Deborah S. Clements, MD, to Receive Award for Career Contributions
July 31, 2023 | 2 min. read
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Board of Directors has selected Deborah S. Clements, MD, as the recipient of the 2023 Thomas W. Johnson Award for Career Contributions to Family Medicine Education. The AAFP established this award in 1973 to recognize outstanding contributions to family medicine education in undergraduate, graduate and continuing education spheres. Dr. Clements has earned a place alongside 57 previous award recipients who have contributed to a shared legacy of excellence in family medicine.
In recognizing her for this award, the AAFP Board of Directors commended Dr. Clements for her work advancing medical education and family medicine specialty, her innovative thinking and teaching, and her lasting influence on the next generation of family physicians.
Dedicated to better care
Dr. Clements’ legacy is exemplified by her leadership, innovation and valuable role as a family medicine educator. These qualities represent the best of family medicine and have been a hallmark of her career.
As the COVID-19 pandemic further revealed inequities in health care, Dr. Clements and her team sought to better understand their patients and their needs. She and her team developed and piloted a tool used in the electronic health record system at the Lake Forest Family Medicine Residency Program to assess patients’ social determinants of health (SDOH).
Thanks to her innovation and leadership in this endeavor, the tool and accompanying SDOH-dedicated curriculum expanded to the entire Northwestern Medicine system.
A passion for education
Dr. Clements’ development of the annual Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Davee Lectureship and Research Forum affirms her passion for aligning medical education with learners’ needs.
The forum is important in allowing residents to conduct research and understand the steps to a successful research project. Opportunities like this and her efforts to educate students and faculty about quality and safety research enrich the continuum of family medicine research.
Throughout her career and as evidenced by her numerous awards, innovative teaching methods and contributions to family medicine research, Dr. Clements has displayed a commitment to family medicine. She has helped countless learners on their journey to becoming the best physicians they can be.
“The ability to impact lives is what drives me; it’s what drives all of us,” says Dr. Clements. “And combining my passion for family medicine and teaching brings me fulfillment every day.”