Columbia University Medical Center

ACE Master Clinician Mentorship Series Can Help You Thrive In Your Clinical Career

Academy of Clinical Excellence logoThe architects of the Academy for Clinical Excellence (ACE) aim to provide new clinicians with both a path and support for career advancement at Columbia by providing needed information, tools, and connections. ACE has launched its Master Clinician Mentorship Series, a lunch-and-learn program featuring top clinicians from P&S, to provide insights on how clinical faculty can advance their careers at Columbia, according to Carrie B. Ruzal-Shapiro, MD, professor of radiology, chief of the Division of Pediatric Radiology, and chair of ACE’s Membership Steering Committee.  

Ruzal-Shapiro said the program focuses on topics that are “based on what we as clinical faculty wished we had known in the beginning of our careers.” The next lunch-and-learn in the ACE series will be held on Friday, March 23 and will feature ColumbiaDoctors president George A. “Jack” Cioffi, MD, Jean and Richard Deems Professor of Ophthalmology, the Edward S. Harkness Professor of Ophthalmology, and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology. Dr. Cioffi will speak on “Understanding the Relationship of the Hospital and the University.”

“This is an important and complex topic that is so essential for success as a clinical faculty member at an academic medical center,” said James McKiernan, MD, John K. Lattimer Professor of Urology and chairman of the Department of Urology, who chairs ACE’s Executive Steering Committee.

To give everyone who is interested the chance to attend, there will be two sessions, one at 8 a.m, and the second at 12. p.m. Both will be held in the P&S Amphitheater 7 on the 7th floor. 

On Friday, June 15, Mathew S. Maurer, MD, professor of medicine and director of the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center, will speak on “Leading a Multi-Disciplinary Team.” This session will also be held twice, at 8 a.m. and 12 p.m.

If you missed the first three lectures in the ACE mentorship series, two of them — ”The Difficult and the VIP Patient,” with Philip Muskin, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, and “The Excellent Clinician’s Path in an Academic Environment,” with Dr. McKiernan — have been archived online.

Dr. Ruzal-Shapiro said the ACE mentorship committee will be surveying attendees to access additional ideas for the mentoring lecture series. For all lectures in the series, faculty are invited to bring their residents and fellows to the ACE Master Clinical Mentorship Series to increase awareness and promote clinical excellence.

Cristina R. Fernández, MD, MPH, FAAP, assistant professor of pediatrics, attended the January 19 lecture on how to be a successful mentee, presented by Susan Rosenthal, PhD, ABPP, professor of medical psychology (in pediatrics and psychiatry). “As a junior faculty member, I recognize that a lot of career development success happens with a good mentor relationship. It’s more than just having a good mentor, you have to be a good mentee and know how to be one at various stages of life. Dr. Rosenthal’s session was outstanding.”

Dr. Fernandez also appreciated that the program touched on how a mentee can overcome personality differences with their mentors. “Dr. Rosenthal also addressed how to engage mentors when working at a distance, and provided anecdotes, examples, strategies and experiences to illustrate her points. This is a really great series, and I think more peoples should take advantage of it.”

ACE was established by Dean Lee Goldman to define, recognize, and perpetuate excellence in clinical care by faculty, trainees, and students. One key role of ACE is to honor the clinical faculty who contribute to the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons through patient care marked by evidence-based clinical science coupled with deeply compassionate humanism. The first group of ACE members was inducted in 2017; the second cohort will be inducted on May 10 in a ceremony in the Vagelos Education Center.

“The goal of ACE is to give our clinical faculty the kind of recognition that they deserve, and offer them an aspirational target to be recognized for excellence in their clinical area,” Dr. McKiernan said. ACE membership could be given weight in promotion decisions, he said. “If you provide outstanding clinical care, but don’t necessarily track with the metrics like research that are linked to academic productivity, you still have an extremely important role here at Columbia. This kind of program can be a game-changer for an academic medical center.”