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2017 Abraham Flexner Award for Distinguished Service to Medical Education

George Thibault, MD, Harvard Medical School


A respected educator, mentor, and leader, George Thibault, MD, has been at the forefront of innovation in health professions education and a driving force for the now widespread adoption of interprofessional, team-based education and care. In his career spanning more than four decades, Dr. Thibault has developed a reputation as “one of the true giants of contemporary medical education,” says David Irby, PhD, professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

As the president of the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation since 2008, Dr. Thibault has been at the helm of transformative conferences and reports for graduate medical education, interprofessional education, and team-based competencies. He also established the prestigious Macy Faculty Scholars Program, which brings together innovative medical and nursing educators to  work  with the Macy Foundation to jump-start reforms  in health professions education.

A nationally sought-after advisor, Dr. Thibault serves on many committees and governing bodies, including the American Medical Association’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education National Advisory Panel and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education’s Sponsoring Institution 2025 Task Force.

He was also instrumental in developing a public-private partnership with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and two foundations to establish the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education, located at the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Thibault’s leadership of the Macy Foundation builds on his experience in transforming medical education at several Boston institutions, including Harvard Medical School (HMS), Partners HealthCare System, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), and the West Roxbury VA. At HMS, Dr. Thibault was instrumental in  leading  curricular reform  and  became the founding director of the Academy, a community to advance the education of physicians and scientists at HMS. He was named the first Daniel D. Federman Professor of Medicine and Medical Education at HMS. Drawing on his expertise in improving care delivery in the intensive care unit and beyond, Dr. Thibault has held leadership roles in clinical education, including vice president of clinical affairs at Partners, chief medical officer at BWH, and internal medicine residency director at MGH. In his many roles, he was a mentor to a generation of students, residents, and junior faculty at HMS and its affiliated hospitals.

“Dr. Thibault created a paradigm shift that is based on equity among health professionals. This impact is deep and wide and has led to substantive changes in the nature and content of interprofessional and primary health care education,” writes Afaf Meleis, PhD, FAAN, dean emerita at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.

Dr. Thibault was elected to the National Academy of Medicine (formerly Institute of Medicine) in 2010. He graduated from Georgetown University and received his MD, magna cum laude, from HMS. He completed his residency at MGH, where he was also chief resident.

Press Contacts
Tyler Weingart
John Buarotti

More About Dr. Thibault

Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation

Macy Faculty Scholars Program

National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education

Abraham Flexner Award for Distinguished Service to Medical Education

This award was established in 1958 to recognize extraordinary individual contributions to medical schools and to the medical education community as a whole.