Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

A Year in Third Person

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

A Year in Third Person

Article excerpt

I have often stated that the year I transitioned from practicing in a community setting to practicing in a health system was my most challenging--until now. In July 2014, I left the AACP Annual Meeting as a faculty member, and one day later I was an interim dean. Throughout this year, I learned and grew in many ways, but I was not prepared to be addressed in the third person.

You may see this happen when policies or decisions are attributed to "the dean." Even during meetings in which I participate, I am referred to as "the dean" even by colleagues next to whom I am sitting, with whom I have a first-name relationship. Perhaps we could attribute the third-person reference to respect for the position. However, it also depersonalizes the individual serving as dean. Is it harder to disagree with the dean (ie, the office) than Cynthia the person?

The other aspect of my third-person persona is addressed when students or others mention "the administration." In meetings with students who mention this vague moniker I have to push back a little. I ask them who they think "the administration" is. In reality, each person with an administrative title also is a faculty member devoted to student success. Yet, as part of "the administration," depersonalization occurs.

As my year as interim dean draws to a close, I have a renewed appreciation for colleagues who seek and accept the role of CEO dean. …

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