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In 2006, Mrs. Anne Miller asked a provocative question: “Why aren’t we creating more Dr. Philip Tumultys?” She was referring to a man who had been her doctor, a legendary Hopkins clinician known for his “back-to-basics, humanistic approach to the treatment of patients.” She was concerned that -- despite their remarkable success in scientific discovery -- academic medical centers were not producing skilled, thoughtful clinicians of the caliber of Dr. Tumulty.
Mrs. Miller’s question was followed by a gift from her daughter and son-in-law, Mrs. Sarah Miller-Coulson, and Mr. Frank Coulson. Their support made it possible to name four respected clinicians as the first Miller-Coulson Scholars. The Scholars’ mission has been to define clinical excellence in an academic setting, to develop a systematic means of measuring it, and of recognizing the clinicians who provide excellent patient care, so that they may be rewarded for their work -- just as excellent scientists are rewarded for their research.
Laying the Groundwork for the Academy
It took two years of hard work, but the Miller-Coulson Scholars -- Colleen Christmas, Chris Durso, Steve Kravet and Scott Wright -- built the foundation for The Miller-Coulson Academy of Clinical Excellence at Johns Hopkins Bayview by:
Defining clinical excellence in academia through:
- Meetings with institutional and national leaders.
- Empiric research studies, using qualitative and quantitative methods
- Systematic review of the medical literature
Using this definition, the Scholars then developed the ‘clinical portfolio’, a tool designed to measure the academic clinician’s performance and contributions.
Potential academy members were identified through a survey of faculty members and residents, and a few of the country’s best physicians were invited to apply. An External Review Board of experts in clinical care at other academic medical centers was established to provide external validation of the application materials.