UTRGV School of Medicine welcomes new member of faculty


HARLINGEN, TEXAS – MARCH 9, 2015 – Arden D. Dingle, M.D., has become the first triple-boarded faculty member to be hired at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine that will open its doors to medical students in August 2016.

“We are tremendously excited that Dr. Dingle has accepted our offer,” said Francisco Fernandez, M.D., Inaugural Dean of the UTRGV School of Medicine. “She brings the skills and experience necessary to design and implement the school’s psychiatry department. Her remarkable body of work at Emory exemplifies practices that we intend to implement with our medical students.”

As Professor of Psychiatry, Dingle will hold the post of Chief of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and be Program Director of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship program.

Dingle visited the Rio Grande Valley twice last fall and returned in February; she will make the complete move to her new office at the Regional Academic Health Center in Harlingen in the spring.

“Everyone I met during my trips to the Valley has been so warm and welcoming,” Dingle said. “I can tell how everybody is excited about this new university and new medical school, and I see an interest in doing new things to improve health throughout this region. I see a willingness to work with the community base, to come up with ideas on ways to get the work done that will create healthier lives for all.”

During her years with Emory Medical School, Dingle worked with youth in community outpatient settings, on the Grady Consultation/Liaison Service and outpatients at Emory.

Having retired from Emory last year, she has been working with patients in a residential treatment facility, a community mental health center and in private practice.

“I am eager to be a part of this new team at UTRGV School of Medicine,” Dingle said. “We will be putting programs into place to be ready for the first cohort of students next year. At the same time, we will be collaborating with local doctors and health care facilities to develop the residency training programs such that these positions will be ready for medical students when the time comes.”

Dingle’s expertise is in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (CAP). She became the Program Director of the Emory Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (CAP) Fellowship Program in 1996, a position she credits for providing the structure, support and flexibility for her to grow as an educator, clinician and scholar.

“While I enjoy being a clinician, being an educator is my niche,” Dingle said. “For me, being a medical educator is one of the best jobs in the healthcare system, with the joys and challenges of working with different individuals, constantly figuring out how to manage and improve programs and always striving to be the best.”

Dingle has served on multiple program, divisional, departmental and institutional committees with leadership roles in regional and national professional organizations, especially American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP). Her speaking engagements covering presentations on various educational and CAP topics have reached local, national and international audiences.

Through her current position as editor of the Psychiatry Resident in Training Examinations (PRITE), Dingle met Fernandez, the former editor.

“I know Arden to be active-integral member of any endeavor and organization she is associated with, who always feels proud to contribute and whose skills and background best fit the work ahead for Psychiatry,” Fernandez said. “She has shown extraordinary leadership in overseeing the transformation of psychiatric education, guiding the Psychiatry Resident in Training Examination through a period of transition, and strengthening the Emory Department of Psychiatry’s relationships with its clinical partners. I have every confidence that her skills, her wisdom, and her proven ability to build consensus will serve UTRGV and our community well with the course she is charting for Psychiatry.”

Dingle said she is impressed with the focus UTRGV will give to community-based research and hands-on instruction, with students training in real-life settings, where their efforts will be meaningful.

“Collaboration with the health care community will be essential to the success of this program,” Dingle said. “I know there is a tremendous need for greater access to trained personnel. We are going to begin providing services to the community as soon as possible. The need is great, and I am excited to get started.”

Media Contact: Letty Fernandez
UTRGV Director of Media Relations

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