As founding dean of Central Michigan University’s College of Medicine, Ernest Yoder ’74 has a once in a lifetime opportunity.
He joins CMU with nearly 30 years of experience in medicine, most recently having held positions at Providence Hospital and Medical Centers and St. John Health and Ascension Healthsimultaneously.
In 1981, Yoder was invited to become the chief medical resident at Wayne State University, where he joined the faculty the following year, staying for 19 years in total.
“This experience gave me an amazing number of opportunities to grow,” he says. “It was like a dream.”
Having studied chemistry at Alma College, Yoder’s intention after graduation was to teach chemistry or work in the field, but the Medical College Admission Test revived thoughts of medical school.
“Medical school was merely a thought in the back of my mind because I knew that I couldn’t count on it,” he says. “I applied to Wayne State University for early decision, which was a risky move, but it worked out well because two days before my senior year, I found out that I had been accepted.”
Yoder completed a residency program and graduated from medical school in 1978. He decided it was time to expand his capabilities as an educator in 1989, so he pursued and received his doctorate in education.
Throughout his journey, he hasn’t forgotten the one-of-a-kind culture that exists at Alma. In fact, he and his wife met while undergraduates and were married 36 years ago by philosophy professor emeritus Wesley Dykstra.
“The close relationships between faculty and students is just one the many unique aspects of Alma, and this style of education prepared me in a unique way for medicine,” says Yoder. “It’s hard to believe I could have gotten the same preparation anywhere else. Alma was the beginning of everything.”