Anne Armstrong-Coben: New Senior Associate Dean for Admissions

Anne Armstrong-Coben, MD, associate professor of pediatrics, became senior associate dean for admissions in July after serving as interim dean for nearly a year. She has been a member of the medical school’s admissions committee since 2011 and briefly served as assistant dean for admissions. 

“I am looking forward to continuing the VP&S tradition of identifying brilliant, humanistic individuals who grow together individually and as a class on the journey from student to doctor and then go on to contribute to medicine in unique and profound ways,” says Dr. Armstrong-Coben, a 1989 graduate of VP&S.

During her interim year as dean, she convened diverse faculty to form an Admissions Committee approved by the VP&S Faculty Council to make all admissions-related decisions. Together with the committee, she selected the VP&S Class of 2023, a group of students that includes musicians, athletes, and researchers. Ten percent of the class members come from families of first-generation college students. 

Dr. Armstrong-Coben completed her residency in pediatrics at Columbia before joining the Columbia faculty in 1992. She practiced primary care pediatrics in Washington Heights in the hospital’s Ambulatory Care Network and developed programs for homeless adolescents and children in foster care.

She has worked closely with VP&S students as an advisory dean since 2011 and as associate director of community pediatrics overseeing service-learning. She has received national recognition for curriculum development and implementation in the areas of community pediatrics and service-learning. She also received the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Hope for Children Foundation and the Humanism in Medicine Award from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation.

Donald Quest, MD, the J. Lawrence Pool Professor of Neurological Surgery, also joined the admissions office as assistant dean for admissions, a role he filled on an interim basis during the 2018-19 academic year. A 1970 graduate of VP&S, he joined Columbia’s faculty in 1978. He was one of the first medical education faculty members to take part in the Advisory Dean Program launched in 2003 and continues to participate in the program as an assistant dean for student affairs.