The Pisacano Leadership Program

Leadership Symposium
Other Leadership Activities


The Pisacano Scholars Leadership Program offers many career development opportunities, as well as scholarship funding, to the future leaders of family medicine. The Pisacano Scholars participate in semi-annual Leadership Skills Development Symposia (see summary) and are offered a multitude of educational programs and mentoring relationships with current leaders in the field of family medicine. These programs are designed to enhance the overall leadership skills of the Pisacano Scholars; to provide them with the historical context and scope of family medicine; and to allow the Scholars to network and form professional relationships within their field. Examples of these programs are:

  • Negotiation Skills
  • Problem-Based Learning
  • Journal Writing and the Peer-Review Process
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Professional Presentation and Media Skills
  • Health Policy and Primary Care Research
  • Teaching Skills for Family Medicine
  • Advocacy and Lobbying Skills for Family Medicine
  • Primary Care Research and Study Design
  • The Future of Family Medicine

This premier leadership program is extremely competitive. The total number of awards granted each year will not exceed five. Third-year medical students are eligible to apply. Only students who demonstrate a strong commitment to the specialty of family medicine will be considered. In addition, each applicant must show demonstrable leadership skills, superior academic achievement, strong communication skills, identifiable character and integrity, and a noteworthy level of community service. The level of financial need is not considered in the selection process.

The scholarship funding is designed to reimburse a portion of medical school debt incurred by the student by the conclusion of the Scholar's residency in family medicine. A portion of the funds will be distributed to the student during their fourth-year of medical school, and the remaining funds will be distributed over the required three-year residency. The maximum scholarship award is $28,000. Recipients are awarded up to $7,000 per year for up to four years.

The Pisacano Scholars are evaluated each year by the Foundation's Board of Directors to assure eligibility for continuation in the leadership program. There is no service commitment for the Scholars upon completion of their family medicine residency.

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Summary of Annual Leadership Skills Development Symposia


October 1993
Inaugural Lecture of the Pisacano Scholars Leadership Program

Washington, DC

Dr. Donna Shalala, Secretary of Health and Human Services, DHHS


April 1994
25th Anniversary of the American Board of Family Practice

Palm Beach, Florida

Paul C. Brucker, MD, President, Thomas Jefferson University and Chairman, Board of Directors, Pisacano Leadership Foundation "Celebrating 25 Years"

Edmund D. Pellegrino, MD, John Carroll Professor of Medicine and Medical Ethics, Georgetown University Medical Center

The First Annual Nicholas J. Pisacano, MD Memorial Lecture—"Words Can Hurt You: Some Reflections on the Metaphors of Managed Care"

David Satcher, MD, Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
"Public Health and Health Care Reform: Implications for Family Practice"


October 1994
Leadership in Medicine

Atlanta, Georgia

Louis W. Sullivan, MD, President, Morehouse School of Medicine


September 1995
Leadership Skills Development Symposium

Anaheim, California

Michael Hagen, MD, University of Kentucky

Debbie Allen, MD, University of Indiana
"Surviving Medicine in the Year 2000"

Joseph Scherger, MD, Sharp Health Care, San Diego, CA
"Leadership in Family Practice"

Paul C. Brucker, MD, President, Thomas Jefferson University, and Chairman, Board of Directors, Pisacano Leadership Foundation
The Second Annual Nicholas J. Pisacano, MD Memorial Lecture—The History of the American Board of Family Practice


October 1996
Negotiation and Persuasion Skills

New Orleans, Louisiana

Stuart Diamond, JD, MBA, President, Global Strategy Group and Adjunct Assistant Professor, Wharton Business School
"Negotiation That Works: A Practical, Systematic Framework"


September 1997
Problem-Based Learning—Case Writing and Facilitator Training

Chicago, Illinois

Trish Palmer, MD, 1994 Pisacano Scholar and Third-Year Family Practice Resident, Chicago, IL

Howard Zeitz, MD, Rush Medical College, Chicago, IL


September 1998
Communication Skills—Forms of Medical and Journal Writing

San Francisco, California

G. Gayle Stephens, MD, Associate Editor, The Journal of the American Board of Family Practice

Ronald Goldschmidt, MD, University of California—San Francisco


January 2000
Evidence-Based Medicine and Information Mastery

Dallas, Texas

David C. Slawson, MD, Associate Professor and Director of Research, Department of Family Medicine and Department of Health Evaluation Sciences, University of Virginia Health Sciences Center

Allen F. Shaughnessy, PharMD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, Medical College of Pennsylvania-Hahnemann School of Medicine and Director of Research and Director of Pharmacology Education, Harrisburg Family Practice Residency Program

Kenneth Grimm., MD, 1993 Pisacano Scholar and Member, Board of Directors, Pisacano Leadership Foundation


September 2000
Professional Presentation and Media Skills

Dallas, Texas
(CME credits approved by the AAFP)

Susan Kearns Benner, Independent Educational Consultant, Personalized Professional Workshops
"Professional Scientific Presentation Skills"

Christine K. Jahnke, President, Positive Communications
"Media and Speaker Training for Family Physician Leaders"


October 2001
Teaching Skills for Family Medicine

Atlanta, Georgia

Marian R. Stuart, Ph.D., Clinical Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UMDNJ—Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Neal Whitman, Ed.D., Professor of Family and Preventive Medicine, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, and Director of Faculty Development, Office of the Dean, University of Utah School of Medicine

Gregory N. Smith, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; Director of OB Education and Director of Clinical Training and Research, UPMC—St. Margaret Family Practice Residency and Fellowship Program

Trish Palmer, MD, 1994 Pisacano Scholar; Clinical Instructor, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine

Jamie L. Reedy, MD, MPH, 1993 Pisacano Scholar; Program Director, Pisacano Leadership Foundation; Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UMDNJ—Robert Wood Johnson Medical School


April 2002
Advocacy and Lobbying Skills for Family Physicians

April 5-7, 2002—Washington, DC
(CME credits approved by the AAFP)

Moderator and Course Director: Joe Gagen, JD, Legislative Grassroots Advocacy Trainer


April 2003
Primary Care Research and Study Design

April 3-6, 2003—Park City, Utah
(CME credits approved by the AAFP)

John M. Hickner, MD, M.S., Professor of Family Practice, Department of Family Practice, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Daniel R. Longo, Sc.D., Professor of Family and Community Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine

James C. Martin, MD, President, American Academy of Family Physicians; Residency Director, Santa Rosa Healthcare

James W. Mold, MD, Director of Research Division, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

Charles Sneiderman, MD, Ph.D., D.A.B.F.P., National Library of Science

Joseph B. Stanford, MD, M.S.P.H., Associate Professor, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Utah Health Research Center

Jeffrey L. Susman, MD, Director, Department of Family Medicine, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine

Barbara Troupin, MD, MBA, Radiant Research San Diego

Barbara Yawn, MD, Department of Research, Olmstead Medical Center


April 2004
The Future of Family Medicine

April 1-4, 2004—Scottsdale, Arizona
(CME credits approved by the AAFP)

Robert L. Bratton, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida

Terry Kane, MD, Clinical Professor, Department of Community and Family Medicine, Duke University Medicine Center

Michael K. Magill, MD, Chairman, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine

James C. Martin, MD, Chair, Board of Directors, American Academy of Family Physicians; Residency Director, Santa Rosa Health Care

Richard Rathe, MD, Associate Dean for Information Technology, Associate Professor of Medicine, Student Health Satellite Clinic, University of Florida College of Medicine

Stephen J. Spann, MD, Professor and Chairman, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine

Joseph W. Tollison, MD, Deputy Executive Director, American Board of Family Practice


April 2005
The Business of Medicine

April 7-10, 2005—New York, New York
(CME credits approved by the AAFP)

Bruce Bagley, MD, Medical Director of Quality Improvement, American Academy of Family Physicians

Peter Catinella, MD, Vice Chair of Primary Care Programs; Associate Professor, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Utah

Lydia Lawson, MD, Associate Medical Director, Presbyterian Hospice, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Terry Kane, MD, Clinical Professor, Department of Community and Family Medicine, Duke University Medicine Center

Stephen J. Spann, MD, Professor and Chairman, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine


April 2006
Mastery of Presentation Skills and Cardiovascular Issues

April 6-9, 2006—Bend, Oregon
(CME credits approved by the AAFP)

Mary Sandro, Pro Edge Skills

Eric Crall, MD, 1993 Pisacano Scholar


April 2007
Negotation Skills in Medicine

April 12-14, 2007—Orlando, Florida
(CME credits approved by the AAFP)

Anthony Pacifico, Wilson Learning


April 2008
Practice Transformation

April 3-5, 2008—New Orleans, Louisiana
(CME credits approved by the AAFP)

Erika Bliss, MD, 1999 Pisacano Scholar

James Little, MD, 1997 Pisacano Scholar

Trish Palmer, MD, 1994 Pisacano Scholar

Joseph Scherger, MD, Clinical Professor, Family & Preventive Medicine, University of California, San Diego


April 2009
Health Care Delivery

April 3-5, 2009—Arlington, Virginia
(CME credits approved by the AAFP)

James C. Puffer, MD, President and CEO, American Board of Family Medicine

Steve Sauerberg, MD

Stephanie Vance, Advocacy Training


June 2010
Personalized Medicine—The Journey

June 4-6, 2010—Jackson Hole, Wyoming
(CME credits approved by the AAFP)

Cheng-Chieh Chuang, MD, 1993 Pisacano Scholar

Jennifer DeVoe, MD, DPhil, 1998 Pisacano Scholar

Marguerite Duane, MD, 1998 Pisacano Scholar

Sarah Lesko, MD, 1996 Pisacano Scholar

Jamie Reedy, MD, 1993 Pisacano Scholar

Saria Saccocio, MD, 2000 Pisacano Scholar

Kurt Stange, MD, PhD, Professor of Oncology Research; Professor of Family Medicine, Epidemiology & Biostatics, Oncology and Sociology, Case Western Reserve University


April 2011
Grant Writing; Quality in Medicine

April 1-3, 2011—Chicago, Illinois
(CME credits approved by the AAFP)

Karl Metzger, 2009 Pisacano Scholar

Meghan Eagan, Associate Director of Development, Rush University Medical Center

Steven K. Rothschild, MD, Associate Professor and Director, Department of Preventive Medicine; Associate Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, Rush University Medical Center


April 2012
Transformation of Family Medicine

April 13-15, 2012—Chicago, Illinois
(CME credits approved by the AAFP)

Eric Crall, MD 1993 Pisacano Scholar

Sarah Lesko, MD, MPH 1996 Pisacano Scholar

Warren Newton, MD, MPH Vice Dean of Education at the UNC School of Medicine

Saria Saccocio, MD 2000 Pisacano Scholar

Mary Sandro, MBA Pro Edge Skills

Christine Sinsky, MD Medical Associates Clinic and Health Plans


April 2013
Future of Family Medicine

April 12-14, 2013—Chicago, Illinois

Debbie Cohen, PhD Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University

Jennifer DeVoe, MD 1998 Pisacano Scholar

Marguerite Duane, MD 1998 Pisacano Scholar

Sarah Lesko, MD, MPH 1996 Pisacano Scholar

James C. Martin, MD Chief Medical Officer and Vice President for Medical Affairs, CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health Systems

Robert Phillips, MD, MSPH Vice President for Research and Policy, American Board of Family Medicine

James C. Puffer, MD President and Chief Executive Officer, American Board of Family Medicine


April 2014
Leading Through Change

April 11-13—Washington, DC

Erika Bliss, MD 1999 Pisacano Scholar

Eric Crall, MD 1993 Pisacano Scholar

Mimi Doohan, MD, PhD 2001 Pisacano Scholar

English Gonzalez, MD, MPH 1998 Pisacano Scholar

Lars Peterson, MD, PhD 2008 Pisacano Scholar

Rich Roberts, MD, JD Professor of Family Medicine, University of Wisconsin

Saria Saccocio, MD, MHA 2000 Pisacano Scholar

Nicole A. Steckler, PhD Associate Professor, Oregon Health & Science University, Division of Management


April 2015
Advocacy and Media Training

April 10-12—Scottsdale, Arizona

Stephanie D. Vance Founder, Advocacy Associates

Christine Jahnke Founder, Positive Communications

Eric Crall, MD 1993 Pisacano Scholar


Other Leadership Activities


Pisacano Scholars are offered the opportunity to participate in a multitude of leadership development activities in addition to the Annual Leadership Skills Development Symposia. Several are listed below.

(1) Peer Reviewer-in-training: The Scholars are paired with an experienced family physician who serves as a peer reviewer for the Journal of the American Board of Family Practice. Scholars review potential articles using standard criteria and guidelines, and then discuss their comments with an experienced reviewer. This serves as an educational experience for the Scholar, as well as an opportunity to discuss writing techniques, research and careers in academic family medicine.

(2) Item Writers: The Scholars are invited to participate in workshops hosted by the American Board of Family Medicine which train family physicians how to write test questions (items) for the family medicine board certification examination.

(3) Presentations at national meetings: The Scholars are encouraged to present their work at national family medicine meetings and conferences. They are coached by more experienced Scholars, who provide assistance with abstract preparation and guidance on professional presentation techniques and use of audiovisuals.

(4) AAFP and state academy leadership positions: The Scholars are sought after for their leadership skills and opinions. Many of the Scholars are invited or elected to serve in leadership positions on the Boards, committees and commissions of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the state chapters. In these positions, they are able to interact with many influential family medicine role models and learn the values of organized medicine and specialty societies.

(5) Internship at The Robert Graham Center: Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care: The Scholars are offered the opportunity to spend 4—8 weeks at the center in Washington, DC, where they work on various health policy issues that affect the specialty of family medicine. They observe the research and political processes in action, and learn from experienced primary care researchers and policy-makers.

"Family practice is the keystone specialty in American medicine. We will do everything in our power to preserve, enhance, and improve it."

Nicholas Pisacano, MD