Distinguished Educator Award

Established in 1987, this recognition prize will honor an individual for achievements as an outstanding educator over a lifelong career. To read about all 2020  AGA recognition prize winners, please read the press release.

Nominations are closed for the year. We will announce the 2021 recipients in January.


Created in 1988, the Distinguised Educator Award recognizes one individual for his or her achievements as an outstanding educator


Nominees must be current AGA members and demonstrate exemplary service to AGA, such as committee service and/or AGA fellowship. Nominees must have a long record of major contributions to education in the field of gastroenterology and/or hepatology on both local and national levels. Contributions may include long-term dedication to training fellows, publishing educational documents and/or teaching seminars and classes.

Selection process

The recipient is selected by an independent panel of AGA members according to the criteria below.

Essential criteria (all candidates must have this to be considered)

  1. A distinguished record of educating one or more of the following groups:
    • Medical students and residents.
    • Fellows and other trainees.
    • Other specialists.

Additional criteria 

  1. The formulation of and/or writings on broad educational policy in the field of gastroenterology and hepatology.
  2. The establishment of innovative educational programs that have served as models elsewhere.
  3. Contributions to the literature through:
    • Extensively quoted review articles and editorials.
    • Textbooks or textbook chapters relevant to the field of gastroenterology and hepatology.
    • Other forms of enduring material (slides, etc.).


The recipient will be recognized at the AGA Awards Ceremony during Digestive Disease Week®.

Nomination deadline and selection process

All nominations must be submitted online by a primary nominator who is an AGA member. The names of additional AGA members who support the nomination should be listed on the nomination form.

The following supporting materials must be uploaded with the nomination form in PDF format. Please title the files using the nominee’s last name, first initial and the type of file (i.e., DoeJ_Letter.pdf, DoeJ_CV.pdf).

  • A nomination letter, not to exceed two pages, signed by the primary nominator and additional AGA members who support the nomination. If the letter has multiple signatures, additional signature pages beyond the two-page limit are allowed.
  • Nominee’s curriculum vitae.

Please forward all questions about this and other AGA recognition awards to 301-941-2619 or via email at awards@gastro.org.

Recipients (1987–2020)

2020Robert Fontana, MD
2019Deborah D. Procor, MD, AGAF
2018James D. Lewis, MD, MSCE, AGAF
2017Hari Conjeevaram, MD, MS
2016David A. Johnson, MD; Suzanne Rose, MD, MSEd, AGAF
2015Patrick S. Kamath, MD; C. Melbern Wilcox, MD, MSPH
2014Joseph C. Kolars, MD, AGAF; Nicholas J. Talley, MD, PhD, AGAF
2013Sheila E. Crowe, MD, AGAF; Douglas K. Rex, MD, AGAF
2012John Del Valle, MD, AGAF
2011Helen M. Shields, MD, AGAF
2010Lawrence S. Friedman, MD, AGAF
2009William F. Balistreri, MD
2008Francis M. Giardiello, MD
2007Satish S. C. Rao, MD, PhD, FRCP
2006Ray E. Clouse, MD
2005John P. Cello, MD
2004Douglas A. Drossman, MD
2003Sanjiv Chopra, MD
2002David A. Peura, MD
2001Donald O. Castell, MD
2000Peter A. Banks, MD
1999Joseph B. Kirsner, MD, PhD
1998Willis C. Maddrey, MD
1997Edward W. Moore, MD
1996David B. Sachar, MD
1995Norton J. Greenberger, MD
1994Marvin H. Sleisenger, MD
1991John S. Fordtran, MD
1990Hyman J. Zimmerman, MD
1989Howard Spiro, MD
1987Theodore M. Bayless, MD