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Susan D. Wolfsthal, MD

Celeste Lauve Woodward, MD Professor of Humanism and Ethical Medical Practice

Academic Title:

Clinical Professor

Primary Appointment:


Administrative Title:

Associate Chair of Education; Associate Program Director, Internal Medicine Residency Program

Additional Title:

Associate Chair for Education; Residency Program Director, Internal Medicine


UMH, N3E09

Phone (Primary):

(410) 328-2388

Education and Training


1972-1976                   B.A. Biology (Magna Cum Laude), University of Rochester, Rochester, New York

1976-1980                   M.D. Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland

Internship (medical)

1980-1981                   Department of Medicine, JohnsHopkinsHospital, Baltimore, Maryland


1981-1982                   Assistant Resident, Department of Medicine, JohnsHopkinsHospital, Baltimore, Maryland

1982-1983                   Resident, Department of Medicine, JohnsHopkinsHospital, Baltimore, Maryland


Dr. Wolfsthal’s main academic and administrative work is in the area of graduate medical education. She has led various education programs for over 30 years, and has served as the Associate Chair for Education and director of the residency program for the past 24 years.  She has been the PI or co-PI on four HRSA grants to develop innovative programs in medical education, such as competency based curricula and evaluation for students and residents, modules in cultural sensitivity, evidence based medicine and managed care, and faculty development.  Dr. Wolfsthal co-directs the medical student course in physical diagnosis (ICM-2) and has served on major education committees in the School of Medicine and Department of Medicine.  In addition to these academic pursuits, Dr. Wolfsthal is a major participant in the teaching program, including the resident’s daily conferences and supervision of residents and students on the inpatient services and continuity clinics.  In her role as Associate Chair for Education, she is responsible for the clinical training of over 130 residents, including all administrative, curricular, mentoring, research and evaluation processes.  She has oversight of 12 fellowship directors and their training programs, ensuring compliance with all RRC program requirements and adherence to high educational standards.  In addition, she serves as the mentor for faculty in the Department of Medicine and delivers faculty development workshops throughout the year. 

Research/Clinical Keywords

Graduate medical education, Medical student education, Faculty development

Highlighted Publications

  1. Carraccio C, Wolfsthal SD, Englander R, Ferentz K, Martin C. Shifting paradigms.  From Flexner to competencies.  Acad Med 2002;77:361-367.  Recognized by Academic Medicine as being cited over 50 times since 1990 (through the ISI Web of Science database) in their AM Classics collection of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), October 2010.
  2. Ross DD, Shpritz DW, Wolfsthal SD, Zimrin AB, Keay TJ, Fang H, Schuetz CA, Stapleton LM, Weissman DE.  Creative Solution: How to implement experiential, competency-based palliative care training for internal medicine residents.  J Cancer Educ.  2011;26:436–443.  PMID:21553329
  3. Wolfsthal SD.  Use of entrustable professional activities and the amount of supervision required in determining resident achievement of milestones. Curated Milestones Evaluation Exhibit.  Peer review selection by the Education Committee of the Alliance of Academic Internal Medicine (AAIM) as one of 16 superlative instruments of “best practices.” Accessed 3/29/2016.
  4. Frayha N, Bontempo L, Retener NF, Teshome G, Wolfsthal SD, Lewin LO.  Core Entrustable Professional Activities: A Survey of the Confidence of Fourth Year Medical Students and Residency Program Directors.  Med Sci Educ.2016;26:475-480. DOI 10.1007/s40670-016-0264-5.


Additional Publication Citations

  1. Bowen JL, Leff L, Smith LG, Wolfsthal S.  Beyond the mystique of prestige: measuring the quality of residency programs.  Am J Med 1999;106:493-8.
  2. Klessig JM, Wolfsthal SD, Levine MA, Stickley W, Bing-You RG, Lansdale TF, Battinelli DL.  A pilot survey study to define quality in residency education.  Acad Med 2000;75:71-73. 
  3. Wolfsthal SD, Beasley BW, Stickley W, Kopelman R, Gabryel T, Kahn MJ, Edmond M, Kennedy JI, Kane G, Broder M, Donovan K, Ferguson R, Lightfoot R, Williams S, Rook C.  Benchmarks of support in internal medicine residency training programs.  Acad Med 2002;77:50-56.
  4. Wolfsthal SD (editor):  National Medical Series -Medicine.  7th Edition.  Lippincott, Williams and Wilkens, Baltimore, MD.  2012:712 pp.  Review text book for medical students and residents.  Comprehensive review of internal medicine with case studies and comprehensive questions, authored by subspecialists and by chief residents and senior residents in internal medicine.  712 pages plus on-line material.
  5. Wolfsthal SD, Call S, Wood V.  Job description of the internal medicine residency program director.  The Toolkit Series.  A Textbook for Internal Medicine Education Programs.  APDIM, 11th Edition, 2013:10-20. 
  6. Comer A, Harris AD, Shardell M, Braun B, Belton B, Wolfsthal SD, Dembry LM, Jacob JT, Price C, Sulis C, Ziao Y.  Web-based training improves resident knowledge about central line bloodstream infections.  Attaining Safety for Patients through interdisciplinary Risk Reduction Efforts (ASPIRRE) Group.  Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2011;32(12):1219-1222.  PMID:22080663

Clinical Specialty Details

As a general internist, Dr. Wolfsthal practices internal medicine in the Faculty Practice Office and on the general medicine inpatient services on a regular basis.  Her interests in internal medicine are broad.

Awards and Affiliations

2001 - Celeste L. Woodward Professor of Humanitarian and Ethical Medical Practice

2003 - C. Lockard Conley Award for Excellence in Resident Teaching and Research, Presented by the Maryland Chapter of the AmericanCollege of Physicians in recognition of excellent in resident teaching and research.

2003 - Senior Residents’ Award for Excellence in Teaching, Department of Medicine

2005 - First Student Marshall, School of Medicine graduation, selected by the graduating class of 2005

2006 - Hooding of Medical Students at School of Medicine graduation, selected by the graduating class of 2006

2007 - Top Doctor, Baltimore Magazine, November 2007

2008 - Faculty Marshall, School of Medicine graduation, selected by graduating class of 2008

2014 - Fellow, Carolyn J. Pass, MD ’66 and Richard J. Susel, MD ‘66 Academy of Educational Excellence, University of Maryland School of Medicine in recognition of faculty who demonstrate excellence in bedside, classroom and innovative medical education

2014 - Student Marshall, School of Medicine graduation, Selected by graduating class of 2014

2016 - Chairman’s Special Achievement Award in grateful appreciation for outstanding service, leadership and dedication to the Department of Medicine.

Professional Activity

1990-present                 Elected Membership, Fellow, American College of Physicians

1992-present                 Member, Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine

1995-present                 Member, Medicine-Pediatrics Program Directors Association

2002-present                 Founding Member, Elected Membership, National Gold Humanism Society, University of Maryland School of Medicine.  Elected by medical students for exhibiting outstanding humanism in medicine and integrity as a physician.

Links of Interest

Internal Medicine Residency Program -