is a fellow in the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Chest Physicians and the American College of Critical Care Physicians and a member of the American Board of Pediatrics. In 2003, she was elected to the prestigious American Pediatric Society. She also is a member of the International Pediatric Chairs Association.


In 2001, Fiser received the Women in Medicine Silver Achievement Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges. She also received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society in 1995 and the Distinguished Faculty Award from the Arkansas Caduceus Club in 2002. She was named to the Best Doctors in America and Best Doctors in Arkansas lists.


In 1989, she helped found the UAMS Women’s Faculty Development Caucus to address the shortage of women in the higher echelons of academic medicine. In 2001, that group awarded her its inaugural Outstanding Woman Faculty Award.


Fiser serves on the Board of Directors for Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute. She serves on the governing board for Pulaski County Head Start.


UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a medical center, six centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has about 2,320 students and 690 medical residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 9,300 employees, including nearly 1,000 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital the VA Medical Center and six Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. UAMS and its affiliates have an economic impact in Arkansas of $4.5 billion a year. For more information, visit