Academy Membership Application

The Academy’s annual membership application cycle begins in the spring and concludes with the induction ceremony in September.

Sara Whetstone, MD being inducted into the Academy, September 2018
Sara Whetstone, MD being inducted into the Academy, September 2018; photo by Elisabeth Fall

About The Haile T. Debas Academy of Medical Educators

The UCSF Haile T. Debas Academy of Medical Educators (AME) is an organization comprised of faculty from all health professions programs at the University of California, San Francisco. Our purpose is to support those people who advance the education mission of UCSF by fostering an organizational culture that values education and accelerates advances in teaching and learning to improve health with an emphasis on community, diversity, advocacy, service, and innovation.

The AME was founded in 2000 with the appointment of director Molly Cooke, MD, and the first members were inducted in 2001.

history of the Academy

186 Academy members represent 29 interprofessional, clinical, and basic science departments across seven core teaching sites in the Bay Area and Fresno.

Directory of Academy Members

Member Eligibility, Benefits, and Expectations

Member Eligibility

Eligible candidates must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Faculty member for three full years at the time of application submission (i.e joined faculty no later than June 1, 2018). At least one full year of time on faculty at UCSF.
  • Outstanding educator of health professions students and/or residents, and/or a faculty developer focused on health professions educators, at UCSF. CME activities for educators about education are germane to an application to the Academy, but clinically-focused CME activities are not.
  • Demonstrate excellence in Teaching and one or two other domains (Educational Leadership, Learner Assessment, Curriculum Design, Mentoring/Advising).  See details below.
Benefits of Membership
  • The Academy is a community of dedicated educators who work together to strengthen their own teaching and to promote excellence in teaching across UCSF.
  • Academy members are recognized as highly accomplished educators and are often consulted by colleagues and departmental leaders on questions of educational import.
  • Due to the rigor of the selection process, Academy membership is known to be a sign of outstanding performance by the committees that oversee UCSF's merit and promotion process.
  • Members are eligible to apply for the Academy endowed chairs program and for professional development, presentation travel support relating to the Academy and its mission. 
Expectations of Members

Academy members in good standing maintain the high level of work in education and teaching that qualified them for membership and contribute to advancing the Academy's mission.

Members fulfill minimum annual service expectations, e.g.:

  • Further faculty development and improve teaching through Academy co-sponsored activities
  • Contribute to an Academy action group or committee
  • Actively participate in Academy meetings and attend events such as the Celebration of New Members and UCSF Education Showcase (50% of activities over a 2-year period)
  • Document and reflect upon their participation and service

Academy members also contribute to a cyclical Membership Continuation Review process, for which they submit their current one-page Educator’s Portfolio Executive Summary in addition to their annual participation and service documentation and reflection.

Application to the Academy

2021 Application Timeline:

Dates, instructions, FAQs, and materials for the 2021 cycle will be set by early May. Please check this page again for updates and/or contact [email protected]


May 10, Noon-1 pm Application information session: register here:

Early May

Call for applications


Application deadline


Candidates notified

September 29

Celebration of New Members induction ceremony

An application is comprised of an Educator’s Portfolio, Personal Statement, Checklist, and Letters of Support.

Part 1: the Educator's Portfolio

The Educator’s Portfolio (EP) helps faculty make visible the most important contributions in education among five roles of an educator: Teaching, Mentoring and Advising, Curriculum Development and Instructional Design, Educational Leadership, and Learner Assessment. Candidates are strongly encouraged to review examples of current AME members' EPs to guide their EP development. See the section headed “Examples of Completed Templates” on the Educator's Portfolio page.

What parts of the Educator’s Portfolio must be completed for application to the Academy?

  • Executive Summary (one page): briefly describes up to five significant contributions to education, organized by Role, with Teaching as the first contribution.
  • Detailed Role Descriptions (two pages each): elaborate on contributions highlighted in the Executive Summary.

What time frame should be included for activities presented in the EP? Two years or more in any Role described in the Educator’s Portfolio is strongly encouraged. Activities described in the EP should have taken place within the past five years.

Which Detailed Role Descriptions should I complete? Candidates may apply in up to three Roles and must demonstrate excellence in Direct Teaching and one other Role. Candidates who have held an educational leadership position (e.g. course, clerkship, residency or fellowship director [ACGME and non-ACGME]) for two years or more must apply in Educational Leadership.

Avoid using abbreviations or jargon in the Educator’s Portfolio that external reviewers might not understand.

Please be sure to read the Educator’s Portfolio FAQs section below for important additional information.

Educator's Portfolio FAQs

If I hold an educational leadership position do I have to complete a Detailed Role Description in that category? Candidates who have held an educational leadership position (e.g. course, clerkship, residency or fellowship director [ACGME and non-ACGME]) for two years or more must apply in Educational Leadership.

If I am required to apply in Educational Leadership but I’m not sure I can demonstrate excellence in it, can I apply in a third areas as well? Yes. If you feel that you are unable to demonstrate excellence in Educational Leadership, you must apply in a third category so that you can demonstrate excellence in two domains.

If I am required to apply in Educational Leadership for a curriculum I designed, how do I decide whether I should also apply in Curriculum Development? Review the criteria for curriculum development and consult with your application coach, and others familiar with your work in curriculum development, to determine whether you can demonstrate excellence in this domain.

How should I determine if I should apply in Mentoring and Advising? This Role is appropriate for candidates who can demonstrate impact in mentoring within a program, or as a Bridges Coach, beyond baseline expectations of faculty.

Can my learner impact be from outside UCSF if I recently moved from another institution? Demonstration of direct impact on UCSF learners is essential; candidates must be on the UCSF faculty for at least one year before applying. Faculty who have come to UCSF from other institutions within the past five years may also include a demonstration of impact at their previous institution.

How important is it that I provide data to demonstrate the impact on learners? Evaluative data to demonstrate impact on UCSF learners is critical. Individual and benchmark evaluative data must be provided in Teaching; the strongest applications also include data in other Roles. Activities that have not been formally evaluated are less strong.

If I have some learner ratings that are less than excellent, can I still demonstrate excellence in teaching?  Yes, the reasons why you had less than excellent evaluations and the actions taken to address the situation should be explained in the Detailed Role Description, and may also be addressed in the Personal Statement and/or in letters of support. Participating in a formal peer mentoring program such as the Teacher Observation Program (TOP) is also evidence of commitment to advancing teaching skills.

Do I need to have disseminated my work beyond UCSF? No, dissemination of work outside UCSF (e.g., through publications, presentations at conferences, etc.) is aspirational in each role.  However, the strongest candidates demonstrate scope beyond their own departments.

Part 2: The Personal Statement and Letters of Support

Personal Statement. In this two-page document, the candidate describes their educational philosophy, trajectory, future direction, and intended contributions to the AME and the UCSF education community.

Letters of Support. Letters should specifically address the candidate’s ability to meet criteria for membership and the impact of their work in the educational Roles in which they are applying. Candidates should choose referees whose combined letters will address all the major contributions in their application. Candidates should send their referees their EP or CV, and should ensure their referees are aware of and can speak to the candidates’ accomplishments in those Roles.

  • Department chair or dean’s letter (required): the department chair letter may be written by a division chief, but must be transmitted to the AME by the department chair with their endorsement.
  • Up to two additional letters may be requested. Letters by students are not recommended except to demonstrate impact in the Mentoring and Advising role.

How do I obtain letters? Letters are requested by the candidate, addressed to the Academy Membership Committee, and transmitted by the author to the AME via email to [email protected]

Checklist. The checklist includes the Roles in which the candidate is applying and lists the people from whom they are requesting letters of support.

Re-applicant statement. Individuals who have previously applied to the Academy are asked to address the feedback received from the Membership Committee, including how they’ve made any recommended changes, in a brief (two-paragraph) statement.

Part 3: Application Process, Coaches, and Resources

Application Coaches. We offer a coaching program to support candidates through the application process and maximize successful applications. Candidates are paired with Academy members who are from outside their own departments to discuss and receive feedback on all aspects of the application. Our experience indicates that coached candidates submit stronger applications; we expect that candidates will request coaches. To be paired with an Application Coach, candidates should email [email protected].

Preparing and Submitting the Application. A strong membership application requires thoughtful advance planning and several iterations of review with the assigned coach.

  1. Resources, data, and letters
    • Educator’s Portfolio Workbook Part 1: Application instructions and Educator’s Portfolio Criteria and Indicators of Excellence - under construction for the 2021 cycle
    • Educator’s Portfolio Workbook Part 2: Templates. Draft the EP using the templates and review it with your coach - under construction for the 2021 cycle
    • Acquire E*Value and MedHub data (Faculty Guide for Teaching Evaluation Data): Individual and normative data must be provided in Teaching; the strongest applications include individual and benchmark evaluative data in other roles as well. Candidates should work with their departmental residency or course administrator, or course or program director, to obtain benchmark data wherever possible. We strongly recommend that candidates start this process early: gathering data is often time-consuming.
    • Request letters of support from referees who collectively can speak to all the accomplishments described in the Educator’s Portfolio.
  2. Administrative review of the Educator’s Portfolio. The administrative review is required of all candidates. Email the Educator’s Portfolio in process to [email protected]. Drafts are checked for adherence to page limits and appropriate use of templates; this is not a content review.
  3. Application submission. The Checklist template and application submission link are forwarded to all candidates following the administrative review. Candidates upload their Checklist, Personal Statement, Educator’s Portfolio and Re-applicant Statement (if applicable) to the application platform. Letters of support are transmitted directly to the Academy, and are appended to the candidate’s application.

Letters of support grace period: Candidates will be advised of missing letters within 24 hours of the application deadline. Referees have an additional 24 hours to submit their letters to the AME.

Incomplete applications will not advance to final review, and deadlines cannot be extended.

For help, contact: 1). Your coach; 2). Kathleen Land, AME Membership Lead, [email protected]