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ABIM Foundation honors VUMC-authored paper

Jun. 20, 2019, 8:40 AM

by Kathy Whitney

The ABIM Foundation has awarded the 2019 John A. Benson Jr., MD Professionalism Article Prize to five scholarly articles — one commentary and four research pieces — that explore physician burnout, unprofessional behavior and integrity in research.

Recipients of the ninth annual awards delved into the effect of physician disrespectful behavior on patient safety, quality of care and team function as well as efforts in training, prevention and remediation to address professional violations.

A Vanderbilt University Medical Center-authored paper was among those that received this year’s research prize. “Qualitative content analysis of coworkers’ safety reports of unprofessional behavior by physicians and advanced practice professionals” was published March 15, 2018, in the Journal of Patient Safety.

William Martinez, MD, MS, assistant professor of Medicine, is first author of the paper, and William Cooper, MD, MPH, Jim Pichert, PhD, Gerald Hickson, MD, Casey Braddy, MHA, Amy Brown, Thomas Catron, PhD, Ilene Moore, MD, JD, Lynn Webb, PhD, and Morgan Stampfle were co-authors.

Their qualitative content analysis aimed to develop a valid and reliable taxonomy of co-worker reports of alleged unprofessional behavior by physicians and advanced practice professionals from a patient safety reporting system at VUMC. Working with data from June 2015 to September 2016, researchers created 13 codes organized into four domains reflecting essential elements of medical professionalism, providing an analytical tool for promoting accountability and behavior change.

“Unprofessional behavior in the practice of medicine can have a devastating impact on patient care and safety, as well as the trust that is foundational to the physician-patient relationship and well-being of the clinical team,” said Richard Baron, MD, president and CEO of the ABIM Foundation. “The work of our newest recipients of the John A. Benson Jr., MD article prize expand our understanding of the grave implications of this issue and promising steps that can bring about positive change, aligning with the Foundation’s mission to foster medical professionalism as a force to improve patient care.”

The ABIM Foundation created the annual prize in 2010 to celebrate and encourage outstanding contributions to the growing body of literature on medical professionalism and commitments articulated in the Physician Charter. Over the past nine years, more than 550 articles have been considered for the award and 30 winners declared.

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