The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) has selected 11 professionals for the 2023 class of the NAM Scholars in Diagnostic Excellence program.  Funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, this collaborative program in partnership with the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS) offers a one-year, part-time experience for exceptional individuals to advance their diagnostic skills, make significant contributions to improve clinical diagnosis at the national level, and accelerate their career development as national leaders in the field.  With additional support from The John A. Hartford Foundation, the program includes a scholar whose focus is on improving diagnosis for older adults.

The scholars were chosen based on their professional qualifications and accomplishments, demonstrated leadership in the field, and potential to advance diagnostic excellence and equity.  They were also chosen based on the quality and feasibility of their program proposals to improve diagnosis and reduce diagnostic errors at the national level and build upon the work of the 2015 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine consensus report Improving Diagnosis in Health Care.

“We are delighted to continue this important program to minimize diagnostic errors in the U.S. and look forward to working with another impressive cohort of extraordinary scholars,” said Victor J. Dzau, president of the National Academy of Medicine.  “Congratulations to this exceptional group of professionals, whose work will be crucial to improving diagnostic quality and safety in order to make a lasting impact on patients’ lives and on the health care system overall.”

The 2023 NAM Scholars in Diagnostic Excellence and their program proposal titles are:

  • Akshar Abbott, MD, ophthalmologist, VISN 23 Clinical Resource Hub, Veterans Health Administration, Minneapolis
    “Promoting Health Equity and Diagnostic Excellence for Eye Care in Rural Communities Using Collaborative Models of Ocular Telehealth”
  • Raja-Elie E. Abdulnour, MD, director of educational innovation and lead editor of NEJM Healer, NEJM Group; assistant professor of medicine, pulmonary, and critical care medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston
    “Classification of Diagnostic Reasoning Skills with Machine Learning for Precision Education”
  • Cecilia Canales, MD, MPH,* assistant professor, department of anesthesiology and perioperative medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles
    “Advancing Language Equity in Diagnosing Perioperative Neurocognitive Disorders”
  • Christina L. Cifra, MD, MS, pediatric intensivist and member of the faculty Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston
    “I-PASS-to-PICU: Effective Communication to Bridge the Diagnostic Process Across Inter- Facility Transitions to a Higher Level of Care”
  • Bhavika Kaul, MD, MAS, investigator, Veterans Affairs Center for Innovation in Quality, Effectiveness, and Safety; staff physician, pulmonary and critical care medicine, Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center; assistant professor of medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston
    “Lung Texture Analysis: A Novel Machine Learning Tool to Reduce Diagnostics Delays Among Veterans with Pulmonary Fibrosis”
  • Bharti Khurana, MD, founder and director, Trauma Imaging Research and Innovation Center (TIRIC), department of radiology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital; associate professor of radiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston
    “Uncovering the Imaging, Clinical, and Social Diagnostic Determinants of Intimate Partner Violence”
  • Brandon Maughan, MD, MHS, MSHP, assistant professor of emergency medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon
    “Identifying Gender and Racial Implicit Bias to Improve Diagnosis of Pulmonary Embolism”
  • Anand Narayan, MD, PhD, associate professor and vice chair of equity, department of radiology, and associate director, diversity, equity, and inclusion, University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, Madison
    “Leveraging Electronic Medical Records to Reduce Disparities in the Breast Cancer Diagnostic Process”
  • Vinita Parkash, MBBS, MPH, associate professor of pathology, obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive services, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
    “Understanding Patient Perspectives for Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Test-Related Diagnostic Errors to Design Processes for Improved Diagnostic Outcomes”
  • Susan Peterson, MD, associate professor/associate medical director, department of emergency medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore
    “Maximizing Individual Diagnostic Feedback in the Emergency Department”
  • Valerie M. Vaughn, MD, MSc, assistant professor and director of hospital medicine research, department of internal medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City
    “Addressing and Reducing Diagnostic Momentum in Hospitalized Adults with Suspected Infection”


*supported by The John A. Hartford Foundation

“The NAM Scholars in Diagnostic Excellence program continues to attract and grow a community of promising talent to advance the field,” said Karen Cosby, program director for patient care at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. “The joint efforts of the National Academy of Medicine and the Council of Medical Specialty Societies provide a rich source of mentors and valuable networking for the scholars.”

“We are excited to have another remarkable cohort of scholars in diagnostic excellence across an even wider range of specialties,” said Helen Burstin, CMSS chief executive officer. “Through our partnership with NAM, we look forward to supporting the scholars’ impact on diagnostic safety, quality, and equity across medicine.”

The scholars will continue in their primary posts while engaging part time over a one-year period in developing an implementation plan for their proposals as well as participating in monthly educational sessions, cohort learning activities, and professional networking opportunities through the NAM and CMSS.  In addition, each scholar will be matched with a mentor(s) who can provide professional guidance and subject matter/technical expertise for their work.  A flexible research grant will be awarded to every scholar.

Join Our Community

Sign up for NAM email updates