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Faculty mentoring program named for Geoffrey Fleming

Nov. 24, 2020, 9:14 AM


by Kathy Whitney

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine’s Academy for Excellence in Education is developing a mentoring program for scientist educators, clinician educators and clinical practice faculty that will provide support and guidance to access and acquire the resources and skills necessary for successful careers as educators.

Geoffrey Fleming, MD

Named the Geoffrey Fleming Mentoring Program, it will be implemented in spring 2021.

The Academy for Excellence in Education board has named the program in honor of Geoffrey Fleming, MD, professor of Pediatrics and Critical Care Medicine. Fleming, who has openly shared his cancer journey with his colleagues, helped implement a similar faculty peer mentoring program within the Department of Pediatrics more than 10 years ago — the Hazinski Society for Junior Faculty Development, which continues today.

“We thought it would be a wonderful way to honor Geoffrey and pay tribute to all he has done in the institution and all of his contributions to bettering the education community by naming it after him,” said Joseph Gigante, MD, director of VUSM’s Academy for Excellence in Education.

The program is open to all faculty members in the School of Medicine regardless of academic track, with a focus on developing educators not yet promoted to the rank of associate professor, Gigante said.

He foresees the program offering small group collaboration, facilitated by two senior faculty members who will host one-hour monthly meetings and discussions of a specific topic chosen to provide skills needed for enhanced educational activities and academic advancement. Meetings initially will be held virtually due to COVID-19.

“Geoffrey has made immeasurable contributions to the commitment he has to medical education and the mentoring of his colleagues and peers. Naming this program after him is a small token for his enormous impact on others,” said Donald Brady, MD, Executive Vice President for Educational Affairs and Senior Associate Dean for Health Sciences Education.

The goal of the monthly meetings is to provide a framework for peer mentorship and networking across the School of Medicine through a forum of facilitated small group discussions. Participants will be provided with resources to promote career development through discussions and reading materials.

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