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2017 APM Robert H. Williams, MD, Distinguished Chair of Medicine Award Recipient

Wendy S. Levinson, MD

APM will award Wendy S. Levinson, MD, the 2017 Robert H. Williams, MD, Distinguished Chair of Medicine Award during the 2017 APM Winter Meeting, being held March 19-21, 2017 at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel in Baltimore, MD.

The association’s highest honor, the Williams Award recognizes a physician who has demonstrated outstanding leadership as the chair of a department of internal medicine at a medical school. APM President, Mary Klotman, MD, will present the award to Dr. Levinson at the annual APM awards lunch.

Dr. Levinson is the first woman to receive the APM Williams Award. Described by her nominator as a “visionary leader” whose work “has had far-reaching effects, creating a body of work that has influenced and elevated the practice of internal medicine,” Dr. Levinson was recognized for being “a leader in advancing careers of women in medicine” with contributions that prove she is an “outstanding advocate for our discipline,” and she is credited with being an “expert and internationally renowned leader in the field of physician-patient communication, the physician-patient relationship, and medical professionalism.”

During her tenure as the chair of medicine at the University of Toronto, Dr. Levinson is credited with enhancing cross-disciplinary research, championing clinical educators, and building a promotion pathway for faculty engaged in quality and safety research. She was also instrumental in doubling the overall research portfolio of the department, was responsible for raising over 10 new endowed chairs, and increased the reserves of the department by $15 million. As the first female to hold the position of chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto, under Dr. Levinson’s leadership, the department was able to “define a strong vision and developed and carried out an aggressive and ambitious agenda that lead to remarkable improvements in education, research, and clinical care.” Dr. Levinson’s nominators also credit her with being a “strong advocate for faculty development,” establishing a “number of programs that made her faculty feel valued.” She is recognized for expanding and refining the postgraduate and undergraduate programs within the department of medicine and implementing a number of innovative approaches to education.

Dr. Levinson served as chair of the Department of Medicine from 2004 to 2014, during which time she oversaw one of the largest departments of medicine in North America with over 1,000 full-time and part-time faculty, and over 700 trainees in 19 medical subspecialty programs. She is currently the chair of both Choosing Wisely Canada and Choosing Wisely International, campaigns to help physicians and patients engage in conversations about unnecessary tests, treatments and procedures. She is also professor of medicine at the University of Toronto, as well as a past president of the Association of Professors of Medicine (APM) and past chair of the Board of Directors of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM). As the 2009 recipient of the Robert J. Glaser Award from the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM), Dr. Levinson was recognized for outstanding contributions in research and education. In 2014, she received the Order of Canada, the most prestigious award the country bestows on a civilian, in recognition for her sustain leadership in academic medicine, and in 2013 she received the CMA May Cohen Award for Women Mentors for demonstrating outstanding mentoring abilities.

Prior to serving as chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto, Dr. Levinson served as Vice Chair of Medicine for the department. She was also Acting Director of the Inner City Health Research Unit and Associate Director of Research for St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Levinson earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto and received her medical degree from McMaster University. She completed her residency at Good Samaritan Hospital and Medical Center in Portland, OR.