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About the Program
Current PSP ScholarPast Scholars

We are currently not accepting applications for the Putnam Scholars Program.

The American Academy on Communication in Healthcare (AACH) has created the Putnam Scholars Program to realize the vision of its co-founder, Dr. Samuel Morse Putnam, whose life and work were shortened by his untimely death in October 2005.

Sam’s lifetime commitment was to advocate for and conduct education and research in physician-patient communication. His personal touch and magnetism engaged countless physicians and educators in the work he loved and produced strong bonds among like-minded individuals in many countries.

Respected and loved by both patients and colleagues, he was truly an original, always eager to hear the ideas of teachers as well as students, and a team player whose encouragement was selfless.

The Putnam Scholars Program celebrates Dr. Putnam’s life and honors his influential work. The program extends Sam’s work by supporting educators and researchers who are focused on improving relationships and communication in healthcare.

Educators and researchers at schools or hospitals in the United States and abroad may apply. Restricted gifts will sustain both Sam’s longstanding enthusiasm for networking among schools, countries and disciplines, and his ardor about expanding the cadre of physicians, educators and researchers who are skilled in healthcare communication and relationship-centered care.

Goal of the Putnam Scholars Program

To support the professional growth of Putnam Scholars in a manner that honors Dr. Samuel Morse Putnam’s enduring commitment to enhancing healthcare relationship networks and collaborative research efforts across academic disciplines. This is a one year, nonrenewable scholarship.

Objectives of the Putnam Scholars Program

To support the Scholar in his or her implementation of educational and research projects that improve healthcare relationships and communication; To foster the Scholar’s matrix of healthcare relationships with the national and international community of educators and researchers working in this domain; To deepen and sustain the Scholar’s commitment to a relationship-centered approach to healthcare communication, education and research.

Anticipated Scholar Outcomes

Scholar will develop and implement creative projects that augment his or her institution’s academic resources. Projects might include the design of special programs, enhanced curricula, new research projects or faculty development efforts.

Scholar will increase connections with people who are committed to improving healthcare communication and relationships through activities such as participation in annual communication conferences and presentations of papers and workshops.

Scholar will develop a scholarly product (papers, curricula, CD/DVD, etc.) relevant to healthcare relationships and communication.

Scholar will assume additional responsibility for teaching or researching healthcare communication at their home institution or in other forums.


Scholar will develop a mentoring relationship with a senior AACH faculty member. This will include a "visiting professor” session at the Scholar’s institution.

Scholar will arrange at least monthly telephone contacts (or video calls) of an hour or so with the mentor to refine and implement projects, establish connections with other educators and researchers and enhance the Scholar’s professional development.

Scholar will attend the AACH Research and Teaching Forum (or ICCH) in the year of the restricted gift.

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