The Academy of Distinguished Educators (ADE) soon will be known by a new (yet-to-be decided) name and will serve educators and trainees by providing an environment for collaboration in educational innovations and a program of educator professional development with a goal of furthering excellence in biomedical education. In addition to the name change, the program itself is evolving.
To provide some historical perspective, the UVA School of Medicine (SOM) ADE was founded in 2003 at a time when medical education and medical educators suffered from a lack of recognition and support in the School. The original academy, among the first five established in US medical schools, served as a powerful vehicle for recognition of excellence and innovation in the education mission of the SOM. Beginning with the process of curriculum reform in 2008, faculty development in medical education made huge strides. With the hiring of Dr. Casey White as Associate Dean for Medical Education Research and Instruction, new avenues for educator development were established. These changes occurred in parallel with the work of the ADE which continued its practice of recognizing outstanding teachers and celebrating the work of teaching with ADE membership and the annual Medical Education week.
Now, 15 years later, the ADE has an opportunity to join more closely with the work of the Office of Educational Affairs (OEA). As with educator academies across the country, the SOM investment in the academy can be leveraged to serve and support the core mission of trainee education.
What’s New, What’s Different?
Membership in the new program will be inclusive and open to all SOM educators. Membership will require a commitment to participation in the organization’s learning opportunities and a commitment of service to the group and the SOM. Faculty will have the opportunity to receive recognition as “distinguished members” for significant and sustained accomplishments and contributions in medical education.
Aside from membership, here are some other areas of for participation:
Medical Education Research: The academy will continue to support research and innovation in medical, biomedical science, and public health education by supporting faculty-driven projects. These projects will be centered on specific needs of the SOM training programs and applications will be accepted in response to an annual Request for Proposals (RFP). The RFP will focus on targeted areas in the educational programs of the SOM and applicants will be encouraged to work in teams.
Medical Education Week: Support and format of this successful program will not alter.
Educator Training: The educator professional development offered by the OEA will serve as the foundational training for all educators enrolled in the program. Offerings of the Center for Teaching Excellence will supplement SOM OEA educational offerings. New programs will be developed based on the recommendations of a new executive board.
Recognition/Celebration Events: There will be an annual event for recognition of new distinguished members, celebration of the accomplishments of the members, and the traditional invited lecture by a recognized educator.
Leadership:An executive board of educators from the School of Medicine will work with leaders from the Office of Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development (OFAFD) on the transition from the ADE to the new educators’ program.
The new program is supported by the Mary M. and Charles H. Henderson MD Endowment for Faculty Excellence, which provides financial resources for us to recruit, retain, and support exceptional teaching faculty and to advance the curricular priorities of the School of Medicine.
I would like to thank Neeral Shah, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, who will serve as the leader of this transition, as of November 1. Special thanks to the outgoing chairs of the ADE steering committee, Christine Peterson, MD, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Timothy Bender, PhD, Professor of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology. Additionally, thank you to the ADE Task Force members for providing valuable recommendations, and to the many faculty who participated in focus groups for their insights regarding the transition.
Susan M. Pollart, MD, MS
Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development
Ruth E. Murdaugh Professor and Chair (interim) of Family Medicine