PHILADELPHIA — Arthur H. Rubenstein, MBBCh, Executive Vice President of the University of Pennsylvania for the Health System, and Dean, School of Medicine, will receive the Abraham Flexner Award for Distinguished Service to Medical Education from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). The award will be presented on Saturday, Nov. 7, during the association’s annual meeting in Boston.
The Flexner Award was established by the AAMC in 1958 to recognize extraordinary individual contributions to medical schools and to the medical education community as a whole. In 1910, Abraham Flexner published the Flexner Report, which examined the state of American medical education and led to far-reaching reforms in the way doctors were trained.
According to the AAMC, “Dr. Rubenstein's career epitomizes what Abraham Flexner envisioned for the future of U.S. medical education, with a greater emphasis on research, an integrated, institutional focus on learning, and a joy for the university environment and academic medicine as a profession.”
In describing Dr. Rubenstein, the AAMC went on to say, “Nearly 50 years after publication of the Flexner Report, a young physician educated in South Africa began his career in U.S. academic medicine. Now with the Flexner centennial fast approaching, that young physician has become his generation's most influential purveyor of the Flexnerian method … [and] the complete academic medicine physician leader."
“I am deeply honored by this award from my peers,” said Dean Rubenstein. “To be awarded for doing something I truly love is a great joy. To train new physicians and medical researchers is a vital undertaking, for they contribute immensely to making all of our lives better. I’m privileged to play a part in it.”
An internationally renowned endocrinologist, Dr. Rubenstein was part of a team that, in 1979, demonstrated how a genetic mutation led to an abnormal form of insulin and, in turn, diabetes. But it was “his pursuit of these findings at the clinical level and new therapeutic interventions that elevate his efforts to a Flexnerian level,” said Michael S. Brown, MD, former Penn board member and currently director of the Jonsson Center for Molecular Genetics at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.
Similarly, Dr. Rubenstein has worked to create a translational research infrastructure at Penn strengthened by many interdisciplinary research institutes, including the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics. The latter, said Dr. Brown, has "redefined the model of translational research as a distinct academic discipline in the American medical center."
Dean Rubenstein previously served as chair of the department of medicine at the University of Chicago and as dean of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.
Ralph Muller, CEO of the University of Pennsylvania Health System, said, “It has been a tremendous honor to work with our great dean over the years. His devotion to teaching and clinical excellence is testimony to his deep-rooted commitment to improving health care for all Americans. His record as a developer of talent is preeminent in modern medical history. And he has an extraordinary capacity to inspire everyone around him to do their very best.”
Dean Rubenstein received his MBBCh degree from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $7.8 billion enterprise.
The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top medical schools in the United States for more than 20 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $425 million awarded in the 2018 fiscal year.
The University of Pennsylvania Health System’s patient care facilities include: the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center—which are recognized as one of the nation’s top “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S. News & World Report—Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Medicine Princeton Health; and Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation’s first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional facilities and enterprises include Good Shepherd Penn Partners, Penn Home Care and Hospice Services, Lancaster Behavioral Health Hospital, and Princeton House Behavioral Health, among others.
Penn Medicine is powered by a talented and dedicated workforce of more than 40,000 people. The organization also has alliances with top community health systems across both Southeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey, creating more options for patients no matter where they live.
Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2018, Penn Medicine provided more than $525 million to benefit our community.