March 27, 2023

Donald Batisky, MD, professor of pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine, has been named associate dean for medical student admissions and special programs at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He will begin his new responsibilities Nov. 28.
As associate dean, Batisky will lead the Office of Medical Student Admissions and Special Programs and will be responsible for all strategic recruitment and enrollment initiatives of medical students. There are currently 705 medical students at the college, with each first-year class typically totaling 180 students. Additionally, he will oversee various pipeline programs at the college, such as the Connections Dual Admissions Program offering a BS/MD from the University of Cincinnati.
“I’ve spent time on three different admissions committees over about 25 years. I’ve always found it interesting to hear the stories of the people who wish to pursue medicine as a career,” says Batisky. “The admissions committee is not only selecting the next entering class for a medical school, but also helping to shape the future of the medical profession. It’s also nice to see the evidence of your work in the faces of the entering class.”
Donald Batisky, MD
Since 2014, Batisky has served as executive director of pre-health advising in the Office of Undergraduate Education at the Emory University College of Arts and Sciences. He also has served as associate dean for admissions at both the University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences and at the Ohio State University College of Medicine and as a member of the admissions committees at the University of Toledo, Ohio State and Emory University medical schools. Additionally, he currently is director of pediatric medical student clinical education and clerkship director at Emory.
“One of the best parts of my career has been working with medical students. I tell them that I am always guided by two primary beacons: empathy and compassion. I was there, and I remember what it was like to be in their scrubs! And I never want to forget that,” Batisky says. “I also know that pre-medical students are often full of questions, and they are often seeking advice and not always getting the most accurate and timely advice that could be helpful to them. I enjoy demystifying the process, as much as I can, while holding true to the idea that no one person alone makes the decision about who gets in and who doesn’t.”
Batisky will report to Philip Diller, MD, PhD, senior associate dean for educational affairs. Diller identified Batisky’s admissions leadership experience, his extensive participation in the admission process at several medical schools and his strong track record of assisting students as important factors in his selection for the position.
“Dr. Batisky is a wonderful, caring person with great experience and a tremendous track record in the medical school admissions process. I know he will bring a creative perspective to our admissions efforts that will result in excellent, diverse medical classes,” Diller says.
Diller also praised David Grier, MD, who has provided interim leadership for the Office of Medical Student Admissions and Special Programs since August 2021. Grier will help with the transition and continue to serve on the admissions committee while continuing in his primary role as an associate professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and hematopathologist at Cincinnati Children’s.
Batisky says holistic review and an emphasis on diversity will be an important focus for him as he begins his leadership of the admissions office. In 2008, the College of Medicine was the first U.S. medical school to implement a Multiple Mini Interview system, a more holistic approach for medical student selection that emphasizes humanistic skills and qualities.
“I’d have to say that my philosophy on medical student admissions is in line with the idea of holistic review coupled with understanding the motivation behind the ultimate question: ‘Why do you want to be a doctor?’” Batisky explains. “I talk to a lot of pre-medical students about what admissions committees are looking for, and I focus on the balance between ‘academic horsepower’ and ‘all the right stuff.’ That means being prepared to tackle a fast-paced, science-based curriculum while also being mindful that medicine is truly about taking care of people. You have to be interested in the idea of helping others in some way, and it’s that motivation that sets the tone for a fulfilling career.”
Despite being embedded in his career and life at Emory University and in Atlanta, Batisky says when he came to the College of Medicine campus “the enthusiasm of all of the people I met really made me think about coming here as a real possibility and, when Dr. Diller called me to offer the position, I was surprised and humbled to be chosen to step into this role.”
He lauded the Admissions Office team, who instilled a sense of excitement in him, and is eager to collaborate with Dawn Bragg, PhD, who joined the college in August as the associate dean for student affairs.
Raised in Youngstown, Ohio, Batisky received his undergraduate degree from Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio, where he is a member of the college’s Board of Trustees. He earned his medical degree at the University of Toledo and completed his internship and residency at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus. He also completed fellowship training in pediatric nephrology at the University of Tennessee and Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis.
Prior to joining the Emory University faculty in 2009, Batisky served on the faculties of the colleges of medicine at the University of Tennessee, University of Toledo, Ohio State University and as adjunct faculty at the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. The recipient of numerous teaching awards, Batisky received the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award in 2005 while at Ohio State University.
Batisky is a pediatric nephrologist and also will hold an appointment as professor in the Department of Pediatrics in the Division of Pediatric Nephrology. He plans to continue being an active clinician-researcher while leading the college’s Office of Medical Student Admissions and Special Programs. His scholarly work has focused on pediatric hypertension, including clinical trials, multicenter studies and National Institutes of Health-sponsored investigator-initiated clinical research. About 20% of his time will be spent at Cincinnati Children’s working in the general nephrology and pediatric hypertension outpatient clinics. He also will continue his work as a member of the International Pediatric Nephrology Association Council and an education co-chair of the International Pediatric Hypertension Association.
Batisky cites cycling as one of his favorite hobbies and he is hoping to learn new trails around the Cincinnati region. He also loves to cook and travel and is looking forward to more often seeing many family and friends scattered around Ohio.
“My partner, Peter, and I have rescued many animals and currently have cats as pets,” he says. “We really look forward to exploring all that Cincinnati has to offer, from neighborhoods, farmers markets, the arts and some sports, and the food scene.”

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The University of Cincinnati will be closed on Friday, June 18 in honor of federal government's decision to mark Juneteenth as a public holiday.

June 11, 2020
UC will follow enhanced health and safety measures as it begins with blend of in-person and virtual offerings for fall semester 2020.

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