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Carol Elam, EdD


(859) 323-6161


  • Professor

College Unit(s)

Biography and Education


Dr. Carol Elam is a Professor in the Department of Behavioral Science. She currently teaches two sections of Introduction to Clinical Medicine to first-year medical students. She also serves as course director for the cross-listed Race, Racism, and Health Inequities among Blacks in the U.S. elective currently offered to both medical and graduate students. In addition, Dr. Elam currently supports the development of training programs in team science for faculty and fellows through the Center for Clinical and Translational Science. She is a member of the University Appeals Board and the Department’s DEI Council. She has received the Master Teacher Award at UKCOM in Innovation, Evaluation, Educational Leadership, and Faculty Development. Holding three degrees from the University of Kentucky College of Education, Dr. Elam was awarded the Alumni Excellence Award in 2018 and was admitted to the UK College of Education Hall of Fame. In 2016, she received the Career Educator Award from the Southern Group on Educational Affairs. Having served as Associate Dean for Admissions in the College of Medicine, Dr. Elam was chair of the admissions work group for the Regional Medical School Expansion from 2016-2019. As part of that effort, she developed the statewide Early Assurance program offering preparation programs and assured admission to selected students at colleges and universities across Kentucky. Since 2016, she has served as a consultant on admissions and recruitment practices to Eastern Virginia Medical School, the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, and the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. Dr. Elam is completing a five-year term on the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Group on Educational Affairs Steering Committee. She served as National Chair of that 3,500-member professional affinity group from 2018-2020. She has published 145 journal articles and two book chapters. She is a member emeritus of the Society of Directors of Research in Medical Education.


2014 Accomplishments

Dr. Elam, Professor of Behavioral Science, serves as Associate Dean for Admissions and Institutional Advancement and Director of Medical Education Research. She is responsible for the coordination of the recruitment activities for prospective students, student premedical counseling from the college, and the implementation of the admissions process at the College of Medicine (UKCOM). Ongoing activities include participation in UK and You recruitment evenings with the undergraduate admissions program, premedical presentations at colleges and universities across Kentucky and at selected schools in contiguous states, participation in the UKCOM accepted student recruiting event, the White Coat Ceremony, the Rural Physician Leadership Boot Camp, and UKMED, a student-led recruitment program for future applicants who are underrepresented in medicine. Continued outreach efforts to aid in the recruitment of prospective students and contribute to the culture of learning in the college include the Student National Medical Association annual conference and the annual Leaving a Legacy celebration. Dr. Elam’s primary admissions efforts in 2017 have focused on the development of admissions recruiting procedures and implementation of enrollment management strategies at the UKCOM-Bowling Green (UKCOM-BG) campus.  She chaired the Admissions Work Group at Bowling Green, building a coalition with the UKCOM, The Medical Center, Western Kentucky University (WKU), the Gatton Academy, and South Central Area Health Education Center.  A new Early Assurance Program was launched that established recruiting and admissions partnership agreements between UKCOM-BG and WKU, Murray State University, Kentucky Wesleyan College, Lindsey Wilson College, and Campbellsville University. At UKCOM, Dr Elam also served as Chair of the Scholarship Committee, and as a member of both the Academic and Learning Environment committee for the LCME preparation as well as the Willard Award Selection Committee.  Dr. Elam and Dr. Schumacher of the Department of Behavioral Science presented a Medical Education Research seminar to new faculty in the Department of Neurology. During 2017, Elam gave 5 platform talks/workshops and presented 2 posters at regional, national, and international meetings. She was an invited visiting professor at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, giving a presentation to the Women in Medicine group on career development. She participates in several national initiatives of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), serving as a member of the Group on Student Affairs Steering Committee for the GSA Professional Development Initiative and as the Chair of the Medical Education Review Committee. Through a national peer evaluation process, the latter role coordinates selection of educational programming presented at the AAMC Annual Meeting, Learn Serve Lead. Dr. Elam was recently tapped to serve as the Chair-Elect of the AAMC’s Group on Educational Affairs (GEA). The GEA is the largest of the AAMC’s professional development constituent groups.  The GEA role is a five-year term of service.


Selected Publications