April 06, 2022

ACGME honors Pediatrics faculty member Heather L. Burrows, M.D., Ph.D., with Courage to Teach Award

The award recognizes program directors who have fostered innovation and improvement in their residency/fellowship programs and served as exemplary role models for residents and fellows

Heather L. Burrows, M.D., Ph.D. (right)

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) honored Associate Professor of Pediatrics Heather L. Burrows, M.D., Ph.D. (right), as one of eight recipients of the Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Award during the 2022 ACGME Annual Educational Conference, held virtually March 30-April 1.

The award recognizes program directors who have fostered innovation and improvement in their residency/fellowship programs and served as exemplary role models for residents and fellows. Burrows serves as program director of the Pediatric Residency Program, and associate chair of education in the Department of Pediatrics. 

Burrows is a general pediatrician and practices at East Ann Arbor General Pediatrics, where she sees her own patients and also supervises residents and students. Her interests include quality improvement, patient education, and physician wellness. She is involved in resident quality improvement education and serves as a mentor for the resident outpatient QI group.  She is involved in the Medical School learning communities (M-Home) where she leads the Healer’s Art course. She also is engaged in expanding the humanism and wellness curriculum within the residency. 

Here is what nominators wrote on her behalf:

“Shortly after I became interim chair in July 2018, I appointed Dr. Burrows as associate chair for education. Among the very first tasks I asked her to undertake was to revise our departmental Pediatric Grand Rounds series. She quickly performed a needs assessment among our faculty and other key stakeholders, identifying gaps and opportunities in programming. This led to a dynamic new approach of intermingling guest speakers with faculty development offerings and included interactive in-person sessions that were repeated during summer sessions. She also organized a committee of dedicated individuals who help work with the faculty to ensure inclusion of a broad selection of topics in the roster. These activities have significantly elevated the quality and impact of our grand rounds series and have been very well received by faculty and trainees.”

“In another example of her leadership, Dr. Burrows led a year-long initiative to define our departmental educational strategy. This work involved a careful re-examination of our educational recruitment activities, and identified opportunities to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion among our trainees. She now leads one of six components (education) of a new program in our department called the Pediatrics Commitment, which addresses structural racism. Her group of faculty, staff, and trainees are working to identify areas of opportunity to enhance inclusion of under-represented individuals in our training program. This work has already resulted in meaningful sessions on macroaggressions, implicit bias, and bystander training. While there is much work yet to be done, Dr. Burrows has set the stage for developing and implementing exciting initiatives that are poised to facilitate an effective learning environment for our students and trainees.”

“Dr. Burrows has achieved integration of work/life balance and curriculum with her implemented parenting support for residents which includes a “Care of the Newborn” elective which allows residents to develop skills in parenting with a flexible schedule, educating their peers on important parenting topics, and implemented a breastfeeding support policy for the program and department.“

“Recognizing the growing need for coaching and advising for success in our house officers, Dr. Burrows organized a structured advising program for residents with faculty development for advisors, structured agendas for quarterly advisor meetings with topics synchronized to the longitudinal residency schedule. Dr. Burrows also created a pediatric focused Quality Improvement and Patient Safety curriculum with small group learning sessions in the intern year 1 followed by longitudinal resident-initiated projects that extend through the remainder of residency training so that residents get real world experience with QI/PS initiatives.”