Congratulations to Susan M. Pollart, MD, MS, FAAFP, Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs at UVA School of Medicine and Ruth E. Murdaugh Professor of Family Medicine, for receiving the 2023 Carole J. Bland Phronesis Award from AAMC Group on Faculty Affairs (GFA). This award honors members of the faculty affairs community who exemplify the spirit of phronesis through dedicated and selfless promotion of faculty vitality. Phronesis (fro-NEE-sis) is defined as acting for the welfare of others without thought for the self; seeking and enabling heroically the development and success of others. Current and past recipients of this award are educators and academicians who have lived examples of exemplary leadership, mentorship, and innovation in faculty affairs and development.
Dr. Pollart received her undergraduate education in West Virginia, her family’s home during her teen years. She came to UVA to attend medical school and completed her residency at UVA, serving as chief resident her last year. She went on to do three years of clinical and bench research in allergic diseases, funded by a National Institutes of Health National Research Service Award.
After completion of her research fellowship, Dr. Pollart joined the UVA School of Medicine faculty with a joint appointments in the Department of Family Medicine and the Division of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology in the Department of Medicine. In the years since, she has enjoyed participating in research related to risk factors for asthma, teaching medical students and residents, developing and directing a scholarship program for students bound for a career in generalist medicine and providing the full range of patient care in family medicine, including obstetrics.
In 2014, Dr. Pollart was appointed the head of the newly created UVA School of Medicine Office of Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development. In her role as senior associate dean, Dr. Pollart is involved in all aspects of faculty life from recruitment to retirement. Her primary focus is the professional development and active engagement of faculty, particularly those faculty members traditionally underrepresented in medicine. She has led the SOM in the administration of the AAMC StandPoint survey on four occasions with ever increasing faculty participation, culminating in a response rate of 87% for the fall 2022 survey administration. Guided by the StandPoint survey results, and with the support of her team, she launched a comprehensive, evidence-based platform of initiatives and professional development programs for faculty focusing on leadership, governance, mentorship, professional advancement, and other topics identified as critical to the UVA SOM faculty members’ engagement.
She continues to spend time as a practicing family physician and often thinks of her dean role as a natural extension of her career as a family doctor. In both roles, she takes great pleasure in investing with her patients and colleagues over their lifetime and helping those that she serves to reach their personal and professional goals.
This award was presented at the 2023 Group on Diversity and Inclusion and GFA Joint Professional Development Conference in Indian Wells, CA in June 2023.