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Luanne Thorndyke receives medical society’s Woman Physician Leadership Award

  Luanne E. Thorndyke, MD

Luanne E. Thorndyke, MD

Luanne E. Thorndyke, MD, vice provost for faculty affairs and professor of medicine, has received the Massachusetts Medical Society’s Woman Physician Leadership Award. The honor recognizes outstanding leadership and contributions to patients and the medical profession by a woman physician.

Dr. Thorndyke is the second UMass Medical School faculty member to receive the society’s award. Marianne E. Felice, MD, professor of pediatrics, was the inaugural recipient of the award in 2013. The Massachusetts Medical Society is the statewide professional association for physicians and medical students, supporting 25,000 members with a focus on educating and advocating for the physicians of Massachusetts and patients locally and nationally.

Thorndyke has led several initiatives that have had a direct impact on faculty. She created programs to assist faculty pursuing academic promotion, led a process to revise the criteria for promotion to recognize physicians engaged in health care delivery, and developed workshops to educate faculty and administrators about the new processes.

“She is an ex officio member of all search committees for leadership positions such as department chairs,” said Terence R. Flotte, MD, the Celia and Isaac Haidak Professor in Medicine, executive deputy chancellor, provost and dean of the School of Medicine, noting that she advocates for the consideration of appropriate capable women candidates. “In 2008, UMass Medical School only had one woman chair and now we have six. Dr. Thorndyke has been a big part of that transformation.”

Thorndyke, a recipient of the Elizabeth Blackwell Award from the American Medical Women's Association, initiated the UMMS Faculty Scholar Award, which aids young physicians in pursuit of academic careers while maintaining family responsibilities. She also launched multiple career development programs initiated as a result of winning the prestigious ACE/Sloan Faculty Career Flexibility Grant.

“Dr. Thorndyke led an in-depth review of faculty recruitment processes and implemented a procedure to promulgate best practices in faculty recruitment that incorporates training in unconscious bias and competency-based interviewing,” Dean Flotte said.

In October 2017, Thorndyke served as keynote speaker at the Conference of Women Healthcare Professionals in Buenos Aires, Argentina. There, she spoke about issues women leaders face in the executive suite and how they are similar and different from those that men face. Drawing on her career experience, Thorndyke shared strategies to oversome barriers to women’s success.

Related stories on UMassMedNow:
Felice honored with first Woman Physician Leadership Award
UMMS showcases women’s leadership in academic medicine at international conference
Thorndyke wins national award for advancing women in medicine