Adina L. Kalet, MD, MPH, FACP, FAACH
Medical College of Wisconsin
During a 2019 conversation about programs that help doctors-in-training develop better communication skills, Adina L. Kalet, MD, now the Stephen and Shelagh Roell Endowed Chair and director of the Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Institute for the Transformation of Medical Education at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), explained why such programs are important:
“In the past, I think our profession has assumed that people come to us as adults with good communication skills, and there wasn’t a lot of attention [paid] to the specific challenges of talking with people about the very intimate and frightening issues that most physicians have to be prepared to discuss,” she said. Helping clinicians develop those skills has been a major focus for Dr. Kalet throughout her 30-year career as a leader, mentor, and educator in academic medicine.
An internal medicine physician, Dr. Kalet began her distinguished career in medical education in 1991 as an instructor in clinical medicine at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine (SOM). By 2012, she had ascended to professor of medicine and surgery at NYU Grossman SOM, and in 2020, she became professor of medical education at MCW.
Throughout her career, Dr. Kalet has authored more than 200 papers and three books and contributed 14 chapters to larger works. All those words underscore Dr. Kalet’s underlying mission to help medical students improve their communication skills to better connect with and empower their patients.
Across those efforts, “her ethics and integrity have been recognized nationally,” says Jose Franco, MD, senior associate dean and professor at MCW, affirming that her influence extends “well beyond the walls of NYU and MCW.”
Dr. Kalet has been principal investigator on several important grants, including one from the National Science Foundation and another from the National Institutes of Health to conduct a seven-institution randomized controlled trial of NYU’s Web Institute for Surgical Education (WISE-MD).
In 2019, Dr. Kalet won the National Award for Career Achievement in Medical Education from the Society for General Internal Medicine. In 2023, she was selected as the National Board of Medical Examiner’s 2023 John P. Hubbard Award recipient in recognition of her extensive contributions to the field of assessment in medical education, the highest honor bestowed by that organization.
Dr. Kalet earned a BS from the Sophie Davis School for Biomedical Education at the City College of New York in 1982 (now the CUNY School of Medicine) and an MD from Mount Sinai School of Medicine (now the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai) in 1984. She completed post-graduate training in primary care internal medicine at New York University/Bellevue Hospital in New York in 1987 and was a Bowen Brooks Fellow at Ben-Gurion University School of Medicine (Israel) and the University of Maastricht School of Medicine (Netherlands) through 1988. She was a fellow in Health Services Research with the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at the University of North Carolina from 1988 to 1990, where she also earned an MPH in 1990.