February 4, 2020

Now Accepting Nominations for 2021 ACGME Awards

It’s that time of year again! Yes - you’ve read a lot of exciting news and updates about the 2020 Annual Educational Conference, but actually, that’s not what we’re talking about here at all. This time we’re talking about recognition. The ACGME just announced the call for nominations for the 2021 cycle of ACGME Awards. The current (2020) awardees will be honored at the conference later this month, and while we continue to celebrate these accomplished innovators, we are also accepting nominations for next year’s honorees.

ACGME Awards recognize notable designated institutional officials (DIOs), program directors, residents and fellows, and institutional and program coordinators for their outstanding contributions to graduate medical education (GME). And we encourage all members of the GME community to consider nominating someone who innovates, leads, contributes, and advances the field in an exemplary way.

The ACGME covers registration and travel for awardees to attend the Annual Educational Conference. The 2021 ACGME Annual Educational Conference will take place in Nashville, Tennessee, where the awardees will be honored at a private ceremony.

Nominations for the 2021 ACGME Awards are being accepted through 5:00 p.m. Central on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. Honor someone you admire with a nomination. Learn more about how to do that here.

The Awards

The Parker J. Palmer Courage to Lead Award recognizes DIOs who have demonstrated strong leadership and astute resource management, and who have encouraged innovation and improvement in GME programs and their Sponsoring Institutions. Each awardee will receive a commemorative plaque as well as the opportunity to participate in a special retreat experience (more below).

The Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Award recognizes program directors who have fostered innovation and improvement in their programs and served as exemplary role models for residents. Each awardee will receive a commemorative plaque as well as the opportunity to participate in a special retreat experience (more below).

The David C. Leach Award recognizes residents and fellows who have fostered innovation and improvement in their programs, advanced humanism in medicine, and increased efficiency and emphasis on educational outcomes. The award includes a $2,500 cash award and a commemorative plaque.

The GME Institutional Coordinator Excellence Award recognizes an institutional coordinator who demonstrates in-depth knowledge of GME and the process for internal review. This person skillfully manages the multiple roles of administrator, counselor, enforcer, coordinator, organizer, and scheduler. The awardee will receive a commemorative plaque as well as the opportunity to participate in a special retreat experience (more below).

The Debra L. Dooley GME Program Coordinator Excellence Award recognizes program coordinators who demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the accreditation process, excellent communication and interpersonal skills, and projects to improve GME programs. Each recipient will receive a commemorative plaque as well as the opportunity to participate in a special retreat experience (more below).

Casually called “the GME lifetime achievement award,” the John C. Gienapp Award recognizes an individual whose career demonstrates their dedication to graduate medical education, and who has made outstanding contributions to the enhancement of GME and ACGME efforts and activities. The awardee will receive a check for $1,000 and a commemorative plaque.

A Special Retreat for Awardees
As mentioned above, the following awards also include a remarkable retreat experience:

  • Parker J. Palmer Courage to Lead Award
  • Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Award
  • GME Institutional Coordinator Excellence Award
  • Debra L. Dooley GME Program Coordinator Excellence Award

These awardees are invited to participate in an expenses-paid retreat in which new and former awardees meet in a setting designed to support and honor them and their work and create a space that invites but does not intrude, fostering a sense of community. The retreat is typically held the second or third week of May, beginning on a Wednesday evening and ending on a Friday afternoon. Read about last year’s retreat here.

Some past attendees of this retreat have said:

“The retreat… was a true landmark in my career as a teacher and learner. The ability to pause and sit with other program directors to reflect upon the work we do provided me the ability to appreciate what I contribute, those we teach and the community we have built.”

“Receiving the Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Award and attending the retreat were transformational experiences in my career. The retreat created a passion around teaching and I became aware that this is where I should be focusing my academic energy. The conversation went from "What are you going to do after being program director?” to "How can I create a learning environment that enhances the development of young physicians.”

“The retreat (and the incredible leaders) provided space and time for us to stop and reframe – and now, three years later, I continue to benefit from lessons learned.”

We hope you will consider nominating one or more individuals for their work advancing GME. Learn more and begin the nomination process here.