ABIM Foundation Recognizes Best Medical Professionalism Articles

PHILADELPHIA – The ABIM Foundation today announced the winners of its 11th annual John A. Benson Jr., MD Professionalism Article Prize, recognizing the best articles written in peer-reviewed journals on medical professionalism topics during 2020.

The selected articles included three commentary and three research articles, and explored topics such as professionalism implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, the physician-patient encounter, structural racism and gender bias.

“This set of articles demonstrates the continuing relevance of professionalism to today’s practicing physician,” said Richard J. Baron, MD, President and CEO of ABIM and the ABIM Foundation. “They provide guidance for those seeking to create better relationships with their patients, and illuminate topics that dominated discussions about the health care system and society during 2020, such as COVID-19 and racism.”

The ABIM Foundation first awarded the prize in 2011 to celebrate and encourage outstanding contributions to the literature on medical professionalism. Over the past 11 years, nearly 650 articles have been considered, and 40 have received the award.

The articles receiving this year’s prize for commentary are:

The articles receiving this year’s prizes for research articles are:

  • Common Types of Gender-Based Microagressions in Medicine, Vyjeyanthi S. Periyakoil, MD; Linda Chaudron, MD, MS; Emorcia V. Hill, PhD; Vincent Pellegrini, MD; Eric Neri, MS; Helena C. Kraemer, PhD, Academic Medicine (March 2020)
    The researchers studied the degree to which a sample of male and female faculty had been exposed to gender-based microaggressions. Women reported higher frequencies of microaggressions than men, and identified 21 microaggressions as occurring frequently.
  • “If your feelings were hurt, I’m sorry…” How Third-Year Medical Students Observe, Learn From, and Engage in Apologies, Ian C. Fischer, PhD, Richard M. Frankel, PhD, Journal of General Internal Medicine (October 2020)
    The authors analyzed apologies offered by third-year medical students at Indiana University School of Medicine, finding that 17 percent were complete (including acknowledgement, explanation, regret/remorse, and reparation) while 40 percent were incomplete or “non-apology” apologies, including only acknowledgement and explanation. A significant relationship between apology completeness and positive student experience was found.
  • Practices to Foster Physician Presence and Connection with Patients in the Clinical Encounter, Donna M. Zulman, MD, MS, Marie C. Haverfield, PhD, Jonathan G. Shaw, MD, MS, Cati G. Brown-Johnson, PhD, Rachel Schwartz, PhD, Aaron A. Tierney, BA, Dani L. Zionts, MScPH, Nadia Safaeinili, MPH, Meredith Fischer, MA, Sonoo Thadaney Israni, MBA, Steven M. Asch, MD, MPH, Abraham Verghese, MD, JAMA, January 2020
    The study identified five practices that can enhance physician presence and connection with patients: (1) prepare with intention; (2) listen intently and completely; (3) agree on what matters most; (4) connect with the patient’s story; and (5) explore emotional cues.

About This Year’s Award

In 2015, the ABIM Foundation named the article prize in honor of American Board of Internal Medicine and ABIM Foundation President Emeritus John A. Benson Jr., MD. For more than two decades, Dr. Benson taught medical students at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, where he also worked to foster inter-professional education, and at Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine, where he served at the Center for Ethics in Health Care. He has received several honors for his work in medical education and clinical medicine and has written extensively about professionalism.

Articles published in English language, peer-reviewed journals between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020 (online or in print), were eligible for the prize. A committee of physicians and other leaders in health care reviewed 16 articles meeting those criteria and selected the winners based on clarity of writing, thoroughness, methodology and contributions to the field and society.

Members of the selection committee included:

  • Mercy Adetoye, MD, Clinical Lecturer and Academic Fellow, University of Michigan
  • John A. Benson Jr., MD, President Emeritus, American Board of Internal Medicine and ABIM Foundation
  • Joyce Dubow, MUP, Consumer/Patient Advocate
  • Richard Frankel, PhD, Professor of Medicine and Geriatrics, Senior Scientist, Regenstrief Institute, Indiana University School of Medicine ( Frankel did not participate in the selection of winners in the research category)
  • Ellen M. Friedman, MD, FACS, FAAP, Professor, Otolaryngology, Director, Center for Professionalism in Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine
  • Hayley Goldbach, MD, Brown Dermatology
  • Lorna Lynn, MD, Vice President, Medical Education Research, American Board of Internal Medicine
  • Bernard M. Rosof, MD, MACP, Professor of Medicine, Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell 
  • Daniel Wolfson, MHSA, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, ABIM Foundation


About the ABIM Foundation

The ABIM Foundation’s mission is to advance medical professionalism to improve the health care system by collaborating with physicians and physician leaders, medical trainees, health care delivery systems, payers, policymakers, consumer organizations and patients to foster a shared understanding of professionalism and how they can adopt the tenets of professionalism in practice. To learn more about the ABIM Foundation, visit www.abimfoundation.org, connect on Facebook or follow on Twitter.


Media Inquiries

Jaime McClennen
Email: press@abimfoundation.org