College of Medicine Inducts Inaugural Class of Academy of Master Educators

Mukta Panda, MD, MACP, FRCP

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center's College of Medicine has inducted its inaugural class to the Academy of Master Educators. The academy recognizes and celebrates contributions to education by dedicated physicians and other medical educators.

Michael Whitt, PhD

The academy, which was formed in 2019, is being led by Mukta Panda, MD, MACP, FRCP, assistant dean for Medical Student Education and Well-Being in the UTHSC College of Medicine in Chattanooga, and Michael Whitt, PhD, associate dean for Medical Education and chair of the Department of Medical Education in the College of Medicine.

Faculty members and educators in the College of Medicine are nominated by their peers for the program which seeks to recognize and promote distinction in all pre-clinical and clinical educational domains by "fostering excellence in patient-centered care and a commitment to developing future leaders through the tenets of the Hippocratic oath, the art of medicine, empathy, education, scientific rigor, professionalism, mentorship, and collaborative teamwork."

This year's class inducts seven new members: Bindiya Bagga, MD, associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases; Mark Bugnitz, MD, professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Critical Care; Bruce Keisling, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics and executive director of the Boling Center for Developmental Disabilities; Patrick Koo, MD, associate professor and director of Internal Medicine Clerkship at in the College of Medicine in Chattanooga; Kris Maday, PA-C, associate professor and director of the UTHSC Physician Assistant Program; Jigme Sethi, MD, division chief for Pulmonary/Critical Care and affiliated professor in the College of Medicine in Chattanooga; and Ajay Talati, MD, professor and division chief of the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Neonatology.

To become a member of the academy, faculty must be nominated by their peers, a student, or a resident. Self-nominations also are accepted. Once nominated, the individual will formally apply and submit an educational portfolio, which will then be reviewed by the Academy Membership Committee, including members from UTHSC and external reviewers.

Once inducted, the membership is a three-year term and provides a one-time $1,000 award to be used for educational advancement of the member. At the end of each term, each member may be offered renewal, based on continued excellence in education and contributions to the academy.


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