Turning Pro: Dr. Asia Bright Named Distinguished Faculty in Professionalism Education

March 28, 2024

headshot of Dr. Asia Bright, winner of Faculty Award of Professionalism Education for the 2023 to 2024 year

The McGovern Medical School Office of Professionalism has named Asia Bright, PhD, assistant professor in the Louis A. Faillace, MD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and director of the Office of Professionalism, as the winner of the John P. and Kathrine G. McGovern Distinguished Faculty Award in Professionalism Education.

“It is an honor to win this award but also a testament to how McGovern supports innovation and novel tools for medical education,” Bright said. “I feel encouraged in my commitment to the organization and the future of our students and faculty.”

The John P. and Kathrine G. McGovern Distinguished Faculty Award in Professionalism Education is awarded to faculty who have established one or more successful programs in promoting education in aspects of professionalism for learners enrolled in McGovern Medical School undergraduate or graduate programs. Recipients of the award receive $2,500 and are honored at an award ceremony where they provide a brief presentation on their contributions.

Examples of professional education programs include but are not limited to, professional identity formation, faculty development in assessing professionalism, organizational professionalism efforts, resiliency building initiatives, assessing and remedying professional lapses, interprofessional education, and failing successfully.

Working with the Student Committee on Professionalism and Ethics (SCoPE), Bright has developed a hands-on workshop within the Doctoring course to address structural inequities within healthcare. The partnership between SCoPE and Bright allows teaching through real-life examples of systemic disparities.

“By engaging with students in a dialogue that extends beyond theoretical understanding, I am able to provide a platform for students to explore the challenges and potential solutions to these issues in the context of their future professional practices,” Bright said. “Moreover, partnering with students to facilitate this session further demonstrates that professional identity formation starts early in your career.”

Additionally, Bright created a workshop to help students comprehend the intricate concept of privilege and its effects on healthcare. Using beads as a tactile tool, the workshop serves to help students turn privilege into a tangible and related experience to offer a deeper understanding of the impact privilege can have within the healthcare system.

Bright graduated from Rice University in 2014 and received her PhD in experimental social psychology from the University of Vermont in 2018. After stints at the Vermont Department of Health and the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, Bright joined the faculty at McGovern Medical School in January 2020.