Pierre Morris, M.D., says the key to his success has been to always give 100 percent — an approach he plans to continue applying as OUWB’s new associate dean of Undergraduate Clinical Education.

Morris named OUWB associate dean of Undergraduate Clinical Education
011222 Pierre Morris
Pierre Morris, M.D., OUWB’s new associate dean of Undergraduate Clinical Education.

Pierre Morris, M.D., says the key to his success has been to always give 100 percent — an approach he plans to continue applying as OUWB’s new associate dean of Undergraduate Clinical Education.

Morris joined OUWB Nov. 1 after 20 years at Wayne State University School of Medicine, where he most recently held the rank of clinical associate professor.

For the past 10 years, Morris simultaneously served as founding program director for the Wayne State University School of Medicine Transitional Year Residency Program and director of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences Residency Program.

Morris’ background also includes working for 12 years as a high school teacher before starting medical school at age 36, then transitioning to academia not long after earning his M.D.

It’s all led up to his new position at OUWB.

“More than anything else, I want people to know that I plan on giving it my 100 percent,” he says.

“I want to be part of the OUWB evolution, and make sure that we give our students the best resources, opportunities, and educational environment possible to be successful.”

From St. Louis to OUWB

Morris was born and raised in St. Louis, Mo. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and another in biology from Washington University in St. Louis. Post-graduation, he worked for 12 years as a high school biology teacher.

Morris says he loved being a high school teacher and was inspired by his mother, also a high school teacher who taught French.

“Ergo, I was given the name Pierre,” he says with a smile.

Near the end of his time as a high school teacher, Morris’ wife, Sharon, had a job opportunity in Michigan. As he puts it, she had the higher paying job so they relocated to the state.

At age 36, he began attending Ross University School of Medicine. Upon graduation, he began what would be a 20-year affiliation with Wayne State University School of Medicine — first as a resident, then faculty, then in his most recent positions.

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Just one highlight from his time at Wayne State is a medical mission he went on to Iraq about nine years ago.

“It was one of the most dangerous things I have ever done, but one of the most rewarding as well,” says Morris.

Among his many accomplishments at Wayne State, the one he’s most proud of was consistently finding high-quality residents.

“I was proud of the fact that we trained such great residents and we did it in a nurturing, compassionate manner,” he says.

Morris once thought he would be with Wayne State until his retirement.

“In fact, I had made public statements that I would never leave,” he says.

But there were several aspects of OUWB that piqued his interest in the school.

Morris says it started when he began consistently seeing high-quality residency candidates coming from OUWB.

“We started understanding what kind of student OUWB produces, and we were very impressed,” says Morris.

He says residents from OUWB regularly performed at an “outstanding” level of achievement, and that they were considered the “cream of the crop.”

OUWB appealed to Morris for other reasons, too, including the relative newness of the school and the fact that — as associate dean of Undergraduate Clinical Education — he would be working closely with medical students.

“The more I learned about OUWB, the more I thought I could see myself in this role, having a passion for it, and making a good, positive impact on the students,” he says.

Looking ahead

In his new role at OUWB, Morris is responsible for the development, implementation, and delivery of the undergraduate clinical component of the OUWB curriculum.

He works closely with the assistant deans for medical education (ADME), Pradeep Kaminoulu, M.D., (ADME-M3) and Amy Smark, M.D., (ADME-M4) to ensure continued success of OUWB students during their clerkships.

An image of Lynda Misra

Morris also is working closely with Lynda Misra, D.O., who served as interim associate dean of Undergraduate Clinical Education since Dec. 15, 2020. Misra is a Beaumont physician, attending physician, and faculty member in the Department of Internal Medicine. 

Morris will primarily be based at the campus of Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak.

In his first year, Morris aims to make what he calls important contributions to the continued success of OUWB students.

“There are short-term and long-term needs of OUWB that I am currently working on,” he says. “I’m am also looking at ways I can help us get to the next level.”

Morris says he’s looking forward to being a part of the next step in OUWB’s evolution.

“OUWB has come a long way in such a short period of time,” he says. “Has the school reached that level of perfection or self-actualization yet? No. But we’re getting there and we have the support, ideas, innovation and structure to continue along the path to get to that point.”

“I’m excited to be part of it.”

For more information, contact Andrew Dietderich, marketing writer, OUWB, at adietderich@oakland.edu. 

To request an interview, visit the OUWB Communications & Marketing webpage.

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