NBME announces 2024 Distinguished Service Award recipients

Posted July 2, 2024
Collage of headshots of the Distinguished Service Award recipients.

NBME has selected seven recipients of the 2024 Edithe J. Levit Distinguished Service Award in recognition of their enduring commitment and contributions to the organization and assessment in medical education.

Established in 1983, the Distinguished Service Award is named in honor of former NBME president Edithe J. Levit. Dr. Levit made history as the first woman president of a national medical association when she assumed leadership of NBME in 1977. Her enduring legacy continues to influence the medical education assessment community today.

Recipients of the Distinguished Service Award are selected from individuals retiring from the NBME Council and others who have served NBME exceptionally in their dedication to research related to the evaluation of health professionals.

“We are proud to acknowledge these seven exceptional individuals,” Susan Deitch, NBME Secretary of the Board, said. “The unwavering dedication of our volunteers is truly invaluable to NBME’s work.”

The following individuals are recognized for their dedication and contributions to NBME.


Randolph J. Canterbury, MD, MS

Dr. Canterbury is the Wilford W. Spradlin Professor Emeritus of psychiatry and neurobehavioral science at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He was senior associate dean for education and interim dean prior to his retirement in 2021. Dr. Canterbury has been a member of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) since 2023 and currently acts as a survey team secretary.

He received a Bachelor of Arts, a Master of Science and a Doctor of Medicine from West Virginia University. He completed his postgraduate training in psychiatry and internal medicine at the University of Virginia. Dr. Canterbury is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in psychiatry, with added qualifications in psychosomatic medicine, and by the American Society of Addiction Medicine. 

Dr. Canterbury has been affiliated with NBME since 1996, where he has been involved in United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) test development and physician competency assessment.

“It has been a privilege to serve NBME regarding USMLE test development and physician competency assessment since 1996,” Dr. Canterbury said. “When the American Psychiatric Association requested I serve as the organization’s representative to NBME, I was pleased to do it and had no idea it would take so many turns over all these years. I feel it is a privilege to help in the physician licensure process. In return, besides a sense of accomplishment, I have gotten to know so many capable people, including many new colleagues from across the country, and I have learned so much about assessment that I have applied in my professional roles.”


Denise M. Dupras, MD, PhD

Dr. Dupras is an associate professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine, where she also serves as assistant dean for academic medicine. She is a legacy member of the Academy of Educational Excellence and the associate director for education for the Center for Individualized Medicine on the Rochester, Minnesota, campus of the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Dupras has also been a member of the Internal Medicine In-Training Examination test development committee of the American College of Physicians, the Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine (APDIM) council, the APDIM survey committee and the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine Governance Committee.

She received a Bachelor of Science in pharmacy from Ferris State College and completed a simultaneous Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy, with a focus on pharmacology, from the Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine, formerly the Mayo Medical School. Dr. Dupras completed her residency in internal medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

During her tenure as a primary care internist at the Division of Community Internal Medicine, Dr. Dupras attended an NBME Item-Writing Workshop. This workshop inspired her to get involved with the organization, marking the beginning of years of dedicated service to NBME.

“It is an honor to receive this award and very unexpected,” Dr. Dupras said. “From the first time I came to NBME, I have been impressed with the professionalism of everyone at the organization. Each committee has afforded me with new learning opportunities, not only medical knowledge, but in the ability to develop questions and answers. These are skills that are not easily acquired, and I will be forever grateful for the many years I have been able to serve.”


Kathleen A. Jones, MD

Dr. Jones serves at the University of Texas at Tyler School of Medicine. She practiced as a board-certified surgical pathologist for over 20 years at Baylor Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple, Texas. A longtime educator, she has extensive experience in teaching medical students and residents. With her strong interest in curriculum development and implementation, she recognizes and appreciates the value of high-quality assessments. 

She received a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry from Texas A&M University and a Doctor of Medicine from Texas A&M University College of Medicine. Dr. Jones completed her pathology residency at Baylor Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple.

One of the highlights of her career has been serving as a volunteer on committees at NBME and working with the USMLE program.

“I truly value the relationships I have with fellow volunteer faculty and the team members at NBME,” Dr. Jones said. “I have learned so much from experts in assessment and fellow faculty colleagues through my volunteer opportunities. It is so rewarding to know the work we do, as respected medical educators, serves to protect the health of those in our communities. It is an honor to be recognized with this award.”


Steve Lieberman, MD, FACP

Dr. Lieberman is a professor in the department of internal medicine at the University of Arizona (UA) College of Medicine – Phoenix. He has devoted his academic career to medical student education, serving in a variety of roles in deans’ offices for 21 years, including 16 years at the University of Texas (UT) Medical Branch in Galveston, one year as interim dean at the UT Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine and four years as senior associate dean for academic affairs at the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix. His scholarly work in medical education has focused on curriculum improvement and competency-based education and includes an NBME Edward J. Stemmler M.D. Medical Education Research Grant in 2001.

He received a Bachelor of Science from Stanford University and a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. Dr. Lieberman completed his internal medicine residency at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and his fellowship in endocrinology and metabolism at Stanford Medical Center. 

Dr. Lieberman actively participated in NBME test development committees for 17 years, beginning with the Physiology and Cell Biology Test Materials Development Committee, which he chaired for four years. He was also a member of Interdisciplinary Review committees, the USMLE Management Committee and several ad hoc initiatives.

“I am humbled to receive this award, as I admire the past recipients that I have known,” Dr. Lieberman said. “It is especially meaningful coming from NBME, which is an outstanding organization with an important mission.”


Christopher Martin, MD, MS, FRCPC

Dr. Martin is a professor of medicine and public health and director of the Global Engagement Office for the Health Sciences Center at West Virginia University. He is also a visiting scholar at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health in Spain. Dr. Martin is a fellow of both the Royal College of Physicians of Canada in occupational medicine and the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM). He is the 2022 recipient of ACOEM’s Excellence in Education or Research Award.

He received a Bachelor of Science from McGill University, a Master of Science from the University of Alberta and a Doctor of Medicine from the Memorial University of Newfoundland. 

Dr. Martin’s involvement with NBME began in 2007, and he has been involved in several test development committees, writing and reviewing questions for the USMLE. He recently completed an eight-year term on the NBME Council and currently serves on the Global Advisory Committee. 

“Of all my external professional engagements, I consider my work with NBME the most satisfying,” Dr. Martin said. “It has been my privilege to have benefited from professional growth and rejuvenation over my years of working with a first-class organization, which has been a reward in and of itself. Serving on committees with gifted medical educators from across the country and world is the most effective continuing medical education one could ask for.”


Florencia Greer Polite, MD

Dr. Polite is a professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN) and serves as chief of the Division of Academic Specialists and vice chair of clinical operations in OBGYN at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia. She is a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a member of the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics, and a member of the Society for Academic Specialists in General Obstetrics and Gynecology.

She received a Bachelor of Science from Harvard College and a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Dr. Polite completed her residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at New York University and Bellevue hospitals. She is board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 

Dr. Polite has held numerous volunteer roles with the USMLE program, including on the Step 2 Clinical Skills Test Material Development and Interdisciplinary Review committees, as well as a recent term on the Patient Characteristics Advisory Panel. She has also served on the NBME Council and the NBME Finance and Audit Committees.

"Serving on the USMLE and NBME committees has really been an integral part of my academic career,” Dr. Polite said. “I have a profound respect and admiration for the due diligence of committee members, as we have participated in decision-making processes around test development, security and finances. I have met some truly wonderful colleagues along the way, and I am humbled to receive this honor."


Jeff Susman, MD

Dr. Susman serves as senior associate dean and professor of family medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch John Sealy School of Medicine. He is a past president of the Nebraska Academy of Family Physicians and acted as a member and chair of multiple American Academy of Family Physicians commissions, committees and task forces. Dr. Susman was also a member of the board of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine and has been an active LCME survey chair, leading almost 20 accreditation visits.

He received a Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College and a Doctor of Medicine from Dartmouth Medical School. 

Dr. Susman has been involved with NBME as a member of the Council and a representative on the USMLE Composite Committee, along with multiple test development committees. He has been a member of the Finance and Audit Committees, the USMLE Finance Committee, and the Committee for Individualized Review.


These exemplary individuals join the prestigious ranks of Distinguished Service Award recipients, upholding the remarkable legacy of Dr. Levit on behalf of NBME.

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