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HSR&D Investigator Recognized for Best Article about Medical Professionalism

April 21, 2021

The ABIM (American Board of Internal Medicine) Foundation has awarded Richard M. Frankel, PhD, a core investigator with HSR&D’s Center for Health Information and Communication (CHIC), the John A Benson, Jr., MD, Professionalism Article Prize, which recognizes the best articles about medical professionalism published in English language, peer-reviewed journals between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020 (online or in print). Dr. Frankel's article, "If your feelings were hurt, I'm sorry...": How Third-Year Medical Students Observe, Learn From, and Engage in Apologies,” was selected as the 2020 winner in research. The article discusses the significant role apologies may play in medical care, particularly regarding patient safety, medical error disclosure, and malpractice. Dr. Frankel suggests that medical school faculty have an important role to play in modeling the apology process when harms – both great and small – occur. Dr. Frankel’s research focuses on clinician-patient communication and its effects on quality and safety, the effects of exam room computing on physician/patient communication, and effective organizational change strategies. He also leads the VA Interprofessional Fellowship Program in Patient Safety and is involved in several safety-related VA research projects, including an ongoing HSR&D-funded study on Improving Patient Care and Physician Resilience through Effective Veteran-Centered Communication.

The ABIM Foundation, ACP Foundation and European Federation of Internal Medicine authored Medical Professionalism in the New Millennium: A Physician Charter. Since its publication, the volume of literature on professionalism has grown substantially to nearly 300 new articles published annually. To recognize outstanding contributions to the field of professionalism and encourage researchers to continue exploring this topic, in 2011 the ABIM Foundation created the John A. Benson Jr., MD Professionalism Article Prize.

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