Sleep Academic Award

From 1996 to 2003 the NCSDR and the NHLBI cosponsored the Sleep Academic Award program. Its primary objective was to develop and evaluate model curricula in somnology and sleep medicine for adaptation into academic institutions. In tandem with curricular development, the Sleep Academic Award program also sought to promote interdisciplinary learning environments and faculty development in somnology and sleep medicine. The model curriculum for medical schools encompassed these four basic core competencies:

  • Explain the nature and causation of sleep.

  • Discuss the impact of sleep and circadian disorders.

  • Perform a sleep history.

  • Initiate measures to improve sleep and to reduce sleepiness.

Other Sleep Academic Award professional education initiatives included the addition of sleep questions to board examinations in psychiatry, pediatrics, otolaryngology, and pulmonary medicine; the creation of a sleep clinical case vignette bank for use in objective structured clinical examinations and problem-based learning seminars; the development of continuing medical education lectures and courses; and the implementation of faculty development workshops.

The Sleep Academic Award program also undertook initiatives in graduate medical training related to the effects of sleep loss and fatigue. These initiatives included collaboration with the American Medical Association and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) on work hours for residents. The MedSleep dissemination initiative distributes educational resources and products for free, including web-based materials, slide sets, videotaped case histories, and curriculum outlines (AASM, 2005). In addition, the AASM Medical Education Committee has established a network of sleep-related education advocates in over 100 of the nation’s medical schools to continue the development and implementation of educational materials and to provide evaluation.

Effectiveness of the Sleep Academic Award Program

Although the overall impact and durability of Sleep Academic Award program initiatives have not been measured, they have provided time and money for academic career development in somnology (research and scholarship), training in educational methodology, opportunity for mentorship, and access to leadership positions in professional organizations. Similarly, the durability of institutional impact, while difficult to predict precisely, has

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