University of South Carolina School of Medicine

University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia Names Dr. Gerald Harmon, MD, Interim Dean

University of South Carolina School of Medicine
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University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia Names Dr. Gerald Harmon, MD, Interim Dean

25 Jun, 2023

Dr. Gerald Harmon, a decorated South Carolina physician, will step into the interim dean role at the School of Medicine Columbia on Aug. 1. He succeeds Dr. Les Hall, who is retiring after more than eight years as dean.

In his interim appointment, Harmon will maintain relationships with the school’s clinical partners, including Prisma Health, as well as keep a steady focus on high-impact research and improving the health of South Carolinians.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Harmon to the team. His longstanding commitment to the people and physicians in our state and country will pay dividends for South Carolina,” says Dr. Jonathan Gleason, chief clinical officer for Prisma Health and clinical professor at the School of Medicine.

Harmon will work with leadership to ensure that all graduate programs within medicine are represented and that the upcoming accreditation process is seamless. He also hopes to set up for success the future dean in the launch of the new home for the SOMC at the Bull Street District.

“My priorities as interim dean will be to continue the outstanding work and successes of Dean Les Hall and the team before me as we build a new medical school campus in Columbia and coordinate the delivery of health care for our state and the medical education of our health care team,” Harmon says.

Harmon is the immediate past president of the American Medical Association, and he currently serves as vice president of medical affairs at Tidelands Health as well as a family physician at Tidelands Health Family Medicine.

Harmon received his bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of South Carolina and his M.D. from the Medical University of South Carolina, where he also completed an internship in clinical pharmacology. He did his residency in family medicine at Eglin Air Force Base Regional Hospital and served as chief resident there. Harmon also received an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree from USC in 2018. Both he and his wife, Linda, consider themselves “Gamecocks to the core,” and the Harmon family has eight degrees from USC between the five of them.

“I want to thank Dean Hall for his steadfast leadership, particularly in the unique challenges of the last three years,” Provost Donna Arnett says. “Dr. Harmon is an accomplished physician and experienced hospital administrator who will be an asset to help guide the School of Medicine Columbia through this time of transition.”


About University of South Carolina School of Medicine:

“We are dedicated to training health care providers for South Carolina and conducting high-impact research that can improve patient outcomes. We offer one-on-one mentorship and access to state-of-the-art technology for all of our students.

We have a history of making a big impact on the health of South Carolina. Founded in Columbia in 1973, our school pioneered a medical curriculum to integrate ultrasound technology. We have made big inroads in training physicians focused on rural health, and our research students regularly win major national grants and go on to prestigious post-doctoral positions.

Faculty and students from all programs and departments in our school work to understand and treat health issues that plague our nation. Our faculty and students focus their research on high-impact areas, such as cardiovascular health, neuroscience and cancer.”


About Gerald Harmon, MD:

Gerald E. Harmon, MD, a family medicine specialist having practiced for more than 30 years in coastal South Carolina, became 176th president of the American Medical Association in June 2021. He was first elected to the AMA Board of Trustees in June 2013 and elected board chair in 2018. In addition, Dr. Harmon also served as the secretary of the AMA in 2016. In South Carolina Dr. Harmon has held several leadership positions in the South Carolina Medical Association, including chairman of the board and president. Dr. Harmon serves as a clinical professor at two of South Carolina’s medical schools and is a member of the clinical faculty for the Tidelands Health Family Medicine residency program while regularly precepting physicians in training. In his hometown, Dr. Harmon is an adviser to the board of trustees for his community health system and is vice president in a multispecialty physician practice. He is a medical director for several organizations and volunteers as medical supervisor for his local school district’s 23 schools. He has also been recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award from his county’s Chamber of Commerce. At the state level he has served as secretary for the State Aeronautics Commission. Before his retirement from the military as a major general, Dr. Harmon served the nation in the Air Force Reserve, on Active Duty, and in the Air National Guard holding responsibilities as chief physician for the National Guard Bureau and assistant surgeon general for the U.S. Air Force. His military decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal and the Humanitarian Service Medal. Dr. Harmon received his undergraduate degree in physics and mathematics from the University of South Carolina and, more recently, an honorary Doctorate of Public Service. He received his medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina and completed his residency training program in family medicine with the U.S. Air Force at Eglin Air Force Base and is recognized as a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. During the rare times when not actively practicing medicine, Dr. Harmon and his wife, Linda, enjoy spending time outdoors in their coastal hometown of Georgetown with their three married children and eight grandchildren.

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