Gerald B. Hickson, MD

Gerald B. Hickson, MD. - Joseph C. Ross Chair of Medical Education and Administration, Professor of Pediatrics, and Founding Director of the Center for Patient and Professional Advocacy (CPPA) at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. 

Dr. Hickson joined the Department of Pediatrics in 1982 and served six years as Vice Chair and Chief of Pediatric Outpatient Services. In 2003, Dr. Hickson was appointed Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and founded the CPPA; in 2005 he was named Director of Clinical Risk and Loss Prevention. In 2013 he was appointed Senior Vice President of Quality, Safety and Risk Prevention to support VUMC’s pursuit of high reliability and professional accountability. 

Since 1990, Dr. Hickson’s research has focused on why families choose to file suit, why certain physicians attract a disproportionate share of claims and how to identify and intervene with high-risk clinicians. His work has resulted in over 170 peer review articles and chapters and educational initiatives to promote disclosure of medical errors and address behaviors that undermine a culture of safety. Under his direction, the CPPA developed PARS® (Patient Advocacy Reporting System) and CORSsm (Coworker Observation Reporting System), programs that use unsolicited patient complaints and coworker observations as the basis for tiered interventions on high-risk clinicians. The PARS and CORS programs have been implemented in over 200 hospitals and health systems in the US.

Dr. Hickson serves as the Vice-Chair on the board of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). He has served as Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) and as Chair of the Board of Professionals in Patient Safety (CBPPS). He was also Chair of the Quality Care Committee for the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI) and member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Quality Improvement. 

In 2014 and 2019, Dr. Hickson was recognized by the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation with their Professionalism Article Prize and was the first Dr. Allan D. and Claire S. Jenson Lecturer in Professionalism and Ethics for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Additional honors include the Excellence in Research and Teaching Award from the Ambulatory Pediatric Association, the National Healthcare Patient Advocacy Award from the Society for Healthcare Consumer Advocacy and the Vanguard Award for the Advancement of Patient Safety. 

Dr. Hickson received a BS from the University of Georgia and MD from Tulane University School of Medicine. 

View Dr. Hickson's research Publications on PubMed Here