Celebrating Excellence: Duke Anesthesiology Faculty Earn Distinguished SoM Awards

The Duke University School of Medicine (SoM) has selected two esteemed Duke Anesthesiology faculty members as recipients of a 2024 distinguished faculty award. Annemarie Thompson, MD, FAHA, MBA, earned the Leonard Palumbo Jr., MD, Faculty Achievement Award and Madhav Swaminathan, MD, MMCi, FASE, earned the Master Clinician/Teacher Award.

Thompson’s award honors her dedication to compassionate patient care and excellence in the teaching and mentoring of young physicians. This award is named for Dr. Leonard Palumbo Jr., who completed his undergraduate and medical degrees, as well as his clinical training, here at Duke. Palumbo was a compassionate and empathetic clinician and a dedicated and talented educator. His commitment to both patients and students inspired the establishment of this award in 1999 by his brother, also a Duke alumnus, Mr. Art Palumbo.

Drs. Thompson and Swaminathan with Duke Anesthesiology chairman, Dr. Joseph Mathew, at the Spring Faculty Celebration.
Drs. Thompson and Swaminathan with Duke Anesthesiology chairman, Dr. Joseph Mathew, at the Spring Faculty Celebration.

“I am deeply honored to receive the Palumbo award, and it is especially meaningful to be nominated by the Duke community of physicians whom I very much admire and respect,” says Thompson, professor of anesthesiology, medicine and population health sciences. “It is a choice and a privilege to work alongside them with the shared goals of patient care, education and discovery.” Thompson joined Duke Anesthesiology faculty in 2014 and serves as the department’s vice chair for education and director of the Duke Anesthesiology Residency Program.

Swaminathan’s award recognizes his superlative accomplishment in teaching and/or clinical care and his extraordinary commitment “above and beyond” normal expectations. "I am deeply honored to receive this award. While the award recognizes one individual, it truly belongs to the department that fosters a learning environment that strives for excellence every day,” says Swaminathan, professor of anesthesiology. He joined Duke Anesthesiology faculty in 2002 and serves as the department’s vice chair for faculty affairs.

Included in the award nominations for Thompson and Swaminathan are the following excerpts:

“[Dr. Thompson] leads by example and mentors not by just showing or telling, but by empowering her mentees with resources, opportunities, support, and honest feedback. She doesn’t tell you what you want to hear but what you need to hear in order to get you out of your comfort zone and achieve growth.” | “She provides exceptional clinical care for the most complex and critically ill patients and does so while maintaining compassion in the most challenging situations.”

“What sets Dr. Swaminathan apart is his commitment to the holistic development of learners. He goes beyond the standard curriculum, ensuring that his trainees not only excel in technical skills but also develop the critical thinking and emotional intelligence necessary for patient-centered care.” | “He possesses a rare blend of clinical expertise and a genuine passion for teaching, making him a role model for trainees and colleagues alike.”

Thompson and Swaminathan are among a select group of 24 faculty who received a SoM faculty award this year. Duke University School of Medicine’s Dean Mary Klotman presented the awards to the recipients at the annual Spring Faculty Celebration on May 13 at the Doris Duke Center.

2024 SoM Faculty Award Recipients