The Academy of Master Clinicians


Clinical excellence is one of the hallmarks of Penn Medicine and a priority of the Penn Medicine Strategic Plan. Penn Medicine clinicians are innovators and leaders in their fields. We are indebted especially to those exceptional clinicians who consistently exemplify the highest standards of patient care and professionalism. In a major initiative to recognize and celebrate their contributions while at the same time strengthening our commitment to leadership in patient care for the future, a new program, The Academy of Master Clinicians, was launched in 2013. The Academy of Master Clinicians is supported by a major philanthropic gift and institutional funding.

Mission Statement

The Academy of Master Clinicians is the highest clinical honor for a Penn Medicine physician today, and is a commitment to leadership in exceptional patient care at present and in the future. The work of the Academy is to recognize and promote clinical excellence in all entities of Penn Medicine by fostering the highest standards of patient care, with a dedication to the art of medicine, education, professionalism, humanism, collegiality, and citizenship.


The Academy of Master Clinicians at Penn Medicine was designed to honor those Penn Medicine clinicians who are recognized as consistently outstanding as a clinician. Election to The Academy of Master Clinicians is envisioned to be the highest honor to be bestowed on a Penn physician. A Master Clinician will be distinguished by a superior depth of knowledge in the field and a willingness to pursue new knowledge. A Master Clinician is recognized for excellent judgment, integrity, and exemplary interpersonal and communication skills with patients and colleagues at all levels, and as a committed and supportive team player. A Master Clinician treats all patients equally, acts as a patient advocate, and demonstrates compassion and empathy toward patients. A Master Clinician is an outstanding educator. A Master Clinician serves as a role model and mentor who exemplifies the highest levels of professionalism and positively influences the culture of Penn Medicine.


A Master Clinician will be given a one-time financial award of $10,000. The Master Clinician will work with his/her department chair and Penn Medicine leadership to review assignments and potential changes in their patient schedules to fulfill responsibilities associated with their appointment. These may include such activities as extended time per patient to allow medical students and residents to observe practical skills, attendance at professional development programs to enhance career or leadership skills, course work, and others. The Master Clinicians will meet regularly as a group throughout the academic year.

Expectations of Members of The Academy of Master Clinicians

Members of The Academy of Master Clinicians will serve as ambassadors for Penn Medicine. They will create an organized forum to provide feedback to leadership on strategies to improve the culture of clinical excellence in general and to promote the ideal patient experience in particular. They will be expected to be available as a mentor and consultant and to lead or participate in professional development/training programs for faculty, residents, trainees, students or staff. Areas of focus will include the art of medicine, communication skills, new faculty orientation/training, direct observation of clinical skills, and other topics of interest.


Active practice clinicians at all Penn Medicine entities (HUP, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Pennsylvania Hospital, Chester County Hospital, Lancaster General Hospital, Penn Medicine at Rittenhouse and Clinical Care Associates) and including those at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center are eligible. The Academy of Master Clinicians will be comprised of physicians who have been in active clinical practice for a minimum of six years. All faculty tracks are eligible including Tenure, Clinician-Educator and Academic Clinician. Master Clinicians must have an MD or MD/PhD degree or equivalent. Department Chairs are not eligible.

Nomination Process

The nomination process will be held annually. A nomination may be made by any physician, nurse or staff member of Penn Medicine, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, or the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Self-nominations are precluded.

Nomination Packet

Nominations will include:

  • A letter of nomination. If the nominator is the nominee's division chief/department chair, see instructions in the bullets below.
  • A letter from the nominee's division chief/department chair. The letter will acknowledge support and responsibilities to fulfill expectations associated with designation as Master Clinician.
  • If the candidate is from CCA, the letter of nomination/support should come from Dr. Ronald Barg or his designee.
  • Two or three additional letters from others (faculty, staff, trainees) in Penn Medicine, CHOP, or VA. One of the letters of support may be from outside Penn Medicine.
  • A statement from the nominee, expressing their core philosophy on patient care and on teaching, personal values and beliefs, the importance of professionalism, and other areas relevant to being a Master Clinician.
  • Nominee's CV.

The letter of nomination and all other letters of support should include specific examples which illustrate the principles of the Master Clinician. These letters may address aspects of the following characteristics: core philosophy, clinical excellence, professionalism, role model, teaching and reputation. All letters may not exceed two pages.

An electronic copy of each completed nomination packet should be sent by the nominator in its entirety no later than October 6, 2017 to:
The Academy of Master Clinicians Selection Committee
c/o Victoria Mulhern
Phone: 215-898-6923

Any questions may be directed to Victoria Mulhern at or 215-898-6923 or John Glick, M.D. at or 215-662-6065.

Other Items of Interest 

Academy of Master Clinicians Cohorts