Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award

The Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award is given to a practicing AAD member dermatologist who exemplifies compassionate, patient-centered care.

Award: The dermatologist who receives this high honor will receive a monetary award of $1,000. Additionally, the award recipient will be recognized during the Stars of the Academy Reception during the Academy’s Annual Meeting and in Dermatology World.

To nominate an AAD member, click on the "nominate" button below.


Nominees must meet at least five of the following criteria:

  • Demonstrate compassion and empathy in the delivery of patient care.
  • Show respect for patients, families, and coworkers. Demonstrate cultural sensitivity when working with patients and family members of diverse backgrounds.
  • Display effective, empathetic communication and listening skills.
  • Understand a patient's need for interpretation of complex medical diagnoses and treatments and make an effort to ensure patient comprehension.
  • Comprehend and show respect for the patient's viewpoint.
  • Is sensitive to the patient's psychological well being and identifies the emotional concerns of patients and family members.
  • Engenders trust and confidence.
  • Displays competence in scientific endeavors.
  • No sitting member of the Member Recognition Committee shall be eligible for nomination.

  • About the award
    The Arnold P. Gold Foundation began more than 20 years ago with the goal of restoring a more effective balance between the cutting-edge science of medicine and compassionate patient care.

    The foundation's main objective is to ensure that physicians become mindful of the life context of health and illness, and become skillful in the habit of humanism, or how to communicate effectively and empathically to help patients heal.

    The Arnold P. Gold Foundation would like to thank the Council of Medical Specialty Societies for their valuable collaboration, which helped design and disseminate information about the award to its members.
  • Application timeline

    The deadline for application submissions is November 1. Applications submitted after this date will be considered for the following year's cycle.

    The Academy's Member Recognition Committee reviews all completed nominations and selects a winner in December of each year. The recipient will be notified the following January.

  • Past recipients

    2017: Pearl E. Grimes, MD, FAAD
    Dr. Pearl Grimes truly exemplifies compassionate, patient-centered care. She is a dermatologist in private practice in Southern California who has made extraordinary contributions to the treatment of vitiligo and has emerged as the world's leading authority on that disease. The Coalition for At-Risk Youth (CARRY) was founded by Dr. Grimes in 2005 with the goal of providing opportunities for children and teens with skin diseases and other medical issues. Through CARRY, Dr. Grimes offers a wide range of services for youth who enter the program. Many are underprivileged children who are often removed from homes because of abuse and neglect and placed in foster care.  The organization runs a number of extraordinary programs including scholarships, mentoring, self-esteem workshops, pro bono dermatology clinics, Camp CARRY, a musical theater and performing arts program, social skills programs, and a number of other individually targeted efforts underscore the organization's commitment to improving the outlook of teens with medical problems, one child at a time. 

    2016: Stanley Wesson, MD, FAAD
    Dr. Wesson’s lifelong mission embodies the essence of this award. He has volunteered his time over the past 15 years, and encouraged resident involvement at a local ACORN free clinic, providing medical attention to underserved areas of Alachua County. He has said on many occasions that he is a doctor second, and a teacher first. As he communicates with patients, he also teaches residents and medical students. All the while, the patient benefits from learning about his/her disease. Dr. Wesson is able to sense worries or fears in his patients and is able to quell those anxieties by simply taking the time to hear and connect to each of his patients. He encourages his residents to be kind, compassionate, well rounded physicians who have a mutually respectful relationship with patients. He does this by leading by example. In doing all of these things, Dr. Wesson maintains a modesty and humbleness that few possess.

    2015: James O. Ertle, MD, FAAD
    Dr. Ertle received this award in recognition of his commitment to compassionate, patient-centered care.  In 2003, Dr. Ertle established an AAD program dedicated to providing care in Haiti twice per year. Additionally, Dr. Ertle served as president of the Chicago, Illinois, and Great Lakes dermatological societies, and was instrumental in the passage of laws in Illinois regulating indoor tanning and tattoo parlors.

    2014: Amit Pandya, MD, FAAD
    Dr. Pandya received this recognition for his work with underserved patients in the Dallas area, where he created the dermatology program at the Agape Clinic, as well as on overseas service trips. In addition to his work on Academy brochures for patients with skin of color, he has produced 14 patient-focused educational brochures in Spanish to bridge the knowledge gap with the large population of underserved Spanish-speaking patients in his area. He is renowned for his ability to relate to patients with complex disorders, organizing a support group for patients with vitiligo. In addition, he is a sought-after medical educator and mentor, receiving the Regent’s Outstanding Teacher Award, the highest honor given to graduate medical educators in the state.

    2013: Neil Prose, MD, FAAD
    Dr. Prose received this award in recognition for his work toward greater understanding of physician/patient communication. He developed a curriculum at Duke that seeks to improve cross-cultural communication and find better ways to deliver bad news to patients in an understanding and sympathetic fashion. In addition, he has brought this program to the University of KwaZul-Natal in South Africa and worked to establish clinics in that country, as well as others in Mexico and South America.  Dr. Prose was presented with the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award at the 2013 Recognition Luncheon during the Annual Meeting in Miami Beach, Florida.

    2012: Thomas P. Waldinger, MD, FAAD
    Dr. Waldinger is an extremely dedicated physician with a strong focus on patient-centered care. His peers indicate that he is a role model for compassion, honesty, integrity, respect, dignity, diversity, and selfless dedication to excellence. He is a great communicator to patients, staff, and colleagues. Dr. Waldinger has been involved in a number of community service programs, including skin cancer detection. He has written several inspiring books and poems and has been honored with the “Best Doctors” award seven times in the last 15 years. Dr. Waldinger was presented with the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award at the 2012 Recognition Luncheon during the Annual Meeting in San Diego, California.

    2011: Samuel L. Moschella, MD, FAAD
    Dr. Moschella has mentored hundreds of students, residents and colleagues. His professional career spans more than 60 years of service to patients in the U.S. Navy and the Lahey Clinic. He conducts a local clinic in Massachusetts with leprosy patients where he invites trainees and faculty members to learn about the disease. Dr. Moschella has written and lectured extensively about the diagnosis and care of patients with leprosy and educates the young physicians in the diagnosis and therapy. Dr. Moschella was presented with the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award at the 2011 Recognition Luncheon during the Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana.

    2010: O. Fred Miller, MD, FAAD
    Dr. Miller is deeply involved in the community and in his patient's lives. He serves as a role model for hundreds of physicians, and embodies empathy, respect and understanding. He helped to found a camp for children with severe skin diseases, and still attends camp every year as a counselor. Dr. Miller has a genuine interest in the well-being of the doctors, staff and patients. The patient always is first to Dr. Miller. Dr. Miller was presented with the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award at the 2010 Recognition Luncheon during the Annual Meeting in Miami, Florida.