We are honored to be named Interim Faculty Deans of Leverett House, and we are excited to make Leverett home. We look forward to joining and engaging the Leverett community throughout the House’s amazing spaces and to work with students, tutors and staff to build a sense of trust and inclusion for all. As physicians and medical educators, we focus our work on caring for people. We also work in teams. With all members of Team Leverett, we seek to be part of a community that assumes value, brings people together to create a sense of belonging, and is respectful of traditions and also forward-looking and creative.
Below, you will learn a bit about us, but be assured that every day we will be learning and growing with the Leverett community.
Eileen Reynolds and Dan Deschler (photo by Jon Chase)
With parents who were public school teachers (and both first generation college graduates) I grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts believing that education is the highest priority path to a secure future. At Harvard I knew I wanted to go into medicine, and I concentrated in History and Science. My senior thesis was about 3 all-women’s medical schools in the late 1800s. That project launched my abiding interests in medical education, women’s health and gender equity in academic medicine.
I met Dan on our first day at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and we have navigated medical school, residency (in San Francisco), fellowships (in Philadelphia), faculty positions and our moves as a team. My academic focus is on graduate medical education (the training that comes after medical school). I spent 13 years as the residency program director for a yearly group of 164 internal medicine residents, seeing to their clinical competence, career aspirations, and program culture. Currently, I oversee the educational programs in the Department of Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, one of Harvard’s 3 major teaching hospitals. I also lead the Division of General Medicine: clinical, educational, and research programs in primary care, palliative care, and hospital medicine. I created the Linde Family Center for Primary Care, where I teach about leadership training and innovation. I continue to have a small primary care practice, which sustains me. I love entertaining, ice cream, Boston sports teams, and paddle boarding (particularly on warm days and in calm waters).
We are so proud of our boys: Jack ’19 just completed his first year of a JD/PhD program at HLS and HKS. Will, Northwestern ’21, is working for an art museum in Chicago as part of a community engagement fellowship. Stryker, our spirited 13-year-old cockapoo, joins us in Leverett.
I grew up in rural Northern Illinois, where my father was a cement truck driver and my mother still runs a neighborhood restaurant and bar. My parents always emphasized the power of education despite never having attended college themselves. I graduated from Creighton University’s honors program with a degree in history; I was active in theatre and studied in Vienna. The opportunity to attend HMS transformed my life. At Harvard Medical School, I witnessed the wonder that academic medicine could be and met my best friend and my partner in life and medicine - Eileen.
After our training and early academic appointments in San Francisco and Philadelphia, we returned to HMS in 2000. My practice at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) centers on the surgical, reconstructive, and longitudinal care of patients with advanced head and neck cancer; my research and academic writings explore multiple aspects of patient care, caregiver needs, and surgical innovation. I direct the HMS student experience at MEEI, created and co-direct our head and neck cancer fellowship and serve as Vice-Chair of Academic Affairs for my Department. I feel grateful every day to make a positive difference in people’s lives as a caregiver, educator and mentor, and to have the benefit of learning so much from those around me.
I love family time, theatre, movies and music – and any related trivia questions. I enjoy the wonder, heartbreak and elation all sports bring – as seen in my years of Little League coaching and Chicago/Boston fandom. I brew beer and have refined the bartending skills I learned working at my mom’s place. But most of all, I love seeing the joy people exhibit when they engage in something special and from the heart. I am so looking forward to learning, living and loving Lev.
Read more about Eileen and Dan here.