Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society

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525 Middlefield Road, Suite 130
Menlo Park, CA 94025
P: (650) 329-0291
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2015 Edward D. Harris Professionalism Award

The professional values and responsibilities of medicine must be taught, learned, and practiced to fulfill medicine’s covenant of trust with patients and society.

Physicians’ personal responsibilities are detailed in the Medical Professionalism Charter of the American College of Physicians and the American Board of Internal Medicine, which lists three fundamental principles:

  • 1. The primacy of patient welfare
  • 2. Patient autonomy
  • 3. Social justice

To fulfill these principles, physicians need to:

  • Demonstrate professional competence
  • Be honest with patients
  • Maintain patient confidentiality
  • Maintain appropriate relations with patients
  • Improve quality of care
  • Improve access to care
  • Work for a just distribution of finite resources
  • Maintain scientific knowledge
  • Maintain trust by managing conflicts of interest
  • Demonstrate professional responsibility

These professional behaviors must be learned and practiced by all physicians. The teaching of medical professionalism is thus of utmost importance to the profession of medicine.

This award recognizes and honors outstanding faculty and programs with the best practices in medical professionalism education. Up to three one-time awards of $10,000 will be given based on a national competition. Programs should:

  • Include medical students, residents, faculty, and/or practicing physicians
  • Show evidence of effectiveness
  • Show evidence of sustainability
  • Be exportable to other medical institutions

Leaders of the programs will attend a medical professionalism retreat sponsored by AΩA in Chicago on September 27-28, 2016, to describe their programs and discuss them with others in the field. Attendees will author and submit papers for a monograph on the teaching and learning of medical professionalism to be published by Alpha Omega Alpha within eighteen months of the retreat.


This year’s winner of the Edward D. Harris Professionalism Award is:


The Drexel University Professionalism Formation Curriculum

Drexel University College of Medicine
Program Leaders: Steve Rosenzweig, MD, Dennis H. Novack, MD, Pamela Duke, MD

With an enrollment exceeding 1000 medical students, Drexel University College of Medicine (DUCoM) is educating one in seventy-three of all U.S. medical students. Our institution has a rich history of humanism and service, drawing from our parent institutions, the Medical College of Pennsylvania (founded in 1850 as the first medical school for women) and Hahnemann University (founded as Hahnemann Medical College in 1869). Our pedagogy of Professionalism Education has three major areas of focus:

  1. Social Contract, which defines Medicine as a profession and is the basis of our guiding principles, commitments and fiduciary responsibilities as reflected in the Hippocratic tradition and articulated in the widely endorsed Physician Charter on Medical Professionalism.
  2. Professional Formation and Professional Identity Formation, the process by which a medical trainee matures psychologically, morally and socially, and cultivates virtues of compassion, altruism, and social conscience.
  3. Culture of Integrity and Trustworthiness and the imperative to foster an intentional community in which all members actively contribute to an honor culture, and uphold trustworthiness and integrity as a sine qua non of professional behavior across academic, clinical, research and social domains. Our longitudinal Professionalism Curriculum employs didactics, active learning, and stable professionalism small groups that meet face to face and virtually throughout four years, promoting collaborative learning, reflective practice, and social support. Dovetailing with the curriculum is a multifaceted approach to assessment as well as a robust professionalism remediation process.

Read: "College of Medicine Receives Alpha Omega Alpha’s 2015 Edward D. Harris Professionalism Award"

Updated on September 23, 2015.


© 2017 Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society