The Distinguished Teaching Society at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine: A Student-Led Initiative to Recognize Clinical Educators

Pranjal Bodh Gupta, Ashlyn Elizabeth McRae, Jennifer Lynn Franke, James A. Saba, Garshasb Parkhideh Soroosh, Barry S. Solomon, Joseph Cofrancesco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Problem Some focus on recognizing excellence in clinical teaching has been lost with the increasing emphasis placed on clinical efficiency and value. Clinical teaching awards and academies of educators aim to address this problem. In 2015, medical student leaders at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine created the Distinguished Teaching Society (DTS), a student-driven program to recognize the best clinical educators. Approach Medical students designed a comprehensive scoring rubric focusing on 3 domains: feedback and evaluation, role model behavior, and teaching process. A student committee solicits student nominations providing narratives endorsing faculty or house staff for potential inclusion in the DTS. Using the rubric, student judges score each deidentified narrative nomination, as well as an application from finalists and comments about finalists submitted by the student body. Inductees are recognized at an annual ceremony. Outcomes From academic years 2015-2016 to 2018-2019, students nominated 254 unique candidates, and 82 nominees (32%) were inducted into the DTS. The majority of inductees were faculty and male. In 2017-2018 and 2018-2019, nearly half of inductees were female, and less than 10% of inductees self-reported as underrepresented in medicine and/or LGBTQ+. The Department of Internal Medicine had the greatest departmental representation. There were no statistically significant differences in the proportional representation within the nomination and inductee cohorts by gender, rank, and department. Several process changes were made in response to student feedback and to increase nominee and inductee diversity. Next Steps Next steps include adding a diversity and inclusion chair to the student committee and collecting survey data on student and DTS inductee opinions on how to improve learner-teacher engagement and the clinical learning environment. Future activities may include educational workshops, panel discussions, mentorship programs, and networking events. Other medical schools may find value in considering similar structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1160-1163
Number of pages4
JournalAcademic Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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