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Academy of Master Educators

Creating an environment for successful continued faculty engagement, faculty development, and learner education.

 The Academy recognizes medical educators who consistently exemplify the highest standards of educational and clinical excellence; humanism and professionalism; innovation; leadership in their fields and mentorship. Master Educators will support the missions of UTHSC-COM and serve as ambassadors for UTHSC-COM. 


This major initiative recognizes and celebrates the contributions to education by dedicated physicians and other medical educators. In keeping with the vision, mission, and values of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center-College of Medicine (UTHSC-COM), the main focus of the Academy is to recognize and promote distinction in all pre-clinical and clinical educational domains by fostering excellence in patient-centered care and a commitment to developing future leaders through the tenets of the Hippocratic oath, the art of medicine, empathy, education, scientific rigor, professionalism, mentorship, and collaborative team work.

What can we offer excellent physicians and other medical educators that contribute or have contributed to the mission of the organization and medical profession? They carry the legacy of knowledge and experience. How can we help them continue to contribute for many years to their vocation and legacy? By recognizing and supporting excellence in medical education. How can we create a culture of scholarship and promote medical educator wellbeing? By providing medical educators with a cadre of like-minded individuals who will work towards continuous quality improvement for our medical curriculum.

Goals, processes, criteria and the timeline are listed below. Please read them carefully. All nominations are due to Dr. Michael Whitt by January 15, 2020


  • Identify, recognize and reward faculty that contribute to the excellence in education, clinical care and scholarship at UTHSC
  • Facilitate interprofessional education (IPE)
  • Provide a structure for continued contribution of these faculty through involvement in the following areas:
    -    Education
    -    Service as coaches and mentors
    -    Supporting and promoting educational scholarship
    -    Service on curriculum taskforces as part of our curriculum Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) plan
    -    Advancing education through innovation and professional development of faculty
  • Create a culture of scholarship and value, promote wellbeing and help to reduce attrition among academic faculty physicians
Process and Membership Criteria
The Academy of Master Educators has a formal process for membership. First, a faculty member must be nominated. Once nominated, the individual must formally apply to the Academy by providing an educational portfolio. Applications will be reviewed by the Academy Membership Committee who will make recommendations for admission to the Executive Dean. Details of this process are as follows on the Nomination to the Academy and Application to the Academy tabs.
Nomination to the Academy
  1. Eligible nominees include all faculty who teach in the UTHSC College of Medicine and who have at least five (5) cumulative years of experience in education.
  2. A letter of nomination may be submitted by any UTHSC faculty member. A letter of nomination may also be submitted by a student or resident together with a faculty sponsor.
  3. Department chairs and division chiefs are encouraged to nominate candidates. Self-nominations also are accepted.
  4. The letter of nomination must include:
    a.    Confirmation that the nominee is a member of the UTHSC faculty with at least five years of cumulative experience in education at this or another institution.
    b.    Documentation that the nominee is involved currently with the education of medical and/or physician assistant (PA) students, residents and/or fellows, or is involved in Continuing Medical Education (CME) training activities.
    c.    Substantive evidence of educational accomplishment and excellence in the teaching of medical and/or PA students, residents and/or fellows, or CME involving one or more of the following categories of educational activity: • Instructional development and curricular design
        -    Advising and mentoring
        -    Educational administration and leadership
        -    Educational research
  5. Nomination letters should be addressed to the Office of Medical Education, Attn: Academy of Master Educators, Suite 1002, 910 Madison Ave., UTHSC, Memphis, TN 38163. Nominations may also be sent electronically to the Associate Dean of Medical Education (currently Dr. Michael Whitt;
Application to the Academy
  1. Once nominated the faculty member will be informed and will be required to submit an application package containing the nominee’s Educational Portfolio consisting of:
    a.    A personal statement of their educational philosophy, including career goals and objectives, i.e., plans for teaching and other education-related activities for the next five years (limit 500 words).
    b.    A statement describing the nominee’s intended contributions to the Academy.
    c.    List of continuing professional development activities in education.
    d.    List of educational honors and awards.
    e.    List of all current direct teaching activities for one or more of the following groups: medical and/or PA students, residents and/or fellows, or physicians via CME.
    f.    Documented evidence of sustained educational excellence. Examples include:
        -    curriculum development (e.g., course/clerkship design, case writing, instructional programs, development of innovative teaching tools or methods, leadership of curricular task forces or committees locally, regionally, nationally or internationally)
        -    contributions to the scholarship of teaching and learning
        -    assistance to other faculty to improve teaching and student learning
        -    educational administration and leadership (e.g., course director, clerkship director, coordinator of a part of a course or clerkship, program leader, chair of local/regional/national/international education committees)
        -    advising and mentoring (e.g., students, trainees, and junior colleagues)
        -    educational scholarship (e.g., peer-reviewed publications in education, book chapters, grants, presentations at regional, national, international meetings).
        -    teaching evaluations from students and peers with examples of both quantitative and qualitative data
        -    awards for teaching and other education-related activities
    g.     Current curriculum vitae in UTHSC format
  2. Applications should be submitted electronically to Ms. Debra Trapp in the Office of Medical Education (
  3. Applications will be reviewed by the Academy Membership Committee and will submit recommendations to the Executive Dean, who will review the candidate's credentials and shall make the final decision regarding admission to the academy.
  • November 15 – Announcement sent to COM students, residents, fellows and faculty requesting nominations for membership in the Academy.
  • January 15 – Deadline for submission of nominations.
  • February 15 – Academy Membership Selection Committee notifies faculty member of nomination and requests submission of their Educational Portfolio.
  • March 30 – Deadline for receipt of Educational Portfolio by faculty nominees.
  • April 30 – Membership committee completes review and submits names of faculty recommended for admission into the Academy to the Executive Dean.
  • May (date of Annual COM Meeting) – Dean announces names of new inductees into Academy.
Appointment to the Academy
Membership in the Academy is for a three year term and provides a one-time $1,000 award from the COM to be used for educational advancement of the member. Membership renewal will be considered based on continued excellence in education. The appointee must be involved with the education of medical students, PA students, residents and/or fellows for the duration of appointment to the academy. If there is a significant change in the appointee's educational efforts, the appointee must notify in writing the Academy Membership Committee and the appointee's eligibility for academy membership will be reassessed. An appointment to the academy may be renewed, not renewed, or reinstated after a lapse in membership.

Members are expected to participate in professional development and training programs for faculty, residents, students or staff in current, state-of-the-art educational methodologies, as well as activities related to blending the art and science of medicine, coping with stress and maintaining resiliency and wellbeing in health care, etc. It is the expectation that individual members will create or contribute in a significant way to at least 1 recognized educational activity (excluding direct teaching) each year. It is expected that members will also attend at least 50% of the Academy meetings/functions per year. Members will be required to document their contributions related to these expectations and failure to meet expectations will be cause for removal from the Academy.

Members are encouraged to contribute within the following areas:

  1. Participate in and develop innovative models of education and care.
  2. Engage in research and scholarly activities related to education and care.
  3. Participate in the development and delivery of activities sponsored by the Academy.
  4. Faculty and Resident development workshop series focused on teaching.
  5. Participation in activities related to the Academy (for example, serving on standing and ad hoc committees).
  6. Providing outstanding delivery of care and a forum for feedback to leadership on strategies to improve the culture of clinical excellence and efficiency of practice, promote the ideal patient experience and promote a culture of wellbeing.
  7. Providing outstanding education and a forum for feedback to leadership on strategies to improve the educational models and to promote the ideal clinical and learning environment.


Academy Membership Selection Committee:

  • Michael Whitt, PhD – Associate Dean of Medical Education and Chair of DOME, UTHSC
  • Mukta Panda, MD, MACP, FRCP-London – Assistant Dean for Medical Student Education and Well-Being, UTCOM-Chattanooga
  • Natascha Thompson, MD – Associate Dean of Graduate Medical Education
  • Stephanie Storgion, MD, FAAP, FCCM –Chair, Physician’s Assistant Program, UTHSC
  • William Metheny, MD – Assistant Dean for Medical Education, UTGSM-Knoxville
  • Thomas Laughner, PhD - Director for the Teaching and Learning Center, UTHSC

Last Published: Jan 9, 2020