Dr. Meenakshy Aiyer - Regional Dean
Meenakshy Aiyer, MD, MACP, MHPE, serves as Regional Dean of the University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria (UICOMP), the eighth regional dean since the college was founded in 1970. At UICOMP, she also holds the titles of Head and Professor of Clinical Health Sciences Education and Pathology, a department she helped design and create. In addition, Dr. Aiyer is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Medicine.
Dr. Aiyer received her medical degree from the Madurai Kamaraj University in 1989. After medical school, she came to the United States to complete her Internal Medicine Residency at the University of Louisville and the University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria. Dr. Aiyer remained in Peoria and joined the faculty of the College of Medicine in 1996, following her residency.
Dr. Aiyer has extensive experience in undergraduate medical education administration having served as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at UICOMP. She is a champion for medical student education and curriculum development. She was instrumental in the expansion of the Peoria campus to a four-year medical school campus. A proponent of curricular innovation and technology enhanced medical education, she led the curricular transformation efforts at UICOMP and established the longitudinal clinical experience programs in collaboration with the teaching hospitals.
Dr. Aiyer is an excellent clinician and a nationally recognized medical educator. Since 1996, she has served in patient care as a general internist and in education as a faculty member in the Department of Internal Medicine, where her teaching roles have included resident supervision, and serving as clerkship director for third- and fourth-year medical students. Dr. Aiyer is part of the team representing the University of Illinois College of Medicine (UICOM) as one of the 10 pilot schools in the cohort selected by the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) to implement core Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs). She is a steering committee member and co-chair of the assessment and evaluation committee of the AAMC Core EPA Pilot project. She chaired a task force to help develop a national curriculum for sub-internships at medical schools nationwide, which earned her national recognition and the Louis Pangaro Education Program Development Award. Dr. Aiyer has received numerous awards, including the Raymond B. Allen Golden Apple Award for outstanding contributions to teaching and the Illinois Laureate Award of the American College of Physicians in Illinois. She is the Director of the Caterpillar Faculty Scholars Fellowship program at UICOMP and has mentored over 50 junior faculty. She was selected to participate in Executive Leadership for Academic Medicine (ELAM) program, the nation’s only in-depth leadership program for women in academic medicine.
She has been recognized for her leadership and service within the community as well as her profession. In 2022, she was named the Athena International Woman of the Year by the Peoria Chamber of Commerce as well as the Women to Women Health Care/Wellness Award recipient by the Women’s Fund of Central Illinois.
Dr. Aiyer’s goal is to educate outstanding physicians who will be well prepared to serve their patients through the provision of effective, high-quality healthcare in Illinois and across the nation.