Former Director, PA Surgical Residency
Montefiore Medical Center and The University Hospital for The Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Bronx, New York
Class of 1971
Clara E. Vanderbilt obtained her BS degree in philosophy from the State University of New York (Empire State College) in 1982. She was one of the first two PA surgical residents employed in 1971 by Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine (AECOM). Along with Drs. Marvin Gleidman and Richard Rosen, Clara helped establish the first PA surgical postgraduate program in the country. She was director of the PA surgical residency program at Montefiore Medical Center from 1978 until she retired in 2000. As a member of the AECOM faculty, Ms. Vanderbilt precepted PA students from over 25 PA programs including Duke.
Clara is a founding member of the Eugene Stead, Jr. PA Student Society, one of the first constituent chapters of the current Student Academy of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (SAAPA). She served as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) from 1972-75 and was the organization's Vice President in 1975. She became the founding president of the New York State Society of Physician Assistants (NYSSPA) in 1975 and was elected the organization's first president in 1976. Ms. Vanderbilt has served on numerous committees of the AAPA and NYSSPA including chair of the NYSSPA's Ethics and Judicial Affairs Committee. She was one of the first PAs appointed to the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA), serving from 1977-83, and was twice elected president of the Association of Postgraduate PA Programs. Based upon her pioneering work as a PA in surgery, Ms. Vanderbilt has been a consultant for several hospitals, e.g., Yale/Norwalk and Sinai/Baltimore, which have developed PA surgical residency programs.
Among her many awards and certificates of appreciation, Ms. Vanderbilt was awarded the AAPA presidential award in 1983 and the 20th anniversary award in 1988. She received the distinguished alumnus award from the Duke University PA Program in 1993 and the John W. Kirkland, MD award for professional excellence in 2000. The NYSSPA presidential award banquet was named in her honor in 2000.