James Graham, M.D., Named Executive Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, UAMS College of Medicine

By Amy Widner

Graham, previously associate dean for undergraduate medical education since 2010, assumed the new role after the retirement of Richard P. Wheeler, M.D., on Jan. 31.

“Dr. Graham brings great enthusiasm, collegiality and dedication to our educational mission, as well as extensive experience in medical education and strong institutional knowledge,” said Christopher T. Westfall, M.D., executive vice chancellor of UAMS and dean of the college. “These strengths will serve Dr. Graham very well as he leads our academic mission in collaboration with our outstanding leaders in undergraduate medical education and student affairs.”

Graham graduated from the College of Medicine in 1985 and remained at UAMS for his pediatrics residency. He completed the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect’s Interdisciplinary Training Program at the University of Oklahoma and a Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship at UAMS before joining the faculty as an assistant professor in 1991. He became an associate professor in 1996 and was promoted to professor in 2005.

Graham directed the Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship from 1992-1997 and again from 2005-2010. He directed the Pediatrics Junior Clerkship from 2004-2009. He served as associate medical director of the Pediatric Emergency Department at Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) from 1992-2004 and as chief of the Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine from 2005-2010.

Graham has held central educational roles in the college for the past two decades. He directed the Introduction to Clinical Medicine I course (now Practice of Medicine I) from 1999-2017. He served on the COM Curriculum Committee and the Undergraduate Medical Education Competencies Committee.

He has received many awards for teaching including the college’s student-selected Gold Sash and Red Sash awards, and he was three-time winner of the Educator of the Year award in the Department of Pediatrics.

Graham served as chair of the Governor’s Trauma Advisory Council in 2008-2014, during development of Arkansas’ statewide trauma system.


UAMS is the state's only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS' clinical enterprise including its hospital, regional clinics and clinics it operates or staffs in cooperation with other providers. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. U.S. News & World Report named UAMS Medical Center the state's Best Hospital; ranked its ear, nose and throat program among the top 50 nationwide; and named six areas as high performing — cancer, colon cancer surgery, heart failure, hip replacement, knee replacement and lung cancer surgery. UAMS has 2,727 students, 870 medical residents and five dental residents. It is the state's largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Childrens Hospital, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit www.uams.edu or www.uamshealth.com. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.

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