Academy of Medical Educators


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University of Michigan Medical School
Academy for Educational Excellence and Scholarship

  1. Introduction and Background
  2. Purpose and proposed metrics of success
  3. Membership and governance
  4. Progress to Date
  5. Monthly Seminars
  6. How can you participate?

1. Introduction and Background.

A growing number of medical schools are forming academies to strengthen faculty expertise on teaching and medical education. As of 2008, 36 schools had developed an academy and another 33 schools were in the planning stages. There is an active Academies Collaboration working group that meets annually at the AAMC to share best practices and encourage a wider academy movement

In 2011, Dr. Larry Gruppen, Chair of Department of Medical Education, was charged by the Deans Office to lead a work group to recommend a process for forming an academy for educators at our institution. A series of recommendations were reviewed and discussed by leadership within the medical school and then shared with inductees into the League of Educational Excellence in January of 2013. Through a series of town hall meetings and dialogue with the education community, decisions and process were determined as reflected below. However, these are open to further input and refinement by members who will ultimately shape the work of the academy.

The Academy for Educational Excellence and Scholarship (i.e. Academy) at the University of Michigan Medical School is intended to recognize and augment the educational rigor and innovation of its faculty, to promote faculty development in education & mentoring, foster the visibility of UMMS educational leadership nationally and internationally, and to mobilize these talents to improve educational outcomes.

The work of the Academy will be designed to:

  • nurture the education community and facilitate discussions among faculty interested in medical education (e.g. Academy Seminars, membership meetings, retreats, information sharing on relevant opportunities, etc.)
  • enhance current approaches to promote faculty development and mentoring for those who are focusing their careers on teaching and medical education
  • provide peer-review of educational activities and outcomes
  • optimize ways to provide faculty recognition for excellence in education
  • advise medical school leadership on strategies and approaches to enhance learning
  • investigate educational methods at peer institutions and adopt new ideas to improve education at Michigan
  • advance the reputation of UMMS as a center for leadership and innovation

Members will be expected to provide:

  • peer-review service
  • mentoring
  • citizenship to the academy
  • dissemination of best practices to promote better learning

In addition to being part of a community of kindred spirits, members will have access to a small-grants program and other resources from the Deans Office to support their work (with specifics that will be refined by input from the membership).

The academy will be deemed successful in 2-5 years if:

  1. Members find participation to be rewarding; they feel that they are providing meaningful value. There is strong interest in being a member.
  2. A forum has been created to discuss teaching and learning with good attendance beyond academy members
  3. Chairs and Faculty (i.e. non academy members) ascribe value to the Academy; participants are demonstrably better and more satisfied with their roles as educators
  4. Better learning and teaching is taking place

3. Membership and governance.

Academies at many medical schools are highly selective and at times primarily honorific. We have deliberately chosen to be very inclusive of any medical school faculty member who has a passion for medical education and is interested in the improvement of learning. We anticipate the development of mechanisms to include other health professionals, students, and trainees. As the academy matures, we also plan to develop a limited number of fellows that are selected by the membership for greater privileges and responsibilities.

Membership requires submission of a complete application for a renewable two-year term. Those who have been selected in the League of Educational Excellence are also required to submit an application if they are interested in Academy membership. Maintenance of membership requires active engagement with the work of the academy. These requirements have yet to be finalized but on average would require a minimum of ~ 20 hours a year through participation in monthly meetings, academy initiated or approved faculty development opportunities, peer review programs, etc. The intention is not to be onerous with requirements but to ensure we have an active academy with members who are dedicated to finding the time to contribute. Ultimately, it will be the members who determine the requirements and structure of the academy.

At present, the operational activities of the Academy are overseen by a steering committee that meets monthly and is Chaired by Joseph C. Kolars, M.D., Senior Associate Dean for Education and Global initiatives.

           Joseph Kolars                                                     Chair

           Sandro Cinti                                                          IM-Infectious Diseases

           Clifford Craig                                                        Orthopedic Surgery

           Gary Faerber                                                        Urology

           Rachel Glick                                                         Psychiatry

           Joseph Hornyak                                                   Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

           Michael Hortsch                                                   Cell and Developmental Biology

           Steven Kasten                                                      Surgery-Plastic Surgery

           Robert Lash                                                          IM-Metabolism, Endocrinology, and Diabetes

           Norah Naughton                                                  Anesthesiology

           Mark Prince                                                          Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

           Linda Selwa                                                         Neurology

           Beverly Yashar                                                    Human Genetics


The steering committee is largely made up of faculty who responded to a call for volunteers who would be interested in shaping the Academy and playing a leadership role in its implementation. The Steering Committee answers to an Advisory Committee that is Chaired by Larry Gruppen, Ph.D., Department of Learning Health Sciences.

           Larry Gruppen                                                      Chair

          Jerry Abrams                                                         Pathology, Emeritus Faculty

          Bob Anderson                                                       Department of Learning Health Sciences

          TBD                                                                      UM Center for Research on Learning

                                                                                           and Teaching (CRLT)

          John Del Valle                                                       Internal Medicine

          Chair, Endowment for Basic Sciences                    TBA

          Clinical Chair Tim RB Johnson                               Chair Ob/Gyn

          Carol Anne Murdoch-Kinch                                  Associate Dean, Dental School

          Margaret Gyetko                                                   Senior Associate Dean, Faculty

                                                                                           and Faculty Development

          Students/Learners                                                TBA: med student, grad student, house officer

          Education Deans/Directors                                   J. Sybil Biermann, Cheryl Lee,  Rajesh Mangrulkar,

                                                                                       Mary O'Riordan, Mark Prince, Sally Santen 

 Academy Members - The Academy of Medical Educators has held two membership drives resulting in over 270 members.  Click here to see a list of current members.

4. Progress to date

After a series of town hall meetings and calls for participation, a list of interested faculty was defined and invited to play a leadership role in shaping the academy. A steering committee was defined as noted above that began meeting on a monthly basis in May of 2013. A set of work-groups were defined with leadership from members of the steering committee who held open sessions during the summer with any interested faculty to develop principles and define next steps:

         1.  Peer Review and Mentorship leads: Cinti, Yashar

         2.  Faculty Development and Monthly Seminars leads: Naughton, Faerber, Hornyak

         3.  Membership/Selection/Recognition leads: Lash, Selwa

         4.  Scholarship leads: Hortsch, Prince

         5.  Valuing Education leads: Craig, Glick

5.  Monthly Seminars

Based on input from the Work Groups, approaches were defined for membership as noted above and a decision was made to begin monthly seminar meetings in October, 2013. The goal of the monthly seminars is three fold:

    • Review academy business, strategies, and next steps
    • Present a teaching or learning tool that many if not most faculty could benefit from
    • Generate active discussion and debate around a selected topic

The Steering Committee acknowledges that it is difficult to find times when everyone is available and that accessing meetings for those who mainly work off-site is challenging. The desire is to secure a room that is conversation friendly and, if possible, accessible to parking.

Future meeting dates/locations (Snacks provided)

2015      5:30 - 7:30 pm        All meetings will be held at BSRB Seminar Rooms (unless otherwise indicated)

October 20

November 30  Danto Auditorium, Cardiovascular Center  (NEW DATE)

2016 Meetings   5:30 - 7:30 pm  All meetings will be held at BSRB Seminar Rooms (unless otherwise indicated)  (BSRB = Biomedical Sciences Research Building)

Monday         1.25.16

Thursday        2.25.16

Wednesday   3.23.16

Monday         4.25.16

Thursday       5.26.16

Wednesday   6.22.16

Wednesday   9.21.16

Monday        10.24.16

Tuesday        11.22.16


Please see for a selection of presentations and resources that have been used for Academy discussions.


6. How can you participate?

The Academy for Educational Excellence and Scholarship is a work in progress. It is intended to benefit faculty who are particularly interested in the Education Mission and would like to participate in a community that is committed to improvements in learning.


  • Attending monthly Academy seminars, which are open to all faculty, regardless of membership.(Dates listed above in #5.)
  • Joining one of the Work Groups by letting Kelly Espinoza know via email at . Work Groups will resume meeting again later in the year. 
  • Offer to become a peer review or mentor.
  • Propose a new idea or approach to the steering committee


Please feel free to contact Kelly Espinoza at with questions.



This initiative is currently in the development process.  Please feel free to contact Kelly Espinoza at or 734.615.5552 with questions.