Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society

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2012 Edward D. Harris Professionalism Award

The Board of Directors of Alpha Omega Alpha is pleased to announce the winner of the 2012 Edward D. Harris Professionalism Award. The award emphasizes AΩA’s commitment to its belief that professionalism is a crucial facet of being a physician, a quality that can be both taught and learned. Originally named the AΩA Professionalism Fellowship, the award has been renamed to honor Edward D. Harris, the longtime executive director of the society, who died in May 2010. Applications were open to medical schools with active AΩA chapters. Faculty who have demonstrated personal dedication to teaching and research in specific aspects of professionalism that could be transferred directly to medical students or resident physicians were encouraged to apply for these funds.

The winner of the 2012 Edward D. Harris Professionalism Award is:

Anthony Back, MD
Professor, Division of Oncology, Department of Medicine
University of Washington School of Medicine

Professionalism is central to training physicians who can meet the challenges of medical care that the United States currently faces. Responding to these challenges, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has recognized that training programs must develop methods that enable physicians in training to “develop a therapeutic relationship with patients and families,” and “use verbal and non-verbal skills,” while acting with “integrity and honesty,” “accept[ing] responsibility,” and “act[ing] in the best interest of the patient.” The ACGME has recently identified “the ability to run a family meeting” as a milestone for postgraduate residents that requires them to combine communication and professionalism in complex clinical situations that require integration of communication skills with professional integrity, honesty, and nonabandonment. Over the past decade, with funding from the National Cancer Institute, we have developed a small group learning method for trainees that demonstrates behavior change, and developed a faculty train-the-trainer program that improved teaching behaviors by faculty and improved communication outcomes by learners. In this proposal we aim to disseminate this evidence-based train-the-trainer facilitation model by developing a novel video-based train-the-trainer intervention that will improve learner communication behavior by using the family conference as a focal point.

Updated on July 24, 2012.

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