Robyn Tamblyn Selected as 2014 Hubbard Award Recipient

Posted April 10, 2014

The National Board of Medical Examiners is pleased to announce that Robyn Tamblyn, BScN, MSc, PhD was selected as the recipient of the 2014 John P. Hubbard Award. The award is given to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the pursuit of excellence in the field of evaluation in medicine. John J. Norcini, PhD, Chair of the 2014 Hubbard Award Committee, announced Dr. Tamblyn’s selection at the Annual Meeting of the NBME Membership on April 3, 2014.

In presenting the award, Dr. Norcini stated: "In recognition of her outstanding contributions to evaluation in medicine, I am pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2014 Hubbard Award is Robyn Tamblyn. Dr. Tamblyn’s contributions include seminal work in this field related to NBME’s mission to protect the health of the public, such as the relationship of test scores and practice performance, validation of the outcomes of certification and licensure examinations, and pioneering work in the methodology to show the link between evaluation programs and actual outcomes of care. As noted by colleagues, Dr. Tamblyn completely fulfills, in a stellar fashion, all four categories of achievement for the award. She was one of the pioneers in the development of performance assessment, working with the giants in the field, such as Howard Barrows, the very first Hubbard Award recipient.

In appreciation of her personal vision and philosophy of social accountability of health professionals, today we are delighted to honor Dr. Tamblyn and to add her name, alongside Dr. Barrows and other esteemed individuals, to the 30-year list of Hubbard Award recipients. "In the words of Dr. Dale Dauphinee, also a past recipient of this award, Dr. Tamblyn's incredible personal qualities have led to her being widely sought as an advisor and as a visionary among leaders in health policy development internationally. Quoting Dr. Dauphinee, ‘I would argue that no one better embodies the values and actions expected of a John P. Hubbard Award winner than Robyn Tamblyn, my former student, then my colleague and now my mentor.’ The remarkable volume of her contributions and breadth of their impact through publications, presentations, expert and advisory panels, invited leadership positions, international invitations, and mentorship cannot be overstated.

"Dr. Tamblyn’s extraordinary academic career has resulted in a plethora of thematically related, sequentially developed studies to assess the overall issue of whether the public is being protected in the healthcare system. She has been a pioneer in use of standardized patients and practice-based assessment and feedback. As one example, Dr. Tamblyn’s use of large data sets and online feedback systems to document, guide, and promote quality in prescribing practices is both innovative and unique. She has set a standard that few, if any, have been able to emulate.

"A strong case can be made that the current widespread acceptance and utilization of performance-based assessment in medical education, both in the US and beyond, is due in large part to the seminal work that she did, starting with the development of OSCEs, including training regimes for standardized patients, and moving toward the validation of the outcomes of certification and licensure examinations.

"Dr. Tamblyn’s work has had nationwide and global impact. Consistent with her goal to help ‘protect the public,’ many of her studies were enabled by effective collaboration between academic and regulatory bodies, no small feat. No one else in North America of whom I am aware has had such a major impact on assessment of performance in the workplace, coupled with feedback mechanisms that have the potential to change behavior and influence credentialing and licensing practices.

"Quoting colleagues: The magnitude and impact of her work, and her ability to make connections, enabled her to become a sought-after, successful mentor for generations of learners which, in turn, increased the breadth and volume of work accomplished under her visionary, meticulous leadership. Her accomplishments literally define the award criteria. Dr. Tamblyn is an outstanding scholar and a world-class medical educator who has made and continues to make a tremendous contribution to the field of evaluation.

"Robyn is a truly extraordinary recipient for the 2014 John P. Hubbard Award. I believe the prior recipients would feel honored to stand in the company of Dr. Tamblyn in the assessment world."

Dr. Tamblyn is Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at McGill University, Scientific Director for the Institute for Health Services and Policy Research at the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, and Medical Scientist at McGill University Health Centre.

The NBME established the Hubbard Award in 1983 in special tribute to the late John P. Hubbard, MD. Honoring Dr. Hubbard as a principal, guiding force of the NBME, this award acknowledges his creative and inspired leadership of the organization during his 25-year tenure as its chief executive. Dr. Tamblyn deservedly joins the ranks of the distinguished individuals whom the NBME has honored over the years with this prestigious award. Her selection as the recipient followed a call for nominations published widely in the spring of 2013. The 2014 Hubbard Award Committee, chaired by John J. Norcini, PhD, included as members Freda M. Bush, MD, Kevin W. Eva, PhD, Kenneth M. Ludmerer, MD, MA, Miguel A. Paniagua, MD, and Mark R. Raymond, PhD.

Back to News Archive