SMHS Faculty Spotlight
SMHS Faculty Spotlight
CFE (Center for Faculty Excellence)

GW School of Medicine & Health Sciences Center for Faculty Excellence 

February 2023 Faculty Spotlight
Excellence in teaching & learning, scholarly endeavors, and leadership are all around us at SMHS. The Center for Faculty Excellence would like to Spotlight our faculty’s contributions to SMHS, George Washington University, and beyond. Each month we will spotlight faculty from across the Academic Medical Enterprise. We want to thank our highlighted faculty members for sharing with us their advice and perspectives!
- SMHS Center for Faculty Excellence
Dr. Priti Bhansali, Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics
Join the CFE as we highlight Dr. Priti Bhansali, who discusses her journey to working as a Pediatric Hospitalist and insight into the groups she leads that provide support and resources around teaching, learning, and scholarship. Dr. Bhansali provides insight into the field of Pediatric Hospital Medicine and her role as the Director of the Children's Academy of Pediatric Educators (CAPE) and how this group supports the scholarship of Pediatric faculty. 


Dr. Priti Bhansali, MD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and an affiliate faculty member of the Child Health Advocacy Institute (CHAI), a pediatric hospitalist, the associate program director for the Pediatric Hospital Medicine Fellowship, and the director of the Children's Academy of Pediatric Educators (CAPE). Her areas of interest include faculty development and medical education, and in the clinical realm, health literacy and other social determinants of health. Dr. Bhansali is interested in implementing practices to address health literacy to promote safe transitions for patients at the time of hospital discharge and in partnering with other stakeholders at Children’s National to advance screening and referral for social determinants of health in the hospital setting. 

Dr. Bhansali completed her undergraduate training at the University of Pennsylvania and medical school at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. She earned her master's in education from George Washington University. Dr. Bhansali completed her pediatric residency and chief residency at the University of Connecticut and began her career in pediatric hospital medicine at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center from 2006-2009, where she was also the associate residency program director.

Interview Q/A

How long have you been at GW SMHS/Children's National? What drew you to your current position?
Priti: I’ve been at Children's National since the fall of 2009. I came to this part of the country when my husband was looking for a position after completing his maternal-fetal medicine fellowship. I was excited to work here because I wanted to be in an academic setting, and I was really impressed by the scope of work being done by the Pediatric Hospital Medicine Division at Children’s National.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in Pediatric Hospitalist Medicine?

Priti: Pediatric Hospital Medicine is a new field relative to many of the other specialties in Pediatrics. We actually recently received approval from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) for our own fellowship, under the leadership of Dr. Neha Shah, the program director. I have always been drawn to acute care, and in Pediatrics in particular, because it is such a privilege to see the resiliency of patients and their families during such a stressful time. I also love the multidisciplinary team approach to taking care of a hospitalized child. I am always learning something new from the patients and families, the trainees, and our multidisciplinary team members, and I value the opportunity to partner with the patient's outpatient primary care provider.  
What are your major responsibilities here at GW SMHS/Children's National?

Priti: As far as my clinical role, I work primarily as a ward attending providing care on a general pediatrics service. My other major responsibilities at CNH are serving as the Director of the Children's Academy of Pediatric Educators (CAPE) and within my division, I am the Assistant Chief of Scholarship and Faculty Development and also serve as the Associate Program Director for the Pediatric Hospital Medicine Fellowship. In my teaching roles, I have really loved working with students, residents, and fellows while on the inpatient service and mentoring them in their research projects.
Can you tell us more about the Children's Academy of Pediatric Educators (CAPE) and about your responsibilities as Director?

Priti: CAPE was formed in 2009-2010 and I assumed the role of Director in 2018. The group has about 40 members and all of these individuals are people that are committed to education scholarship in some capacity as an integral part of their career. In my role as Director, I provide advising to our members on their education research projects in partnership with Dr. Ellen Goldman, coordinate faculty development sessions on topics pertaining to education scholarship and run our Teaching Skills Academy to provide faculty development to other divisions at Children's National. In the Teaching Skills Academy, the members of CAPE provide faculty development sessions on a variety of topics related to teaching and learning as well as educational scholarship. The Teaching Skills Academy is modeled after Dr. Dee Dee Herrmann and the Center for Faculty Excellence’s (CFE) Teaching Cafes and is where I got the inspiration for this, as a fun way for our members to share their teaching skills with others in our institution.
You also have a prominent role as the Assistant Chief of Scholarship and Faculty Development for the Pediatric Hospital Medicine (PHM) division.  What are some of the things that you do in this role?

Priti: As the Assistant Chief of Scholarship and Faculty Development for the PHM division, my goal is to promote professional development for our faculty on topics relevant to our field, as well as to create an infrastructure to support scholarship in our division. I work alongside Dr. Lana Ismail to coordinate faculty development around a range of areas such as clinical topics, quality improvement, advocacy, the business of medicine, education, and topics around leadership. We really look to provide multiple professional development topics that are part of our field's core competencies.

Priti: In terms of scholarship, my role is to help create an infrastructure to support scholarship in our division. I run a monthly think tank where people can come to share project ideas, brainstorm, and collaborate with one another. I’ve recently begun to manage a pilot grant award program started by Dr. Susan Walley, my division chief, to support research projects in our division.  We’ve developed a project repository listing to encourage collaboration and a website with helpful resources for scholarly projects. In addition to this, I also host a weekly writing session that allows people the opportunity to prioritize themselves and their academic goals by being part of a group that emphasizes accountability. I am a coach for the CFE’s Scholarly Writing Program. This position has really taught me a lot as well, with a combination of the suggested Coursera course and readings they provide. What I take away most from both groups is how effective peer accountability can be when in a structured writing environment. It creates time for everyone to turn off any possible distractions and just for an hour, focus on something that they really want to get done.
What is your favorite part of teaching at GW?

Priti: What I love about all of my roles at GW is that I get to be a part of helping other people achieve their professional goals. Whether it's a trainee who wants to be more of an expert in the care of acute illness, or whether it's somebody who wants to do a qualitative research project for the first time, regardless of the role I am in, I get to help people achieve their own goals.
What excites you about the future of Hospital Medicine?

Priti: What is exciting to me about Hospital Medicine, in general, is that we have a hand in all of the major operations of the hospital enterprise. Whether that's through clinical care, research, education, advocacy, quality improvement, or clinical informatics, we play a major role in any of those endeavors, and I really only see those roles expanding in the future. So, I find that to be exciting because there is truly something for everyone and you can find what it is that you really enjoy doing within this field.
What are you looking forward to working on or doing here at GW SMHS/Children's National?

Priti: I would love to help support the existing partnership in faculty development opportunities and scholarly partnerships between Children’s and the larger GWSMHS community.  It would be great to learn more about what academic onboarding opportunities there are and how best to help new hires and junior faculty connect with potential collaborators and mentors across both institutions. There's large a wealth of talent everywhere and we can all benefit from those kinds of relationships.
How does this spotlight/recognition make you feel? What impact do you hope to have on your trainees, colleagues, and peers through these roles? 
Priti: I was both surprised and honored to be recognized in this way. There are so many faculty doing such amazing things that I think this spotlight is a great opportunity for everyone to be recognized from across SMHS and Children’s. I hope the impact I have on others has been that I have encouraged them to be curious and comfortable asking questions, whether in a clinical setting or in a scholarly capacity.
What is one thing that keeps you motivated during the day?

Priti: Honestly, my family is my motivation, and maybe that's a very simple answer, but they really are. It's my kids, my husband, and my parents who provide me with so much support along the way. In addition, I also have the support of my work family who keeps me curious and encourages my professional development. They keep me motivated and focused on what I enjoy doing.
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