the road for career advancement: First Minority Faculty
In his 25 years as a mentor and sought-after teacher,
Ernesto Gonzalez, MD, of MGH Dermatology and an associate director of
the MGH Multicultural Affairs Office (MAO), has worked with many talented
young physicians who have trained here. But, when Gonzalez was asked by
Peter L. Slavin, MD, president of the MGH, to oversee the selection process
for a new clinician-teacher award, the task was even more challenging
than he expected. In fact, the caliber of submissions for the first Clinician-Teacher
Development Award — part of the Minority Faculty Development Awards
program — was so high that the honor was bestowed on two outstanding
The MAO, the MGH Office of the President and the Executive Committee on
Research (ECOR) are sponsors of the Minority Faculty Development Awards
program, designed to help promote the careers of outstanding minority
junior faculty. One award is for those pursuing the clinician-teacher
track at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and the MGH, and the other is for
those pursuing the physician-scientist career track.
This year's recipients of the Clinician-Teacher Development Award are
Celina Mankey, MD, of MGH Internal Medicine and Primary Care, and Rocio
of MGH Infectious Diseases. The recipient of the Physician-Scientist Development
Award is Karleyton Evans, MD, of MGH Psychiatry.
While Gonzalez coordinated the selection committee for the Clinician-Teacher
Development Award, Win Williams, MD, director of the MAO, facilitated
the review of the Physician-Scientist Development Award with the ECOR
Subcommittees on Research Review Proposals. Evans
and Mankey (not shown is Hurtado, who currently is in England)
"Win and I are extremely pleased with the high quality of the candidate
submissions that we received for both of these awards," says Gonzalez.
"The exceptional talent of the outstanding achievers who won the
awards certainly has set the bar high for next year's awards. We are very
excited that this program will help further the careers of the best and
the brightest junior faculty." The clinician-teacher award is the
first of its kind to be given at any of the Harvard teaching hospitals.
Although there has been some progress in increasing the number of underrepresented
minorities entering medical schools throughout the country, the number
of physicians of color entering training programs in academic medical
centers has not kept pace with the available pool. This is particularly
evident in the low number of minority physicians occupying academic research
and clinician faculty positions. The goal of the Minority Faculty Development
Awards program and other initiatives at the MGH is to help address some
of the issues that current and future physicians of color face as they
enter the world of academic medicine.
"This program is intended to provide transitional funding to help
develop the careers of underrepresented minority clinicians and researchers,"
says Elena Olson, administrative director for the MAO, who helped develop
and coordinate the awards. "The hope is that with this support, the
awardees will have an increased opportunity to advance to senior positions
in academic medicine at the MGH."
Each award totals $120,000, and is dispersed over several years. The grant
money can be used for additional laboratory assistance and non-capital
equipment for awardees pursuing the physician-scientist track, and salary
support for an educational, clinical service or academic community service
project for those pursuing the clinician-teacher track. Another component
of the award is a loan forgiveness program to help repay educational loans
through a taxable cash bonus.
The clinician-teacher award is supporting Mankey with a project that will
help future residents and medical students as well as patients in the
community. Her project includes a new curriculum in community medicine
for the MGH Internal Medicine residency program and the creation of a
community medicine clerkship at the MGH for HMS students. "My hope
is that this curriculum will teach residents and students valuable community
health assessment skills, enhance their patient care skills among diverse
communities and will help implement programs to respond to the needs of
patients in the community," says Mankey, who also is a co-manager
of Trainee Affairs for the MAO. "I am extremely grateful to have
received this award. It will provide me the opportunity to pursue this
work and help me develop as a clinician educator and mentor."
Hurtado, who currently is training at the Liverpool School of Tropical
Medicine in England, received the clinician-teacher award to support clinical
service and educational service projects relating to HIV and co-infection
with tuberculosis. During the first two years of this award, Hurtado will
use the grant money to develop an MGH Mycobacterial Center of Excellence.
She will use the final two years of her grant to implement an international
teaching module in Peru, where she already has ties through collaborations
with HMS, the Peruvian Health Ministry and the nonprofit medical organization
Partners in Health.
As a resident in the MGH/McLean Adult Psychiatry Program, Evans serves
as a clinical assistant in the dual-campus program. The physician-scientist
award recipient is conducting psychiatric neuroimaging research, with
a particular interest in differentiating areas of the brain that perceive
dyspnea — shortness of breath — from those related to fear
and anxiety in patients during panic attacks. His study provides a novel
approach to studying the panic phenomena and hopefully will lead to the
development of new drugs or treatments for the disorder. "Support
from this award enables me to conduct a study of my own design and carve
out my own research niche, which is the most enriching part of this award.
I'm tremendously grateful for this honor," says Evans.