Skip to Content

School of Medicine Columbia

Faculty and Staff

Donna Dawkins Ray, M.D.

Title: Assistant Dean of Student Professional Development
Director of Educational Innovation
Department: Office of Student Affairs and Career Advising
School of Medicine Columbia
Phone: 803-216-3624
Donna Ray profile image


Doctor of Medicine - May 1994
University of South Carolina School of Medicine

Bachelor of Science Psychology with Cognate in Chemistry and Biology - August 1985
University of South Carolina

Residencies and Fellowships

Geriatric Fellowship - July 2003
Palmetto Health & University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, S.C.

Internal Medicine Residency - October 1997
Richland Memorial Hospital and the University of South Carolina

Board Certifications

The American Board of Internal Medicine

Subspecialty in Geriatrics – Certified from 2003-2013

Diplomat in Internal Medicine – Certified from 1998-2008

Research Interests/Areas of Expertise

  • Continuum of medical education – UME – GME – CME, especially in the areas of competency-based education, assessment, professional identity formation, and accreditation processes
  • Interprofessional Education in the Health Professions
  • Mentoring, Advising, and Academic Coaching
  • Quality Improvement and Patient Safety
  • Social Medicine and other experiential learning opportunities


Dr. Ray's educational expertise is primarily in the continuum of medical education from UME through CME with specific skills in the areas of competency based education development and assessment. In her specific discipline of health care, she has focused on geriatric functional assessment and contributed to content in various aspects of the Medical Student and Physician Assistant Curricula. Currently she serves on the University of South Carolina Health Sciences Interprofessional Education Committee as consultant and mentor for faculty development, participate in course design, delivery, and assessment. She served as the director of faculty development in the office of continuous professional development and strategic affairs for 18 years.  Since 2020, her work has been primarily with student academic coaching and career advising. Dr. Ray serves on multiple USC School of Medicine committees including Curriculum Committee, Strategic Planning, and Faculty Representation. She also oversees the distributed curricula which span all four years of medical education and mentor the course directors of those curricula.  

Prior to her medical career, Dr. Ray worked in the supplemental health insurance industry in the claims department as a manager and eventually initiated their formal departmental on-boarding and training program as director.  She developed expertise in organizational development, professional development, and instructional design through a variety of coursework and experiences. With this background, Ray moved into work with student professional development in 2020 as an academic coach and subsequently have redesigned the medical student career advising program. Dr. Ray also recruits and conducts professional development for the SOMC's group of dedicated volunteer faculty who serve as general advisors. Since 2020, she has served as the faculty advisor for the March Seabrook Leadership Program for medical student leadership development.  In that capacity, Dr. Ray also mentored eight students for their scholarly leadership projects in the inaugural class of 13; she has assisted in recruiting individual mentors for subsequent classes and continue to provide individual leadership coaching.

Throughout her medical career, Dr. Ray have engaged in leadership coaching development of experiential learning related to quality improvement and patient safety efforts, including managing the Maintenance of Certification Portfolio Program for Prisma Health. She served as PI on the Palmetto Health/USC PACER – Professionals Accelerating Clinical and Educational Reform national initiative with Oregon Health & Science University.


Christopher W Goodman, Julie Justo, Cindy Merrow, Phillip Prest, Elizabeth Ramsey & Donna Ray (2021) An experiential learning collaborative on quality improvement for interprofessional learners, Journal of Interprofessional Care, DOI: 10.1080/13561820.2021.1901673

Browne, T., Blake, E.W., Baliko, B., Christopher, R.L., Iachini, A.L., Dunn, B.L, Bethel, S.R. & Ray, D. (2021). Health equity in interprofessional education. The Clinical Teacher, 00, 1-3. DOI:10.1111/tct.13330 

Ray D. iTEACH! Workshops for Teaching Physicians. Peer –reviewed 7.5-hour Course published on MedEdPORTAL Publications; 2015. Access:  

Holmboe ES, Ward DS, Reznick RK, Katsufrakis PJ, Leslie KM, Patel VL, Ray DD, & Nelson EA. Faculty Development in Assessment: Missing Link in Competency-Based Medical Education. Academic Medicine. 2011 Apr; 86(4): 460-7.

Holmes, GR, Dawkins, DR, and Faulkner, LR. Behavioral Science in Medical Education:  A 1987 to 1991 Bibliography. Psychological Reports. 69:675-680, 1991.


LCME Faculty Fellow, Jan.’23 – May ‘23, USC SOMC LCME Self-Study Steering Committee member, May ’23 – present, Co-lead for Student Experience Self-Study Work Group August 2023 – present.

USC SOMC Strategic Planning Steering Committee member 2016 to present (3 cycles); have served to facilitate multiple working groups, participated in executive planning team, facilitated the CITF – Curriculum Innovation Task Force in 2016-2018, and currently co-leading the Education Work Group for the current Strategic Plan refresh in 2023.

USC Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) - New Faculty Orientation Planning (APC), 2008-17, Artform (Reflective Teaching Practice for Medical Educators), Program Partner (coach, member of instructional design team, and seminar presenter for 3 course cycles, 2020 through present. 

USC SOMC Chair of ad hoc Working Group on Overall Program Objectives for medical education Fall 2023. 

USC SOMC – Office of Student Affairs and Career Advising, Faculty Lead for March Seabrook Leadership Program (MSLP) for medical students, 2021 - present

USC SOMC Alpha Omega Alpha - Beta Chapter, Executive Committee Member, August 2019 – present.

USC SOMC Representative for CPD/CME – AAMC “Advancing Medical Education to Combat Opioid Abuse: Working Together Across the Continuum; local “OPA” (Opioid, Pain, and Addiction) education and patient care improvement work group, December 2018 – December 2021.

Palmetto Health/USC School of Medicine PACER local PI & Team Leader - Professionals Accelerating Clinical and Educational Redesign, January 2016 to December 2019;

USC Health Sciences Interprofessional Education Committee, member: April 2011 – present; IP Practice Subcommittee, 2014-2017; Curriculum development on HIV-IPE HRSA Grant, 2015-2018 (Dr. D.Ahuja - PI)

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.