Honoring Excellence: Q and A with Sachin Kedar, MBBS, MD, FAAN

2022 ACGME Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Awardee Sachin Kedar, MBBS, MD, FAAN

This interview is one in a series of interviews with recipients of the 2022 ACGME Awards. The awardees join an outstanding group of previous honorees whose work and contributions to graduate medical education (GME) represent the best in the field. They will be honored at the ACGME Annual Educational Conference, taking place virtually March 30-April 1, 2022.

2022 Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Awardee Dr. Sachin Kedar is a professor of ophthalmology and neurology and the vice chair for education at the Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Kedar specializes in neuro-ophthalmology.

How did you become involved in medicine, and in academic medicine specifically?

Dr. Kedar: Quite by accident! During my first year as a neurology faculty member at the University of Kentucky, my then chair, Dr. Joseph Berger, asked me to lead the neurology residency program. With little prior experience, I was nervous, but did it and loved it! I have been a clinician-educator ever since.

ACGME: What does this award mean to you?

Kedar: The Courage to Teach award is a priceless gift from my peers and students. I am grateful to know that my work has had meaningful impact in professional growth of my residents and students.

ACGME: What do you feel is the most important job the program director has? 

Kedar: As a program director, I recognized four important roles—mentor, teacher, coach, and administrator. To be effective in these roles, a program director must build a diverse team of individuals dedicated to medical education. I was lucky to have such a team throughout my tenure. It takes a village to build a successful residency program!

ACGME: What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Kedar: Watching a resident grow in confidence and competence as a physician is rewarding. What I enjoyed most was the chance to learn from my students and residents and adapt to generational changes in education and learning!

ACGME: What is the most challenging?

Kedar: To anticipate and prepare for future challenges and changes in clinical practice and learning environment! It forced me innovate and create newer programs incorporating traditional teaching, online learning, virtual reality, and simulation methods into the curriculum.

ACGME: What advice do you have to residents or fellows who may be interested in pursuing a career in academic medicine?

Kedar: Academic medicine is challenging, but ultimately rewarding and fulfilling. The opportunity to innovate and guide the trajectory of clinical medicine both as a clinician researcher and clinician educator is perhaps what kept me from burnout.

Learn more about the ACGME’s Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Award and nominate a deserving program director for the 2023 Award – nominations are due by April 6, 2022.