Dean of Dell Medical School elected to National Academy of Medicine

Raul Rodriguez

After serving as the first dean for Dell Medical School, Clay Johnston has received one of the most prestigious honors in the medical field.

Johnston was elected into the National Academy of Medicine Oct. 21, according to a press release. The National Academy of Medicine is a nonprofit organization that brings together academics who wish to improve the health of people around the world, said Karen DeSalvo, professor of internal medicine. The organization elects no more than 90 regular and 10 international professionals each year, according to the website.

“The National Academy addresses a lot of really important questions in the field, (and) now, I have a real seat at the table to help think through the areas they work on but also to contribute to their reports,” Johnston said. “I was honored and humbled to be a part of the organization. It was a really nice recognition of a lot of hard work.”

Johnston graduated from Amherst College and Harvard Medical School and received a Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of California at Berkeley, according to the Dell Medical School website. He said he was elected because of his research on stroke prevention methods and his work as dean.

DeSalvo, who was elected as a member of the academy last year, said the organization chooses members who have been nominated by their peers.

“The process requires a review of (nominee’s) academic credentials and contributions to the field,” DeSalvo said. “Members vote on whether the individual meets the scientific and ethical and other standards that the academy holds. It’s a wonderful acknowledgment of not only your work, but that your work is recognized by your peers and colleagues.”

Johnston said he will attend the induction ceremony next year. As a member, he said he will have responsibilities that include being on specific panels, attending the academy’s annual meeting and continuing to be an upstanding person in the field. 

Nursing junior Brett Bean said Johnston’s election to the academy is an indicator of the expertise the University has in its medical program.

“The fact that UT medicine has someone like (Johnston) … it shows a lot about where we are heading considering the med school got started in 2016,” Bean said. “It’s a good showing for where UT medicine is at.”