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Medical Center leaders announce Academy for Excellence in Clinical Medicine

Jun. 21, 2021, 9:41 AM


Leaders at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine announce the creation of the Academy for Excellence in Clinical Medicine (AECM). The mission of the Academy is to recognize and advance exceptional patient care.

The initiative to establish the AECM grew out of a proposal from the Physician Council for Clinical Service Excellence and is being formed to “honor exemplary clinicians who combine humanism, professionalism, and a passion for patient care with a scholarly approach to improving patient health and who will establish a community of leaders to promote clinical excellence.”

“We have needed a mechanism to recognize truly top-notch clinical work. We think establishing the AECM will fill that gap,” said Howard Baum, MD, associate professor of Medicine in Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism.

The AECM will be led by Baum and Brent Graham, MD, associate professor of Pediatrics. The Academy’s executive sponsors are Maureen Gannon, PhD, professor of Medicine and associate dean for Faculty Development, David Raiford, MD, professor of Medicine, Chief of Clinical Staff for VUMC and senior associate dean for Faculty Affairs, and Paul Sternberg Jr., MD, George Weeks Hale Professor of Ophthalmology, Chief Medical Officer for Vanderbilt Medical Group and associate dean for Clinical Affairs.

Faculty members elected to the AECM will undergo a rigorous vetting process. A call for nominations is forthcoming and a committee of senior clinical leaders will select the inaugural class, who in turn will go on to select fellow faculty members to be inducted annually.

“We are fortunate to have destination clinicians at VUMC — individuals who are truly world class. The Academy will provide a means to recognize their excellence and further distinguish them as exemplars among colleagues and trainees. I want to express my appreciation to Drs. Baum and Graham and our executive sponsors for leading this effort,” said Jeff Balser, MD, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer for VUMC and Dean of the School of Medicine.

In addition to honoring members for their efforts as outstanding clinicians, the Academy will promote excellence through education and mentorship of faculty and trainees. Members will help plan an annual symposium on clinical excellence.

“In addition to being an honor, we want membership in the Academy to include service to the institution. The members can give back and help elevate care throughout the Medical Center,” said Graham.

“Too often we take clinical excellence and clinical expertise for granted. We hope this will be a transformative program for faculty and for the institution, determining how we think about our best clinicians and how we will utilize these individuals to carry forward their excellence,” said Baum. “The AECM will validate the critical importance of excellent clinical care at Vanderbilt and those elected will be a benchmark and a resource for their colleagues. We anticipate that Academy members will serve in mentorship roles to elevate the level of care institution wide.”

Baum and Graham say membership in the AECM will also help promote VUMC’s top clinicians as they participate in national meetings and educational programs.

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