Adina Luba Kalet, MD, MPH, FACP, FAACH, was selected as the recipient of NBME’s 2023 John P. Hubbard Award in recognition of her extensive contributions to the field of assessment in medical education.
“In medical education, it’s one of the honorifics that is really meaningful because it comes from a community that I have deep respect for,” Dr. Kalet said. “You know, people who really have been leading our field and holding us to high standards.”
NBME President and CEO Peter Katsufrakis, MD, MBA, expresses the high level of support and admiration held for Dr. Kalet and her accomplishments.
“NBME is proud to be part of and support the community of educators, researchers, and clinicians who seek to advance assessment science and in so doing, improve the quality of care we deliver to patients,” Dr. Katsufrakis said. “Dr. Kalet embodies the best elements of a physician educator and researcher, and we are most pleased to recognize the significant body of her work with the Hubbard Award, the highest honor NBME bestows on members of our community.”
Dr. Kalet is a tenured professor of medical education at the Medical College of Wisconsin and director of the Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Institute for the Transformation of Medical Education. She has more than 25 years of experience as a leader, mentor, and educator.
“Early in my career, the thing that felt most important to me was clinical communication skills,” Dr. Kalet said. “Yes, you have to know everything. Yes, you have to be able to do procedures. That’s just a given, but most of what physicians do day-in and day-out is conducted through their ability to communicate.”
Dr. Kalet explains that someone who has good communication skills will be an active listener, lets patients tell their stories, understands what distress sounds like, and discerns a patient’s symptoms with a full scope of context. She believes that having expertise in communications isn’t comprised of “just being nice to people.”
Her experience teaching — helping students become better communicators and great doctors — has had a large impact on the way she approaches the science and research behind assessment.
“I love teaching students and residents to be doctors,” Dr. Kalet said. “I hope that infuses into everything I do. Watching someone suddenly learn something that they didn’t know before, that’s transformative… Those kinds of moments with students inform the science.”
The Hubbard Award Committee recognizes Dr. Kalet’s passion and motivation to further the education of physicians. By focusing on the long-term development of students, Dr. Kalet asserts that not only will future doctors benefit, but so will the general public.
“My work has not been about assessing an individual at a single point in time. My work has been really focused on how we can use assessment to drive learning. I mean, to not just drive behavior in order to get a better grade, but to drive individuals who want to be good doctors who continually improve.”
When it comes to future advancements of medical education, Dr. Kalet emphasizes the importance of trust, empathy, communication, and collaboration.
“We need to align around and accept that if we don’t demonstrate our competence, growth, and development in measurable ways, no one is going to trust us,” Dr. Kalet said. “We need to all co-produce a program of assessment that ensures we grow and develop as physicians.”
Dr. Kalet is a past recipient of the Lynn Payer Award from the American Academy of Communication in Healthcare, as well as the National Award for Career Achievement in Medical Education from the Society for General Internal Medicine. She has authored over 200 peer-reviewed publications with more than 12 years of uninterrupted funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration and the National Institute of Health and National Science Foundation. She is also the co-editor of the book “Remediation in Medical Education: A Midcourse Correction,” along with many other groundbreaking achievements.
Established in 1983, the Hubbard Award recognizes individuals for their outstanding contributions to the pursuit of assessment excellence within medical education. Dr. Kalet joins the ranks as one of the many distinguished individuals whom NBME has honored over the years.