Krystyna Barnard
May 4, 2020

Melissa Hilmes, MD, Associate Professor of Radiology, has been elected to Vanderbilt University School of Medicine’s (VUSM) Academy for Excellence in Education, in recognition of her contributions to the educational mission at Vanderbilt.

Established in 2006, the Academy’s mission is to “enhance the educational environment at [VUSM] and Vanderbilt University Medical Center by advocating for the development, support, and recognition of dedicated educators, by sustaining a community of educators, and by fostering educational excellence, innovation, leadership, and scholarship.”

“It is an honor to be recognized and to be a member in the Academy of Excellence in Education,” said Dr. Hilmes. “As physicians and radiologists, our roles as educators can be easily overlooked, as our educator role takes place in a reading room or at an interdisciplinary conference. Membership in the Academy is a way to recognize the hard work and the emphasis on education in my career, both in radiology and through the School of Medicine.”


In addition to her role as a pediatric radiologist at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Dr. Hilmes serves as Co-director of the Vanderbilt Program for Interprofessional Learning (VPIL), which prepares medical, nursing, pharmacy, social work and counseling students to improve health care delivery and outcomes. She is also actively engaged in radiology resident and medical student education, and is Course Director of the Pediatric Radiology Advanced Clinical Experience (ACE) course for third- and fourth-year VUSM students.

“Dr. Hilmes has transformed our medical student and clinical resident electives into courses of structured and active learning, punctuated by a great deal of imagination and fun,” said Marta Hernanz-Schulman, MD, Professor of Radiology and Vice Chair of Pediatric Radiology. “Her selection into membership in the Academy for Excellence and Education at Vanderbilt is a well-deserved recognition of her dedication to teaching and singular talents in the field of education.”

As a result of her efforts to advance medical education at Vanderbilt, Dr. Hilmes has been the recipient of national awards and recognition, including the John Caffey Award for Best Education Paper at the Meeting of Society of Pediatric Radiology.

“My involvement in education has kept me engaged in the clinical work and made me a better radiologist, which has made me a better educator,” added Dr. Hilmes.

Dr. Hilmes is among more than 110 Vanderbilt colleagues granted membership to the Academy, including radiology faculty Drs. Edwin Donnelly, Lori Deitte, Arthur Fleischer, Reed Omary and Cari Motuzas. An Annual Recognition Dinner to celebrate the Academy’s newest class of members is expected to take place later this year.