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The mission of the Academy is to optimize patient care through professionalism education, scholarship, policy and practice in all health-related fields.


Academy for Professionalism in Health Care Faculty Development Certificate Leadership Excellence in Educating for Professionalism (LEEP)

We describe several themes below. We host group mentoring by meeting monthly for discussion on core topics which will enable the core faculty to work collaboratively together to facilitate the learning of our group of faculty scholars.


Leadership Excellence in Educating for Professionalism (LEEP) is a career faculty development program that focuses on several core areas of medical professionalism: professional identity formation, organizational professionalism, resiliency and social justice. 

These topics were chosen because they are relevant to all health professionals and place emphasis on team-based learning and interprofessional training and the learning environment. These topical areas also remain inadequately addressed in many health professions schools and post-graduate programs.


LEEP aims to strengthen faculty expertise and career development of trainees to:
  1. Implement undergraduate (UME) and residency or fellowship (GME) curricula, and faculty development programs in professional identity formation, moral development and ethical reasoning, resilience and wellness and interprofessional collaboration.
  2. Implement assessment programs using self-assessment, work assessment, competency assessment, objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs), and instruments of moral and ethical reasoning.
  3. Understand and analyze the role of organizational culture in shaping professional identities and professionalism behaviors and develop skills in achieving organizational change to foster professionalism.
  4. Enhance the understanding of interprofessional cooperation in the delivery of healthcare.

Curriculum Threads

  1. Professional Formation
  2. Communication and Faculty Development
  3. Organizational Professionalism
  4. Resilience – Personal and Professional
  5. Social Justice
  6. Inter-professional Education
  7. Assessment and Remediation

Curriculum Description

In addition to monthly discussion roundtables, conducted virtually throughout 2021 and 2022, LEEP faculty scholars will participate in workshops focusing on core content and skills hosted virtually. 

1. Professional Formation 
Faculty: John Spandorfer, MD, Roger B. Daniels Associate Dean of Professionalism in Medicine at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University
Steven Rosenzweig, MD, Director of the Office of Community Experience at Drexel University College of Medicine 

Description: The various health care professions have a contract with society to act in ways that affirm the highest ideals of their professions, including beneficence, respect for patient autonomy and social justice. Health care practitioners are expected to be committed to excellence, lifelong learning, honesty, integrity and compassionate care. To reach these ideals, trainees face predictable challenges that can lead to moral distress and erosion of empathy. But trainees also learn from their experiences, their mentors and peers, and can grow personally and professionally. Indeed, it is a central goal of health care education to promote the professional formation of trainees. There is much known about the theory and practice of promoting the personal and professional growth of healthcare trainees. This fellowship will work with faculty to enhance their abilities to be institutional leaders in promoting professional formation in their trainees.

Learning Objectives:

1. Choose a focused project to promote an enhanced understanding, appreciation or teaching of professional formation at their institution.
2. Develop an expertise related to professional formation, including the following: socialization and professional identity formation, principles for supporting and assessing programs in professional identify formation and practical considerations for developing and maintaining such programs.

Core content: Medicine's social contract and professional expectations, socialization, role models and mentors, communities of practice

Skills: Teaching methodologies, resources, assessment related to professional formation

2. Communication and Faculty Development
Faculty: Pamela Duke, MD, Associate Director of Clinical Skills & Professionalism at Drexel University College of Medicine

Description: Faculty Development: Professional formation with an emphasis on faculty development and communication
The faculty development and communication thread will give faculty expertise in teaching communication and self-reflection skills. Participants will be encouraged to evaluate the goals of their own health care system and professionalism curricula and intentionally create programs to support and integrate faculty development programs which support the teaching of effective communication. The program examines teaching strategies and evaluation methods. 

Learning Objectives:
1. Enhance knowledge and skills used in teaching of communication.
2. Enhance knowledge and skills used in teaching self-reflection and feed-back to colleagues.
3. Implement training in types of professionalism learning strategies within the clinical environment.
4. Design programs to promote faculty development to support the teaching and evaluation of communication.

Core content: Develop expertise in supporting and developing a faculty development program which support the teaching and evaluation of communication.

Skills: The program examines understanding different teaching strategies and evaluation methods.

3. Organizational Professionalism
Faculty: Fred Hafferty, PhD, Professor of Medical Education, Program on Professionalism & Values, Mayo Clinic
Julie Agris, hD, JD, LLM, FACHE, Associate Professor, Program in Public Health, Founding Director, Master of Health Administration (MHA) Program Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care and Bioethics, Department of Family, Population and Preventive Medicine, Renaissance School of Medicine 

Description: Over the course of medicine’s modern day professionalism movement, professionalism largely has been framed as an issue of individual motives and behaviors. This thread on organizational professionalism will shift this framing in three respects: (1) how organizational structures and processes themselves define and influence the professionalism of individuals including what is (and what is not) considered professionalism, (2) how organizations themselves might be thought of as embodying the principles and practices or professionalism and (3) how we might think of organizations as loci of purpose and agency in their own right - independent of their members.

Learning Objectives:
1. Develop a theoretical framework for understanding organizational behavior.
2. Enhance knowledge and skills to map and decode formal professionalism initiatives across the organization.
3. Design strategies to reframe professionalism issues from an organizational and systems perspective.

Core content: Hidden curriculum, communities of practice, creating institutional professionalism standards, accreditation requirements, social justice and community engagement

Skills: Organizational assessment, leadership in institutional change

4. Resilience – Personal and Professional
Faculty:  Gia Merlo, MD, MBA, Clinical Professor in Nursing and Psychiatry and Senior Advisor on Wellness at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing

Description: Resilience means cultivating, protecting and restoring personal and professional integrity in the face of adversity. Integrity is multidimensional and includes alignment and integration of personal and professional identities, morality and actions, work and life, and physical, emotional, social, and spiritual wellbeing. Scholars are encouraged to explore individual or systems perspectives on resilience related to clinical practice, education and training, or the wellbeing of practitioners and communities of practice.
Learning Objectives:
1. Apply an evidence-based understanding of resilience to better address the consequences of stress on health care providers including burnout, vicarious trauma, moral suffering and injury, negative effects on mental and physical health, and work-life imbalance. 
2. Develop greater personal buoyancy and coping capacity through methods based in mindfulness, compassion-responsiveness and narrative medicine.

Core content: Mindfulness, self-awareness, reflection, interprofessional collaboration and communication

Skills: Mindfulness practice, narrative and reflective writing, reasoning through ethical and moral dilemmas, priority setting for healthy living and leadership

5. Social Justice
Faculty: P. Preston Reynolds, MD, PhD, MACP, Past-President and Chair, APHC, Professor of Medicine, University of Virginia
Saleem Razack MD, Professor of Pediatrics and Health Sciences Education, and Director of the Office of Social Accountability and Community Engagement at McGill University
William Agbor-Baiyee, PhD, Associate Professor and Assistant Dean for Educational Research and Student Learning, Chicago Medical School, Rosalind Franklin University

Description: The social justice thread will give faculty expertise in implementing programs designed to transform the learning environment and clinical care to promote health equity, address the social determinants of health and minimize the impact of bias in recruitment, retention, education and patient care.  Participants will be encouraged to evaluate the goals of their own health professions curricula, as well as programs and resources provided by clinics, hospitals and health systems to determine if and to what degree they effectively engage local and disadvantaged communities to create trust, promote health and foster accountability.  

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss conceptional frameworks on social justice and human rights and how these can be used to shape health professions admissions, curricula and assessments of professional formation.
2. Discuss the history of health care delivery and the history of health professions accreditation as histories of discrimination that contribute to persistent health disparities, structural racism and inequity in access to health professions training.
3. Implement training in bias reduction to positively shape the learning and clinical environment.
4. Implement training in responding to discriminatory actions in health professions education and in clinical care.
5. Design programs to address the social determinants of health and promote community engagement and outreach.

Core content: Implicit bias, discrimination in the workplace and its impact on faculty and trainees, health equity, moral and ethical development, and race conscious professionalism

Skills: Implementing principles of community engagement; addressing workplace discriminatory and disrespectful behavior from patients, faculty and staff; using the IAT and self-assessment instruments in education

6. Interprofessional Education
Faculty: Kymberlee Montgomery, DNP, APRN, WHNP-BC, CNE, FAANP, FAAN, Associate Clinical Professor, Senior Associate Dean of Nursing, Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions
Owen Montgomery, MD, FACOG, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sidney Kimmel College of Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University and Vice President of Women and Children’s Health Services at Jefferson Health 

Description: The Interprofessional Education (IPE) thread will trace the history of interprofessional education as a mandate for 21st century health education. From the National Academy of Medicine Reports to the most recent Interprofessional Education Competencies, participants will evaluate ways in which interprofessional education experiences within their own institutions can improve teamwork, communication and collaboration in order to improve the health of patients and their communities. Though this thread, faculty will be mentored through the development and execution of IPE experiences for their own programs.

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss the history of IPE and how IPE currently effects health care education.
2. Assess the barriers to implementation of an IPE experience.
3. Develop knowledge and skills to operationalize a successful IPE experience.
4. Design and implement an Interprofessional experience for learners within your home institution.

Core content: Interprofessional education, teamwork, communication, collaboration, curriculum development, role clarity and interprofessional professionalism

Skills: Assessment of group dynamics, structured debriefing and feedback, creative curriculum development using multi-factorial experiences such as gaming, simulation, didactics, role playing and group discussion

7. Assessment and Remediation
Faculty: Elizabeth Kachur, PhD, FAMEE, Director, Medical Education Development, Global Consulting, New York, NY 
P. Preston Reynolds, MD, PhD, MACP, Past-President and Chair, APHC, Professor of Medicine, University of Virginia

Description: The Assessment and Remediation thread will focus on the need for comprehensive and longitudinal assessments of professionalism competencies (Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes) across the continuum of learning. We will review various assessment methodologies (e.g., OSCEs, essays, work-based assessments) and tools developed by experts and national organizations. Additionally, we will explore feedback and remediation as they relate to the assessment of professionalism. 

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of various assessment strategies and tools.
2. Design an assessment program using Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs).
3. Plan a comprehensive and longitudinal assessment strategy that includes multiple types of feedback and spans multiple learner levels.
4. Design a remediation plan for learners who demonstrate professionalism lapses related to knowledge, skills and/or attitudes. 

Core content: Professionalism assessment tools and strategies, OSCEs, longitudinal assessments, remediation

Skills: Needs assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of professionalism assessment and remediation programs

Program Requirements

To successfully complete the LEEP certificate, all participants are expected to:
  1. Be an APHC member
  2. Attend APHC (virtual and/or in-person) conferences
  3. Participate in monthly LEEP discussion groups (hosted virtually)
  4. Participate in communication with assigned APHC mentor (or group facilitated mentoring)
  5. Practicum - design and implement a mentored curriculum project at the participant's home institution
  6. Publication of the project information or results in the APHC/PFO monthly newsletter
  7. Lead a workshop at the annual conference (virtual and/or in-person) (1st meeting – propose the abstract; 2nd meeting – present the abstract)
Time Commitment
The time commitment is 15 months and includes participation in at least two APHC conferences, beginning in February 2022.

Participation fee in the LEEP faculty development certificate program is $500 (this fee does not include cost of travel, food or lodging for attendance at any of the APHC conferences or events).

Access the LEEP application here
Deadline: December 20, 2021 | Notification: January 10, 2022

LEEP Payment - Only When Accepted

Testimonials - Here are a few comments from the 2020-2021 Fellows about the LEEP Fellowship

Alice Fornari, EdD, FAMEE, RDN
Professor, Science Education, Occupational Health, Family Medicine
Associate Dean, Educational Skills Development, Zucker SOM at Hofstra/Northwell
Vice President, Faculty Development, Northwell Health

“A program of self-discovery and deliberate challenge to dive deep into professionalism in a broad spectrum lens… an opportunity to be curious and brave in an online space.”
Sylvia Botros-Brey, MD, MSCI
Associate Professor
Departments of Urology and Ob/Gyn
Department of Medical Education
UT Health San Antonio

“This has been a wonderful experience.”
Sasha Adams, MD, FACS
Associate Professor, Department of Surgery
Program Director, Vice-Chair, Surgical Education
McGovern Medical School

“It’s been fabulous!”
Ellen Pearlman, MD, FACH
Associate Dean for Advanced Clinical Learning
Zucker School of Medicine

“The LEEP program was an incredible opportunity to learn directly from experts in the field of professionalism. The scope was broad and comprehensive, with the perfect balance of interactive online learning and self-directed research. The faculty mentors are passionate about the field and were highly attentive to our needs as learners. I still can’t believe how generous they were with their time! Thank you APHC!!” 
Bryan C. Pilkington, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, School of Health and Medical Sciences
Adjunct Associate Professor, College of Nursing
Affiliated Faculty, Department of Philosophy at Seton Hall University
Associate Professor, Medical Sciences at Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine

“What I most appreciated in the LEEP program was the supportive community that it created; the willingness of fellows and mentors to think through tough professionalism issues and to share their expertise in responding to questions was wonderful.”

Watch the video of the 2020/2021 Fellows' Projects