Two Feinberg faculty members have been recognized by the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM) for their lifetime contributions to medical education and research.
Diane B. Wayne, ’91 MD, the Dr. John Sherman Appleman Professor of Medical Education and professor of Medicine in the Division of General Medicine and Geriatrics, has been selected to receive the 2021 SGIM Career Achievements in Medical Education Award.
Mary McDermott, MD, ’92 GME, the Jeremiah Stamler Professor and professor of Medicine in the Division of General Medicine and Geriatrics and of Preventive Medicine in the Division of Epidemiology, has been selected to receive the 2021 SGIM John M. Eisenberg National Award for Career Achievement in Research.
Advancing Medical Education
“It is a tremendous honor and recognition of my efforts over the past 20 plus years at Northwestern, which have been largely dedicated to education, mentorship and faculty development. I would like to acknowledge my husband Jeffrey D. Wayne, MD, and my children Andrew and Elizabeth for their continuous support toward this career achievement award,” said Wayne, who is also a professor of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics.
Wayne earned her medical degree from Feinberg in 1991. Over the course of her career, she has held numerous leadership roles at the medical school. In 1994, she joined Feinberg faculty as a professor of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics. In 2001, she was appointed as residency program director in the Department of Medicine. From 2008 to 2014, she served as vice chair of the Department of Medicine and as associate chief medical officer at Northwestern Memorial Hospital from 2012 to 2014. In 2011, she was named the Dr. John Sherman Appleman Professor of Medical Education.
Most recently, she served as vice dean of education from 2014 to 2020. In 2017, she was named vice president of human resources at Northwestern Memorial Healthcare and currently serves in that role.
Throughout her career, Wayne said she has strived to be a role model and mentor for students as well as female faculty who are balancing the challenges of parenting, academic productivity and success.
“As someone with decades of experience as a mentor, I have a lot of pride in seeing the impressive success of Feinberg and McGaw graduates excelling in leadership roles across the country, and I am confident that the rigorous education they received at Northwestern and its emphasis on professionalism and team skills is an important part of this success,” Wayne said.
As for the future of medical education and medicine, Wayne said the fields must continue to strive for enhanced diversity and true equity.
“Research shows that diverse teams produce the best results and we know that we require additional diversity within medicine to match the changing demographics of the U.S. population. To achieve this, we are going to have to innovate and refine how we think about all facets of medical education including clinical skill development, assessment and supportive mentorship to promote the types of environments that will allow all learners to excel,” Wayne said.
Additionally, she said she aims to continue to apply mastery learning principles at Feinberg and Northwestern Memorial Hospital to achieve translational patient outcomes and use close partnerships between students and faculty to promote “excellence for all. ”
In June 2020, Wayne alongside Marianne Green, MD, the Raymond H. Curry, MD, Professor of Medical Education and vice dean for education, and Eric G. Neilson, MD, vice president for medical affairs and Lewis Landsberg Dean, published an editorial discussing the lasting impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on medical education and hospital training.
“We have learned so much about remote learning that will enable us to connect with other schools and extend our reach to students in novel ways,” Wayne said.
Improving Health for Patients with Peripheral Artery Disease
“This award is particularly meaningful because SGIM played an important role in my career path as a general internist and physician scientist. It is an honor to be recognized by my SGIM peers for career achievement in research. Furthermore, this award recognizes a senior investigator whose work has changed patient care. One of the most rewarding aspects of my work as a scientist is to improve health for patients. Dr. Eisenberg’s work advocating for scientific investigation by general internists influenced my decision to become a physician scientist,” McDermott said.
McDermott received her medical degree from Michigan State University in 1989. She completed her internal medicine residency at McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University in 1992, followed by a two-year general internal medicine fellowship led by Gary Martin, MD, ’81 GME, the Raymond J. Langenbach, MD, Professor of Internal Medicine. She joined Feinberg faculty in 1994.
As a physician-scientist, McDermott investigates the effects of peripheral artery disease — a circulatory condition in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to the lower limbs — on mobility loss. Currently, her work focuses on identifying novel therapies to improve walking ability in patients who are disabled by the disease.
Her team is also studying the effects of the disease on lower extremity skeletal muscles to identify biologic pathways that may be promising therapeutic targets and the role of senescent cells in mobility impairment.
Most recently, McDermott and her team published findings in JAMA showing that a high-intensity ischemia-inducing home-based walking exercise program improved walking ability in patients with peripheral artery disease.
During this past year, however, studying the disease and conducting clinical trials has been a major challenge, McDermott said. The COVID-19 pandemic has required her team to get creative while maintaining research integrity such as by collecting data outdoors and remotely.
“Because of its adverse effects on health habits and exercise, the pandemic is likely to particularly impair health of people with peripheral artery disease, who already face mobility impairment and need to exercise to avoid further disability,” McDermott said. “Still, it is a privilege to work as a general internist and physician scientist. I am grateful to Northwestern University for support of my research over the years, including during the pandemic. I am grateful to my investigative team members, whose dedication, talent and hard work have been critical to the success of the research program I have led.”
Wayne and McDermott were nominated by Jeffrey Linder, ’97 MD, MPH, the Michael A. Gertz Professor of Medicine and chief of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics in the Department of Medicine.
The Society of General Internal Medicine is an internal medical association with more than 3,300 members who are dedicated to improving care access for all patients, eliminating healthcare disparities and enhancing medical education.