Nomination & Application

Applying to the Miller Coulson Academy of Clinical Excellence


The Miller Coulson Academy of Clinical Excellence will accept nominations for its 2024 class January 8 – January 19, 2024.

Clinician faculty from all departments at Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center are eligible. Faculty clinicians that have been nominated 5+ times may be invited to apply. Nominees who have at least two nominations from beyond their own department will most likely be invited to complete the application process.

In keeping with the Academy’s focus on patient care, the eligibility criteria include:

  • Clinician faculty nominees must spend greater than 30 percent of their time in direct patient care
  • Clinician faculty nominees must be employed at Hopkins for more than 5 years (not including years in training)

Domains related to clinical excellence that you may want to consider when nominating clinicians include:

  • communication and interpersonal skills
  • professionalism and humanism
  • diagnostic acumen
  • knowledge
  • skillful negotiation of the health care system
  • scholarly approach to clinical practice
  • exhibiting a passion for patient care
  • explicitly modeling this mastery to medical trainees

Nominees will be notified by the Academy late January 2024. Clinicians wishing to be considered for membership will be asked to build a clinical portfolio (specific instructions will be provided) that will be reviewed by both internal and external review committees.

New members will be inducted at our annual Excellence in Patient Care Symposium held in Fall 2024.

To nominate a clinician, please click here. Online nominations can be submitted early January 2024.

Each person is permitted to SUBMIT ONLY ONE NOMINATION.

A formal nomination letter is not necessary.

Please contact Kim Williams with any questions.


Those that are invited to complete the application process will be asked to:

  • Prepare and submit a clinical portfolio
  • Submit email addresses for 40 referees – (10 patients, 10 learners, 10 physician-colleagues, and 10 non-physician colleagues [e.g. nurses, MA’s, patient care technicians…]). These referees will be sent a survey electronically and asked to evaluate the nominee along clinical parameters that they might be expected to know. This will be completely confidential, and results will be compiled into an aggregate measure. This data will be included as 1 component of the ‘clinical portfolio application’.


The finalized clinical portfolio will be reviewed by an internal panel and an external board who will decide whether the material supports the premise that the applicant has achieved clinical excellence. The reviews of the portfolios will form the basis as to whether the applicant is offered membership in the Academy. If the reviewers are not convinced that the clinician has achieved or demonstrated clinical excellence, specific feedback will be given so that they might reapply more successfully in the next application cycle.


Membership in the Miller Coulson Academy of Clinical Excellence is an honorific achievement that is recognized throughout the institution.

It is expected that members will devote approximately 20 hours per academic year to the Academy.  The members meet approximately 4 times per academic year.  Additionally, Academy members attend the ‘Excellence in Patient Care Symposium’, the annual event where new members are inducted.  Other Academy programs that members may become involved with are:  Academy Working groups, contributing to CLOSLER, clinical mentoring, the Clinical Excellence Elective for medical students, scholarship related to clinical excellence in various fields, Academy-hosted Medical Grand Rounds, Clinical Excellence Curriculum that will be offered through faculty development to help clinicians move toward clinical excellence, and other programs. Activities that serve to enhance the quality of patient care that is delivered to our patients will count as Academy-related effort.

What is Clinical Excellence?

As defined by the Miller Coulson Scholars’ paper, “Clinical Excellence in Academia: Perspectives from Masterful Clinicians“, published in the September 2008 issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings:

The clinically excellent academic physician has achieved a level of mastery in communication & interpersonal skills, professionalism & humanism, and negotiation of the healthcare system.  Such physicians are exemplary with respect to diagnostic acumen, knowledge, and their scholarly approach to clinical practice. They exhibit a passion for patient care, and they explicitly model all of the above to medical trainees, earning them a reputation for being exceptional.

Why Should Clinical Excellence Be Recognized and Rewarded?

It is the right thing to do, because:

  • Academic medical centers risk losing the best clinicians if they are not recognized for their work.
  • If these clinicians are not recognized, academic medical centers will not be able to attract new great clinicians.
  • The next generation of physicians will not be trained in clinical skills to the standard that doctors in the past have been without these exceptional role models and teachers