Membership Application Process

Becoming a member of the Virginia Apgar Academy of Medical Educators signals your 

  • Excellence as a medical educator at VP&S
  • Experience or interest in educational research and scholarship
  • Willingness to actively participate in the life of the Academy and the community of educators at VP&S

Selection to the Academy is competitive and criterion based. Applications will be reviewed by a panel of senior Apgar Academy members. 


  • Must be a current VP&S faculty member
  • Must be able to demonstrate a minimum five-year contribution toward medical education at CUIMC or previous institution.
  • Must be able to demonstrate excellence in at least 2 areas of medical education:
    • Direct teaching
    • Instructional development/curricular design
    • Advising and mentorship
    • Educational administration and leadership
    • Educational research and scholarship
  • Must be able to demonstrate commitment to active participation in the academy, as outlined in “Responsibilities of Members”

Frequently Asked Questions

We are delighted that you are considering applying to the Virginia A. Apgar Academy. Here are answers to some FAQs about this process:

What is the Academy looking for in my application to the Virginia Apgar Academy?

We are looking for excellent educators and scholars with substantial experience, excellent performance standards, and demonstrable engagement in one’s educational community. Being an educational scholar means being involved in efforts to evaluate the outcomes of one's educational interventions and to transmit one's knowledge by presenting or publishing on teaching practice or research. Here’s what we mean by each of those dimensions:

  • Experience as an educator – Prowess as an educator requires practice. You should provide evidence that you have been involved in a substantial way as a teacher, mentor, advisor, and/or educational administrator for at least the past five years. “Substantial” means
    • that you have done more teaching/mentoring/advising than your minimum requirement
    • you seek out opportunities to teach/mentor/advise
  • Excellence as an educator and educational scholar – This indicates that the educator has done excellent work in education as judged by students, peers, and often, by the field. You should have evidence of having done excellent work for at least the past five years in two of the following areas:
    • Direct teaching
    • Instructional development/curricular design
    • Advising and mentorship
    • Educational administration and leadership
    • Educational research and scholarship
  • Engagement as an educator refers to the way in which an educator learns from and contributes to his/her community of fellow educators. This could be a local community (e.g. one’s fellow teachers in a course, or other educators in one’s department), or it could be a larger community (e.g. a group of medical schools, or a national organization of medical educators). Educators can engage in their communities in many roles: as attendees at meetings; as participants in courses and workshops; as presenters and speakers; as authors; as leaders; and as educational researchers. Engagement with the community involves not only participation in these activities, but evidence that the educator has used these experiences to enhance his/her own educational activities. We are looking for members of the VP&S faculty who, in addition to their excellence as educators, have been engaged in a community of educators, and are enthusiastic about participating in the Virginia Apgar Academy by helping to educate fellow faculty members as well as themselves.

Who can apply?

Any VP&S faculty member can apply as long as they can demonstrate a minimum contribution of five-years toward medical education at CUIMC or previous institution. This includes educators and clinicians from the medical school and its programs in Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Human Nutrition, and genetic counseling.

Faculty members at all academic levels (assistant, associate, full professor) may apply. Faculty members who have a more senior academic rank will be expected to have held positions of more responsibility and to have engaged with a broader community.

Where should I get the “evidence of excellence” data?

If you are teaching medical students or residents, someone in your department has evaluative data on your teaching. If you teach medical students, ask the head of medical student education in your department; if you teach residents, ask your program director. Not everyone will be able to obtain numerical data, but if it is available, please include it for the last five years. If there are norms or averages for your department, please include those as well.

What does it mean to be a member of the Virginia Apgar Academy of Medical Educators?

Being an Apgar Academy member signals to the community that you have distinguished yourself as an outstanding educator. Academy members have an opportunity to work together to continue to grow as educators and to engage with the entire VP&S educational community. The Apgar Academy hosts exclusive salons and presentations on medical education topics throughout the year for Apgar members and their guests. Because interprofessional education has become a critical element of medical education and practice, Apgar members have opportunities to extend their teaching beyond the medical school to the entire health sciences campus through the CUIMC Columbia Commons IPE.

The Apgar Academy partnered with the Center for Evaluation and Research in Education and with the CUIMC's Faculty Affairs Office to host the AAMC's Medical Education Research Certificate (MERC) on the CUIMC campus in 2019.  Twenty-five VP&S faculty were selected to participate in this nationally recognized introductory training in the theory and practice of medical education research and scholarship. This training has contributed to the bank of Apgar Academy mentors for new members and will continue as works-in-progress sessions open to Apgar members interested in developing their knowledge and experience in medical education research. In the future, The Apgar Academy will sponsor training courses in topics salient to teaching and practice, such as philosophical inquiry in medical education and practice.

In addition to the salons and works-in-progress session, the Apgar Academy hosts an annual New Member Welcome event each spring. The Academy sponsors the annual Thomas Q. Morris Endowed Lecture in Medical Education as a CUIMC-wide symposium and has funded the development of the VP&S Portfolio, the Ready for MCY Curriculum, Teaching the Social Determinants of Health Program, and the Advocacy, Upstander, and Allyship Training for VP&S faculty and students, among many other advances.. 

Here are additional ways in which Apgar members can contribute to our community:

  • Serving on the Membership Committee
  • Serving on the Apgar Education Research Grants and Vanneck-Bailey Scholar Selection Committees
  • Mentoring junior clinician educators or applicants of Apgar funded grants and scholarship
  • Organizing an Apgar salon with your chosen guest
  • Sharing your expertise by consulting for CUIMC educators on questions of course development, pedagogy, assessment, evaluation, or report and publication.
  • Contributing to Apgar Academy interest groups, for example, the emerging interest group for Residency Program Directors

Application Materials and Instructions

This application is very much like a promotions packet. The major feature is your CV, with some added elements. Although it will take some time to complete, we do not think that this will be onerous. In fact, our hope is that completing this application will help you to consolidate your ideas about your career as a medical educator and to think about goals for the future. This application consists of the following components:

  • A one-page summary statement, which should guide your reviewers through your application materials, highlighting your excellence, experience, and evidence of engagement in at least two of these areas of medical education: 
    • Direct teaching
    • Instructional Development and Curricular Design
    • Advising and Mentorship
    • Educational Administration and Leadership
    • Educational Research or Scholarship (area not specifically featured in Enhanced CV template)
  • A one-page statement about the ways in which you would like to contribute to the academy. Please use this statement to highlight your strengths and unique contributions. Showcase your expertise, innovative teaching methods, interests, enthusiasm, past experiences etc. We are also interested in ways that you have already been engaged in a community of educators, either here at VP&S or on a national/ international level. Please include something about your future goals as an educator.​ 
  • One letter of nomination from your chair, program director, or the person who you think can best describe your excellence and accomplishments as a medical educator.
  • Supplemental Document: Evidence of Excellence – This is one-to-two-page summary should document your excellence in at least two areas of medical education.   We would like you to highlight recent work if possible. This can include quantitative and qualitative evidence. If available, include selected evaluative comments from colleagues and trainees. Narratives from individual students or mentees should be submitted in excerpts rather than including entire individual letters, e-mails, etc. Clearly notate which two areas of medical education you are highlighting.
  • An “enhanced” CV. This is now the required Columbia-wide CV format. This format allows you to detail your educational accomplishments in a more comprehensive way than might be possible using a conventional CV. 

Deadline for applications is Tuesday, January 30, 2024.

Please complete the application in the format linked below and submit as a PDF to the Academy Administrator

What if I still have questions?

Academy members Suzanne Friedman ( and Christopher Kevin Wong ( are available to answer questions you might have when completing the academy application.