The John M. Eisenberg Excellence in Mentorship Award

The John M. Eisenberg Excellence in Mentorship Award

To honor his legacy, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has created the John M. Eisenberg Excellence in Mentorship Award. This award has been presented annually since 2001 to an outstanding faculty member in a National Research and Service Award (NRSA) institutional training program, supported by AHRQ.

John M. Eisenberg, M.D., M.B.A., a former president of the Society of General Internal Medicine, served as the director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), formerly the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, from 1997-2002. Prior to his leadership at AHRQ, he was the Chairman of Medicine and Physician-in Chief at Georgetown University from 1992-1997, and served as chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania from 1986-1992.

Dr. Eisenberg graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University. He earned his medical degree from Washington University in St. Louis and received his training in internal medicine and an M.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. While earning his M.B.A., he also served as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar.

An international leader in quality improvement, Dr. Eisenberg dedicated his professional career to the conduct and use of evidence-based research in health care decisionmaking at the policy, practice and management levels. As a scholar, Dr. Eisenberg authored more than 150 original articles, focusing on assessing and using evidence for clinical decisionmaking, the effect of payment on quality of care, and improving the quality of working conditions for health care providers. He also authored a landmark book, Doctor's Decisions and the Cost of Medical Care, which focused on improving quality of care through changing physician practice. In recognition of his vast achievements, he has received numerous awards, including the Robert Glaser Award from the Society of General Internal Medicine, the Nathan Davis Award from the American Medical Association, the Career Achievement Award from the Society of Medical Decision-Making, and the Baxter Prize from the Academy for Health Services Research and Health Policy.

Dr. Eisenberg also supported the dissemination of science-based evidence and the use of science as a basis of policy. For example, he was instrumental in establishing evidence-based treatment guidelines for medical conditions and in making them accessible through the Internet through the National Guideline Clearinghouse™, a joint collaboration that he effected involving the American Medical Association, the American Association of Health Plans, and AHRQ. He also served as a resource to President Clinton's Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry, which advocated for greater coordination of Federal health care efforts. This resulted in the formation of the Quality Interagency Coordination Task Force (QuIC), which he was asked to chair. The purpose of the Quic Task Force was to bring together the Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of Personnel Management, and the Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, and Labor to reduce duplicative and competing efforts focused on improving the effectiveness and quality of care.

In addition to his outstanding scientific and policy contributions, Dr. Eisenberg is also remembered as a warm and enthusiastic mentor, possessing an amazing intellect. He had a strong ability to bring out the best in students, encouraging them to choose careers that would utilize their skills to effect positive change in the delivery of health care. After moving from academia to AHRQ, Dr. Eisenberg continued to advocate for focused, applied health services research education by expanding the portfolio of AHRQ activities to encompass support for both individual career development and research and educational centers of excellence for promoting the quality, safety and effectiveness of health care for all Americans.

To honor his legacy, AHRQ has created the John M. Eisenberg Excellence in Mentorship Award. This award has been presented annually since 2001 to an outstanding faculty member in a National Research and Service Award (NRSA) institutional training program, supported by AHRQ.

In order to be nominated for this prestigious award, a faculty member must be nominated by at least one student based on the following individual characteristics:

  • Possesses a long-term commitment to mentorship.
  • Sponsors students in the academic/professional community and elsewhere.
  • Instills and nurtures talent.
  • Advocates for students as people and supports their professional development.
  • Demonstrates a belief in the value of the study of health services research, health policy, and/or primary care research.
  • Possesses a commitment to and love of teaching students and trainees in alignment with their particular career goals.

Each nominee must consistently demonstrate honesty and integrity, serving as a role model for leadership and professionalism. In so doing, candidates exemplify individuals who place more emphasis on advancement of the field of health services research and the professional development of scholars, than on advancement of self. Upon submission of nominations, candidates are reviewed by a panel of peers and students from other universities. Recipients of the award are announced and honored at AHRQ's annual NRSA Trainee Research Conference.

Past recipients of the award include:

  • John Zupancic, MD, ScD, Children's Hospital, Boston (2010).
  • Maureen Smith, MD, PhD, University of Wisconsin, Madison (2009).
  • Alyce Adams, PhD, Harvard University (2008).
  • Mark Pauly, PhD, University of Pennsylvania (2007).
  • Robert Blendon, ScD, MBA, Harvard University (2006).
  • Morris Weinberger, PhD, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (2005).
  • David Cutler, PhD, Harvard University (2004).
  • Richard Frank, PhD, Harvard University, and Anne K. Duggan, ScD, Johns Hopkins University (2003).
  • Timothy Carey, MD, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (2002).
  • John M. Eisenberg, MD, MBA, AHRQ (2001).

For more information, contact:

Brenda Harding, M.A.
Office of Extramural Research, Education, and Priority Populations
Division of Research Education
Phone: (301) 427-1527

Current as of October 2012
Internet Citation: The John M. Eisenberg Excellence in Mentorship Award. October 2012. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/funding/training-grants/eisenberg.html