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Office of Academic Affiliations


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OAA Leadership

Meet Our Leaders

The Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA) leads the largest health professions education system in the United States. Learn more about our National Academic Affiliations Council.

Senior Leadership Team

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Marjorie A. Bowman, MD, MPA

Chief Academic Affiliations Officer

Marjorie A. Bowman, MD, MPA, is the Chief Academic Affiliations Officer for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), where she oversees the largest health professions education program in the United States.

Certified in Family Medicine and in Preventive Medicine, Dr. Bowman’s first position was as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health Service. Her career has spanned four universities, as teacher, clinician, researcher and leader. Read Dr. Bowman’s full biography.

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Erin Patel, Psy.D., ABPP

Executive Director of Health Professions Education

Dr. Erin Patel is the Executive Director of Health Professions Education for the Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA), Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration (VHA). In this role, she oversees the largest health professions educational portfolio in the nation that includes over 118,000 health professions trainees (HPTs) annually in more than 60 different disciplines. Read Dr. Patel’s full biography.

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Karen M. Sanders, MD

Senior Advisor

Karen M. Sanders, MD, OAA’s Senior Advisor, provides guidance on policy, regulatory and statutory issues. Prior to being named Senior Advisor in 2021, Dr. Sanders served OAA for 19 years in a variety of roles, the most recent as Acting Chief Academic Affiliations Officer and Deputy Chief Academic Affiliations Officer. Over 42 years in VHA, she has served as a subject matter expert on Mandatory Training and has fulfilled multiple other roles at all levels of the administration. Read Dr. Sander’s full biography.