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12635 E. Montview Blvd., Suite 270
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National and Chapter News

The Alpha Omega Alpha Professionalism Award

The Board of Directors of Alpha Omega Alpha is pleased to announce the winners of the Professionalism Fellowship, offered for the first time in 2009. The purpose, design, and implementation of this program is to emphasize the crucial role of professionalism in being a physician. It is our belief that the components of professionalism can be both taught and learned. 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.

More than thirty applications for the fellowship were received. Three were chosen as winners by a panel of educators with research interests and teaching experience in professionalism and its applications.

The common theme of the successful proposals is focused study of specific components of professionalism that can be exported to other faculties of medicine and taught to residents and medical students.

David Grande, MD, MPA, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania was awarded $25,000 to develop a training program for residents in health policy and civic engagement. As he has stated in his proposal states, civic professionalism represents the responsibility of the profession to look outward from the health care system to influence the underlying social, economic, and political factors determining health policy and health care in our communities. His goal is to develop a civic professionalism and health policy curriculum within the Internal Medicine Residency program at the University of Pennsylvania that subsequently could be successful in residency programs in all specialties across the country. Dr. Grande’s academic preparation for this project includes an MPA from Princeton, participation in a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars program at Penn, and, at a practical level, his close collaboration with the Department of Public Health in the City of Philadelphia in launching the Healthy Philadelphia program for a broad group of its citizens.

Laura Ellen Hill-Sakurai, MD, Assistant Professor of Family and Community Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, has been awarded $12,500 to examine whether continuity of the clinical clerkship sites for medical students plays a significant role in developing a more professional climate. The outcomes will be particularly important to assess because many medical schools across the country are transitioning to programs that plant clerks in one hospital for multiple clerkship experiences. Dr. Hill-Sakurai’s broad training in statistical and qualitative methods and participation in UCSF’s Teaching Scholars Program gives her strong credentials for this work. Of note is that her proposed research stems directly from reports submitted by students that helped focus discussions on both their faculty’s professionalism and their own.

Brendan P. Kelly, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine and Associate Director of the Med-Peds residency programs at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts, has been awarded $12,500 to develop new combinations of programs for teaching professionalism to residents in all specialties. Semi-structured interviews around “critical incidents” regarding professionalism will be followed by analysis of transcripts and identification of the most important and common themes of professionalism. This “bottom up” approach should generate valid directions for thematic learning and teaching in professionalism that will be made available for residency programs across the country.


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Updated on January 4, 2011.


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