Section Chief of Minimally Invasive Surgery Michael Brunt, MD, is one of the most recent members inducted into the Academy of Educators at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Brunt, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Medical Staff Association in 2021, is among 15 School of Medicine inductees in the 2021 Academy Membership Class.
The Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship Program Director, Brunt is a dedicated and accomplished educator. He has taught the Capstone Preparation for Internship Course for 4th year medical students, which he helped establish, since its inception in 2012. Brunt has received the Clinical Teacher of the Year Award from Washington University School of Medicine seven times. In response to travel restrictions, Brunt led the Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship’s transition to a virtual recruitment platform. He has since published research on the use of virtual platforms for fellowship interviews.
“A lot of my interest in medical student education has been focused on the fourth year as an opportunity for accelerated skills development,” says Brunt, the Pruett Family Professor of Surgery. “Students are so highly motivated, and they can do these things, but they’ve got to be given the opportunity. If you help them reach proficiency and mastery targets early on, they can and will be able to do more in the operating room environment, and that’s going to be critical to developing their skills and their progression towards autonomy as they move through their residency training program. The payoff is huge for focusing a bit more on skills development earlier.”
In September 2019, leaders of the Academy of Educators inducted their first class of fellows into the program. As part of the Academy, fellows network with each other, promote educational excellence at the School of Medicine and assist in providing faculty development activities in areas like assessment, mentorship and coaching. Membership in the Academy recognizes high achievement in educational excellence. The board receives a large number of applications, which are reviewed by internal and external peer reviewers, and then selected by the Membership Subcommittee.
The Academy of Educators was started in 2018 by Founding Director and Emeritus Professor of Surgery Mary Klingensmith, MD. Senior Vice President for Procedural Accreditation at the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), Klingensmith helped establish the foundation of the Academy, which continues to grow under the leadership of Director Abby Spencer, MD, MS.
Department of Surgery Academy of Educators Members
Mary Klingensmith, MD
Founding Director of the Academy of Educators, Emeritus Professor of Surgery
Paul Wise, MD
General Surgery Residency Program Director
Michael Awad, MD, PhD
Director of the Washington University Institute for Surgical Education (WISE) and Fellowship Director for the WISE Education Fellowship
Graham Colditz, MD, DrPH
Niess-Gain Professor of Surgery, Division Chief of Public Health Sciences
Bethany Sacks, MD, MEd
Director of the Integrated Surgical Clerkship for Medical Students
Erica Traxel, MD
Urologic Surgery Residency Program Director