Academy of Medical Educators

The Emory University Department of Medicine Academy of Medical Educators is designed to reward teaching and to promote best practices in teaching across the Department. In brief, its mission is to advance and support teaching in Emory’s Department of Medicine.

Academy of Medical Educators

The goals of the Academy of Medical Educators are to:

  1. Identify, recognize and honor master teachers.
  2. Develop and implement innovative education tools/programs.
  3. Mentor and train aspiring educators who will act as role models for other faculty.

The Emory University Academy will recognize and support educational efforts for medical students, graduate students, internal medicine residents, clinical and post-doctoral fellows and faculty in all divisions of the Emory University Department of Medicine.

Academy Members


Proposal from the 2010 Faculty Development Committee

History and Need: The Emory Department of Medicine (DOM) has a long history of providing outstanding medical education to undergraduates, residents and fellows. We have one of the largest internal medicine residency programs in the country, the largest Cardiology fellowship program, and many established and growing subspecialty programs.

Discussions with faculty and leadership, along with results from Faculty Life Surveys performed 5 years apart (2005 and 2010), defined a need to more clearly demonstrate the value of education to the Department, and to recognize and reward those who make outstanding contributions to educating our trainees. Although multiple programs have been developed to address these needs, we are at a point where centralizing these efforts under one umbrella is desirable.

The FAME taskforce, convened in 2007, and independently the Chair of Medicine, recommended creating an Academy of Scholars to fulfill this need.

Best Practices: A web-based search was used to identify well-established teaching academies at universities across the United States, based on the assumption that the structure of these academies could be used as a framework for development of an Academy of Medical Educators in Emory’s Department of Medicine.

Programs that have particularly well-developed teaching academies include the Academy at Harvard Medical School, the Haile T. Debas Academy of Medical Educators at the University of California San Francisco, and the Academy of Distinguished Educators at Baylor. Columbia and the Medical College of Georgia also have strong programs.

It should be noted that most teaching academies are administered at the school or university level. These academies have certain common features. Their missions generally include providing greater recognition for excellence in teaching, supporting educational activities and innovation, and providing a forum for skill development.

In some schools, the Academy of Medical Educators makes recommendations on curricular development; in others, it encourages the scholarship of education. The formal organizational structure of teaching academies varies. All are independent of departments and have their own leadership. Some academies have a director, while others are governed by an Executive Committee that elects its own chair. Most report directly to the Provost or the Office of Faculty Affairs.

Membership in the academy is limited, but usually not capped, and varies between 30 and 180 members, depending on the size of the institution. In most teaching academies, membership is selective, but representative of all schools within the university, and is chosen by application.

Application procedures are varied, but usually include nomination letters from a department chair or a current member of the academy, a personal statement, and an educator’s portfolio. Some offer special fellowship status to teaching award winners; others offer developmental fellowships to junior faculty who wish to improve their teaching portfolio. In some academies membership is for life; in others, members serve a 3-5 year term with an option for re-election. Several academies have service requirements for continued membership that are reviewed annually.

Finally, nearly all teaching academies have dedicated resources. Some offer partial salary support to members who devote significant effort to advancing the mission of the academy. Most sponsor award programs and “developing the educator” seminar series. As of 2005, budgets ranged up to $100,000 per year.

In general, teaching academies have positively impacted educational institutions. The UCSF Academy of Medical Educators found that their teaching academy positively affected the success of academic promotion of its members (1). In a 2005 survey of U.S. Medical Schools, Dewey et al. (2) found that academies improved networking/collaboration, school-wide recognition, and mentoring for educational skills development.

Ninety percent of participating schools believed that their academy increased the number of current faculty who participate in educational activities and improved recruitment of new faculty. Early analysis of the impact of teaching academies on the academic mission suggests that they enhance the status of educators and teachers, foster educational innovation, and cross-pollinate ideas (2). 

Academy of Medical Educators Inaugural Inductees

Inaugural Inductees

Membership Application Process

To Apply

Please remit the following application components to:

LaToya Geter-Carter

  1. A nomination from the applicant’s division director, which should highlight the applicant’s outstanding performance in one of the following five categories:
    • Direct Teaching - Faculty members who perform with distinction as teachers show unusual ability in presenting and reinforcing information, stimulating thinking, and in triggering discussion and synthesis. They consistently perform distinctly better than their peers across a range of teaching activities.
    • Curriculum Development and Instructional Design - Faculty members who perform with distinction in this category are typically responsible for the development of new or substantially revised courses or clerkships. They demonstrate the ability to recognize unmet curricular needs and to bring a new curricular element from idea to reality. They include appropriate evaluation approaches to assess the impact of their innovation.
    • Advising and Mentoring - Faculty members performing with distinction expend unusual effort as mentors and advisors and by virtue of this effort and the effectiveness of their efforts are sought out by students as formal advisors, informal mentors, collaborators on research and other projects and as career advisors.
    • Educational Administration and Leadership - Faculty members in this category serve with distinction as course directors, curriculum coordinators, members of committees involved with the planning and/or evaluation of education. Their courses and clerkships are particularly well-run; they are effective in providing guidance and opportunities for growth to more junior faculty and they participate actively and effectively in curricular activities beyond their own course or clerkship. Educational Administration and Leadership is required in the Educator’s Portfolios of applicants who have had a significant leadership role. Weight will be given to those with established track records. Reflection on future plans in this domain is encouraged.
    • Educational Research - Candidates achieving distinction in this category are generating new knowledge and having an impact on medical education regionally or nationally. The central activities of educational research are:
      1. Creation of enduring educational materials that are adopted beyond Emory University
      2. Publication and presentations of peer-reviewed work regionally/nationally
      3. Receipt of grants or contracts based on peer review of written proposals
  2. A personal statement addressing the applicant’s educational philosophy, a description of past teaching efforts, a vision for teaching in the DOM, and intended contributions to the Academy (3 pages maximum) 3. At least 2 supporting letters from past or current trainees or peers

Member Benefits

Tangible recognition of outstanding teaching will benefit the entire community by emphasizing the value that the Department places on teaching. Moreover, participation in the Academy will accelerate growth in one’s academic career.

The Department will work towards providing each member with funds to attend an educational skills development program (eg, AAMC programs, Harvard-Macy Institute, Stanford Faculty Development Course) or a national meeting focused on education, and providing credit for lost clinical productivity.

Participation in Academy events will be considered as academic service to be valued in the promotion process of the University. Intangible benefits are also expected: networking/collaboration, school-wide recognition by peers, and opportunities for skill development.


The Executive Committee, once established, is expected to consist of 4 Master Teachers, 3 at large members of the Academy, and (particularly at first) 2 other significant individuals from the DOM.

Members shall be elected by the Academy membership, and at least one of the three at-large members of the Executive Committee shall be a member of the incoming class. The Committee’s charge is to manage the business of the Academy, to determine its annual initiatives, and to support Academy events.

Terms are for three years, with one third of the Executive Committee elected each year by the Academy membership. No member shall serve more than one consecutive full term. The Committee will elect a Chair, who will serve a one-year term as Chair-Elect, and then advance into the office of Chair for one year followed by the office of Past-Chair for one year.

The Committee Chair will report annually on the Academy’s progress and initiatives to the Vice Chair for Education, the Vice Chair for Faculty Development and the Chair of the Department of Medicine.

Once membership in the Academy has increased beyond the inaugural members, it is expected that subcommittees will form to create and administer awards, educational programs, membership elections, and any initiatives of the Academy.

Duties and Responsibilities

Members of the Academy of Medical Educators are expected to create, support and participate in activities sponsored by the Academy.

  • Working groups: Each class will be expected to choose a project from a list recommended by the Department leadership and will work together to complete the project during the first year of membership. Projects will include the development of goals, a strategic plan, guidelines for implementation, and identification of necessary resources. The project will be presented to the department leadership and the Academy of Medical Educators Executive Committee at the end of the year in a formal setting. Projects are expected to lead to scholarly output.
  • Recognition: The Academy of Medical Educators will administer an awards program to recognize outstanding teachers. Based on the missions of the Academy, the members will determine if additional educational or scholarly activities should be formally recognized. Formal recognition will take place during a festive annual event.
  • Educational programs: The Academy is responsible for facilitating programs that may enhance clinical as well as teaching skills for faculty, residents and fellows. The Academy is charged with offering such training, in the form of a quarterly or monthly seminar series, workshops, webinars and other on-line resources, as well as one-on-one consultations.
  • Teaching resources: In collaboration with the Vice Chair for Education, it is the responsibility of the Academy to create and centralize teaching resources such as evaluation tools, training modules, and examples of best practices, and make them available to the Emory Department of Medicine. Members of the Academy are expected to disseminate this collective wisdom to the Department of Medicine through a readily accessible medium, such as web access.
  • Scholarship of teaching: As the Academy develops, it is expected to present at national meetings and submit manuscripts describing development of the Academy, workshops and other material, as well as outcomes of these initiatives, to academic journals to share the knowledge gained from this model.
  • Membership elections: It is the responsibility of Academy members to hold annual elections for Academy membership.
  • Evaluation of teaching programs: Periodic assessment surveys of Academy teaching programs will be conducted by Academy members. The surveys will be administered to faculty members as well as trainees in the Department of Medicine. The information garnered from the surveys will be used to refine and further develop the Academy. Individual Divisions can use the information to gauge their successes as well as to develop or refine internal programs.


The Academy of Medical Educators Executive Committee will meet bi-monthly to conduct the business of the Academy. Minutes of these meetings will be distributed to all members.

There will be two annual meetings of the full membership of the Academy, at which membership elections for the Academy and the Executive Committee will be held. Members are expected to help organize and to attend other teaching events throughout the year, including workshops, educational seminars, awards ceremonies, etc. Working subcommittees will meet throughout the year as needed to complete particular projects.


The Department of Medicine is committed to facilitating the work of the Academy. Additionally, the Vice Chair for Education will lead development efforts to gain philanthropy support for the Academy and innovative teaching programs. Members are also encouraged to solicit philanthropic support for Academy activities. Administrative support will be provided by the Education Program Coordinator.


The annual report of the Academy of Medical Educators Executive Committee will be reviewed by the Executive Committee of the Department of Medicine, who will make recommendations on activities and continued support to the Chair of Medicine.