C. Patricia Obando joins Statewide Campus System as assistant dean


By: Julia Malacoff

On May 1st, C. Patricia Obando will join the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Statewide Campus System as assistant dean.

Dr. Obando is no stranger to higher education. She brings a unique combination of research expertise and curriculum development insight into the residency matching process and experience managing faculty development. After working in a hospital environment for five years, she is looking forward to getting back to higher education.

“When education is the number one priority, it allows you to be so much more creative,” she said. She’s also excited about the opportunity to do some teaching, research and writing in her new position.

Obando holds a PhD in medical anthropology. In 2006, she and her family made their way to Michigan as she joined the MSU College of Human Medicine’s epidemiology department as a research associate.

Over the next 10 years, Obando held positions at MSU including assistant professor and director of medical education in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, and director of research for Synergy Medical.

Since 2016, Obando has worked in a hospital setting, first as director of student programs and assistant designated institutional officer (DIO) at Ascension Health, Providence Park at Novi, and then at Garden City Hospital as DIO/DME for their graduate and undergraduate medical education programs. In this position, Obando spearheaded efforts to achieve ACGME accreditation for eight residency programs within a short timeframe while maintaining institutional accreditation.

In terms of her goals for the Statewide Campus System, or SCS, Obando hopes to capitalize on the consortium’s existing momentum and success.

“The statewide campus is huge, and they have really diversified and expanded their resources,” she said.

To start, one of her primary objectives will be expanding faculty development and research.

“In my experience, faculty know the resources are there, but they’re often underutilized. So, we have to come up with a plan to emphasize the importance of research and scholarly activity, especially in light of ACGME priorities,” she said.

Having been in the position of choosing medical students to enter residency programs in her most recent jobs, Obando knows firsthand how important it is to prioritize research experience and scholarly activity at the institutional level.

“I've been on the other side of the trench for five years,” she said. “That gives me a very different perspective. We need to give medical students and postgraduates tools that will make it easier to navigate such a competitive world.” 

One avenue for accomplishing that could be to leverage relationships with SCS hospital partners to create new research opportunities.

“There’s an opportunity to merge data from different hospitals and create a meta-databank for analysis. There are probably thousands of ideas for projects right there,” she said.

She added that these endeavors would benefit both the hospitals themselves as well as the faculty, residents and medical students who get the chance to take part.

“There are so many research opportunities out there,” Obando said. “It’s just a matter of sitting down at the table, talking to people and getting them to join.”