Each year, the Academy recognizes distinguished individuals with awards for their leadership and contributions in a range of medical and health-related fields. 

The John Stearns Medal for Distinguished Contributions in Clinical Practice

The medal for lifetime achievement in medicine established in 1992 and named for John Stearns, the first president of the Academy, is awarded for extraordinary contributions to the clinical practice of medicine.  These contributions can be in disease prevention, treatment, rehabilitation; physician-patient communication; clinical medical education; or medical ethics. 

The Stephen Smith Medal for Distinguished Contributions in Public Health

The medal for lifetime achievement in public health, first awarded in 2005, was named for Stephen Smith, an Academy Fellow and pioneer in the field of public health. The recipient should have lead or significantly contributed to work that effected a significant change in public health policy or practice to improve population health, including work on the broad determinants of health, with a special emphasis on eliminating health disparities. 

The Academy Medal for Distinguished Contributions in Health Policy

The award for distinguished contributions in health policy, established in 2008, recognizes an individual who has created evidence through their own research and/or applied evidence and experience through their public service, community service, or advocacy to promote significant policy change in the health system to improve the health of the public and eliminate health disparities.  

The Academy Medal for Distinguished Contributions in Biomedical Science

The Academy has been awarding a medal for distinguished contributions in biomedical science since 1929 to an eminent scientist in biomedicine.   The recipient should be a senior investigator with evidence of sustained accomplishments in biomedical research and a special interest in translating research findings to advance human health. The recipient must have made identifiable, unique contribution(s) to a field or discipline with demonstrated impact on both research and training. 

The Academy Plaque for Exceptional Service to the Academy

Exceptional service to the Academy has been recognized since 1952 with an award of distinction for Fellows and affiliates of the Academy. Individuals are recognized for sustained engagement with the Academy over an extended period, making major contributions to the success of the Academy’s mission and programs, its role in the broader community or its organizational growth and development.