Leong receives prestigious award from the American Academy of Family Physicians


HERSHEY, Pa. – The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) has selected Dr. Shou Ling Leong, professor of family and community medicine at Penn State College of Medicine, as the recipient of its 2022 Thomas W. Johnson Award for his professional contributions to Family medicine training.

Leong, who also serves as vice dean for pathways innovation, director of accelerated pathways and associate vice president for education, was chosen for the recognition — one of the highest honors bestowed by the AAFP — among the approximately 130,000 members of the organization across the country.

“I am honored to have been selected for this prestigious award and honored to be counted among the leading family physicians who have been past recipients,” said Leong. “This award gives me joy, a sense of accomplishment and gratitude.”

This national award was established in 1973 to recognize outstanding contributions to family medicine education in the areas of undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education. It highlights individuals whose commitment contributes to a shared heritage of excellence in the field of family medicine.

And according to Dr. Mack Ruffin, a professor of family and community medicine and public health sciences, Leong certainly fits that bill.

“Dr. Leong is a tireless and visionary leader locally and nationally in medical education, particularly in the areas of patient-centered medical home, computer cases for internship training, accelerated pathways, and internships. longitudinal integrated medicine,” said Ruffin, chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine.

Accomplishments cited by the AAFP include the program Leong developed, called the “fast track,” at Penn State College of Medicine that allows students to complete medical school in three years instead of four, accelerating the training of doctors in central Pennsylvania and throughout the country. In addition to constant mentoring and coaching, each path of the three-year program is personalized to help reduce stress and burnout among students.

The accelerated program first began in family and community medicine and has since expanded to multiple fields of study, from internal medicine to orthopedics.

“The success of this program required a compelling vision and clear goals aligned with a good business plan,” said Leong. “I am fortunate to have had the support of leadership at Penn State College of Medicine in the development of our accelerated program.”

Leong noted that the program would not have been possible without the support of former Dean Dr. Craig Hillemeier, current Acting Dean Dr. Kevin Black, and Dr. Terry Wolpaw, former Associate Dean at education. Dr. James Herman and Ruffin, past and current chairs of the Department of Family and Community Medicine, respectively, shared the vision, Leong said, and embraced the innovation.

“A wonderful group of enthusiastic and dedicated educators at Penn State have contributed to the program, including Drs. David Richard, Dennis Gingrich, Todd Felix, Daniel Schlegel and Karl Clebak,” added Leong.

Leong also developed and served as editor of Aquifer Family Medicine, formerly known as fmCASES, a set of virtual patient cases that professors use to teach the National Practicum Curriculum. Most medical schools in Pennsylvania and across the country now subscribe to these cases, which show how to think about patient encounters, ask the right questions, and provide evidence-based, patient-centered care.

During his career, Leong has successfully developed and implemented other innovative programs with the support of grants from national and state organizations – all with the goal of aligning medical education with healthcare needs. of the country and to foster student interest in primary care.

“I am amazed at what is possible when passionate educators work together with the common goal of improving the education of the next generation of physicians,” Leong said. “I’m proud of the impact we’ve been able to achieve through teamwork. I am grateful for the broad support our initiatives have received, from leaders to educators, funders and private donors.

“I would also like to thank my family and my husband, Dr. Keith Cheng, for their continued support and encouragement.”

Leong will accept the Thomas W. Johnson Award and deliver brief remarks at the 2022 AAFP Convention of Delegates on September 20 in Washington, D.C.


About Author

Comments are closed.