Alumnus and Faculty Member Dr. Alexander McKinney Becomes Department Chair at University of Miami

Alexander M. McKinney IV, MD, has left the University of Minnesota Medical School Department of Radiology to become Chair of the Department of Radiology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Dr. McKinney leaves after 26 years at the University of Minnesota.

Dr. McKinney began his time at the University of Minnesota in 1994 as a medical student and continued his education through residency and a Neuroradiology Fellowship before accepting a faculty position in neuroradiology. He later became Division Director of Neuroradiology and was promoted to Professor in 2016.

While on the faculty, Dr. McKinney was able to gather a breadth of experience through partnerships with Hennepin Healthcare and the Minneapolis VA, in addition to the University hospitals, leading to many publications on diverse patient populations. This foundation, along with a passion for academic medicine, culminated in Dr. McKinney becoming the Department of Radiology’s Vice-Chair of Research, Informatics, and Innovation. In this role, he helped build a research support system and mentorship within the department.  

“It took many years and more than just me to do, but we built a master mentors program, coordinated support resources, and the thing that made me feel the best was watching other people get promoted because of the effect its had on them as well as our ability to recruit faculty,” said McKinney. “What really makes me feel secure that I did something valuable is this work. We’ve had more promotions in the last three years than in the previous 10-15.”

Dr. McKinney helped create the Center for Clinical Imaging Research (CCIR) at the University of Minnesota and served as medical director and MRI-CT safety director for CCIR and the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research. Before leaving, Dr. McKinney helped formed the recently funded Center for Radiology Research Resources (CRRR). Through CRRR, reads, radiology expertise, and recommendations can be woven into all phases of research at the U of M and M Health Fairview from the design phase of grant submissions all the way to the post-approval phase of clinical trials. 

As Department Chair at the University of Miami, Dr. McKinney sees potential to grow academic radiology in southern Florida and improve work-life balance through improving staffing models and expectations - similar initiatives Dr. McKinney worked on at the University of Minnesota and felt qualified and passionate to continue working on. He also wants to take his experience in research and mentorship to build similar models in Florida to support faculty and the department. Another area Dr. McKinney sees as an opportunity is using informatics to show radiology’s value in the care pathway to increase reimbursements and demonstrate radiologists’ effect on patients’ outcomes.

“We’re lucky to have had Alex in the department for so long, and will continue to reap the benefits of his vision and dedication for years to come. Any time someone leaves, it’s bittersweet, but the University of Miami gained an outstanding neuroradiologist and leader,” said Charles Dietz, MD, Head of the U of M Department of Radiology.

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