Richard Schwartzstein, MD
Kay Senior Fellow in Medical Education
Ellen and Melvin Gordon Professor of Medicine and Medical Education, Harvard Medical School
A core clinical faculty in medicine: a proposal to examine a new approach to clinical teaching
Dr. Schwartzstein has been an active clinical educator and researcher since he joined Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and Harvard Medical School (HMS) over 20 years ago. He is a professor of medicine at HMS and a senior physician in the Department of Medicine at BIDMC, where he has been involved in laboratory and clinical studies of the physiology of dyspnea. He sees patients as a practicing pulmonologist and critical care physician at BIDMC, where he serves as associate chief of the division of pulmonary and critical care medicine. Dr. Schwartzstein is course director of Integrated Human Physiology in the first year New Pathway curriculum, and he developed the Principal Clinical Experience program at BIDMC for third-year students. He is co-chair of the Year 1 Fundamentals of Medicine Committee.
After earning his AB in politics from Princeton, Dr. Schwartzstein received his MD degree from Harvard, followed by clinical training in internal medicine at Beth Israel Hospital and in pulmonary and critical care medicine at BWH. In addition to many awards and honors for his teaching at HMS and BIDMC, he has received prestigious national teaching awards, including the Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teaching Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges. Dr. Schwartzstein, along with Rabkin Fellowship graduate Dr. Michael Parker, co-authored a textbook of respiratory physiology, which received the 2006 Frank Netter Award for Special Contributions to Medical Education and became the first in a set of three physiology books for which Dr. Schwartzstein serves as series editor.
As a Rabkin Fellow, Dr. Schwartzstein served as the Kay Senior Fellow in Medical Education. He developed a proposal to establish a program in clinical education in the Department of Medicine that employs a core faculty. The proposal included strategies for integrating a core group of trained clinical educators into the rotating attending faculty, who serve for a month at a time. It outlined a process for selecting core faculty and the criteria for their selection, and delineated a curriculum for ongoing faculty development as well as a mechanism for assessment of the impact of a core faculty on clinical education. The core faculty program has subsequently been adapted and implemented by the BIDMC Department of Medicine. Following completion of the Fellowship, Dr. Schwartzstein became Director of Graduate Education and was subsequently named the Executive Director of the Shapiro Institute for Education and Research and Vice President for Education at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. In 2009, he was chosen to serve as the Director of the HMS Academy for Teaching Excellence and Educational Innovation, and in this position holds the Ellen and Melvin Gordon Chair for Medical Education. Dr. Schwartzstein is now chairing a task force that is reviewing and reshaping the pre-clinical curriculum at Harvard Medical School. At the national level, Dr. Schwartzstein has been active in a number of roles with the Association of American Medical Colleges, most recently serving on the MR5 Task Force to revise the MCAT exam.