Honorary Awards

The Dermatology Foundation pays annual tribute to dermatologists whose exemplary capabilities and dedication have helped to make the specialty what it is today. Every year we celebrate these individuals and their work.

There are five Honorary Awards, the Clark W. Finnerud Award, Practitioner of the Year Award, Discovery Award, Lifetime Career Educator Award, and Distinguished Service Medallion.

Clark W. Finnerud Award

Established in 1971, this annual award honors the deserving and all-too-often forgotten part-time teacher or clinician.

There are a significant number of dermatologists in the United States who are part-time teachers and part-time clinicians. They spend countless hours teaching medical students and residents, largely without compensation, as a labor of love. They are respected, and their efforts are most appreciated but seldom recognized at a national level by their dermatologic colleagues.

The Dermatology Foundation has established an award for these part-time clinicians in dermatology. The award has been named for the late Dr. Clark W. Finnerud who was such an important individual to the Dermatology Foundation during its formative period. Dr. Finnerud was an example of a dedicated teacher and clinician who served the Rush Medical School for 47 years. Thus, this award honors not only part-time teachers but also Dr. Finnerud for his achievements, foresight and generosity.


Practitioner of the Year Award

This award was established by the Dermatology Foundation in 1976 and is given each year to a member of the specialty who demonstrates exemplary service as a practitioner, teacher and/or researcher, and is active in other professional organizations, especialy dermatologic organizations.

Honorary Award bestowed by the Board of Directors

Lifetime Career Educator Award

The purpose of this award is to recognize a full-time academician who has dedicated his/her career to educating dermatology residents and fellows.

The candidate may be an M.D., D.O. or Ph.D. in a department or division of dermatology, who has a lifelong history of dedicated service as a mentor and role model for trainees in the department. The candidate should be known for his/her ability to enthusiastically impart knowledge, as well as inspire the student of dermatology to pursue a greater understanding of the specialty.


Distinguished Service Medallion Award


The Distinguished Service Medallion is the highest honor the Dermatology Foundation bestows upon a colleague in recognition of exemplary leadership and service to the specialty of dermatology.

This prestigious award is a fitting tribute to a fellow dermatologist whose guiding vision and commitment have had a profound impact on the future of dermatology.  The awardee is an inspiration to all and an exemplary role model for future generations.

Discovery Award

The Discovery Award recognizes significant research accomplishments which have impacted the specialty of Dermatology.

The discovery falls into one of the following three categories:

  • Significant research accomplishment that has greatly impacted our understanding of cutaneous biology
  • Identification of a previously unrecognized disease
  • Development of a revolutionary new therapy

In selecting the recipient, consideration is given to other career accomplishments, including the fostering of a research climate conducive to the development of other dermatologic investigators.