Faculty Article Wins National Award for Medical Professionalism

A scholarly article calling for a new "curriculum for social justice" at medical schools has brought national recognition to three NEOMED faculty members.

Co-authors Delese Wear, Ph.D., professor in the College of Medicine and in the Family and Community Medicine Department; Joseph Zarconi, M.D.; professor and chair of Internal Medicine; and Julie M. Aultman, Ph.D., professor in the Family and Community Medicine Department, were honored along with co-authors Michelle R. Chyatte, Dr.PH.; and Arno K. Kumagai, M.D., as recipients of the seventh annual John A. Benson Jr., M.D. Professionalism Article Prize. The award is given by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation in Philadelphia.

The authors were honored for “Remembering Freddie Gray: Medical Education for Social Justice” published in Academic Medicine. Over the past seven years, more than 500 articles have been considered for the John A. Benson Jr. Professionalism Article Prize, with 21 winners named.

This year’s winning articles “bravely advance important conversations about how professionalism is taught and enacted in real-world settings,” said Richard J. Baron, M.D., president and CEO of the ABIM Foundation in a statement. He added, “The principle of social justice as articulated by the Physician Charter advocates for the elimination of discrimination and fair distribution of resources.’’

With Justice for All

Dr. Zarconi adapted the Academic Medicine journal article for the University’s Ignite magazine. “With Justice for All: Medical Education, Post-Freddie Gray” appears in the Spring 2017 issue. In that article, Dr. Zarconi writes,

"If we are to adequately prepare physicians to provide wholly equitable care for all patients—those like them, as well as those who are particularly and disproportionally affected by society inequities and injustice—their education must address the difficult and uncomfortable realities that lead to disparities in care. Medical education needs to be directed toward providing a deeper understanding of societal inequities and social justice."

The other two articles selected as Benson prize winners this year are Structural Racism and Supporting Black Lives — The Role of Health Professionals,” published in The New England Journal of Medicine; and Parting the Clouds: Three Professionalism Frameworks in Medical Education,” published in Academic Medicine.

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