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Vice Chair of Medical Education at Children's National Named President-Elect of the Academic Pediatric Association

Mary Ottolini

Washington, DC – Mary C. Ottolini, MD, MPH,  Vice Chair of Medical Education for the Children’s National Health System, has been named President-elect of the  Academic Pediatric Association, which is engaged in teaching, patient care and research in general pediatrics.

“I am honored to be named President-elect of the APA, which has helped to foster the evolution of pediatric hospital medicine to become a new pediatric specialty,” Dr. Ottolini said.

Over the years, Dr. Ottolini has been a key driver in moving pediatric hospital medicine to become an American Board of Pediatrics subspecialty, roughly a decade after its inception in 2003.  Hospitalists are needed to educate trainees, residents, fellows, nurse practitioners, and physician assistant students in inpatient pediatric practice.

Dr. Ottolini heads the Children’s National Office of Medical Education, which is responsible for providing an organized education program for residents and fellows. The office is under the guidance and supervision of the Graduate Medical Education Committee, which she chairs.

The office is also home to the Pediatric Medical Student Education Program for the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. The goal is to facilitate the ethical, professional, and personal development of students, residents, and fellows, while ensuring safe and appropriate care for patients, she said.

“Mary Ottolini will bring talent and wisdom to the APA in her role as President.  I look forward to working with her,” said Mark Schuster, MD, PhD, current APA President and Chief of General Pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Ottolini assumes the role of President-elect in April 2015 before serving as president from May 2016 to 2017. She will remain on the APA Board as the immediate Past President for 2017 and 2018. 

Established in 1960, the APA has 2,000 members, including physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, epidemiologists, educators, and other healthcare professionals.  The APA works toward education of future general pediatricians and members who are actively engaged in teaching, patient care, and research in general pediatrics. 

“The APA promotes interdisciplinary cooperation, diversity, professional development and partnership with children, families and communities,” Dr. Ottolini said.  As such, the APA is an “advocate for innovation in healthcare professional education and its role in delivering high quality care to pediatric patients,” she said.  

At Children’s National, Ottolini also has spearheaded innovations in improved learning technologies that are transforming the role of teacher and student in medical education. In collaboration with colleagues, she has created a propriety online learning platform at Children’s National, effectively teaching medical students to better communicate with families during Patient and Family Centered Rounds.

She hopes to initiate programs within the APA that would reflect innovative changes being implemented at Children’s National, such as developing assessment tools and training modules designed to improve patient care. “Through the APA, we have an opportunity to help shape the national agenda, to ensure that we are doing the best possible job of training, and continuously developing pediatric experts to care for our nation’s children now and for the future, despite challenges to funding and changes in healthcare delivery models.” Dr. Ottolini said.

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