Michelle Wilson Bell, MD Receives 2021 Richard Mayeux Award

October 1, 2021


photo of Dr. Michelle Bell

Dr. Michelle Bell

Dr. Michelle Bell, assistant professor of neurology at CUMC in the Division of Epilepsy and Sleep, has been selected by a committee of her peers as the 2021 recipient of the Richard Mayeux Award. Created in 2020 in honor of accomplished clinician-scientist and Department of Neurology Chair Dr. Richard Mayeux, the Richard Mayeux Award is bestowed annually to a single faculty member who has made an outstanding and truly notable contribution to the clinical, research, and/or educational mission of the department over the last academic year.

“Michelle is an excellent neurologist, clinician, and patient advocate. She is beloved by her patients, never forgetting that her primary calling was to care and advocate for the people who call her their doctor,” explains a nominating peer. In addition to her exceptional work as an outpatient epileptologist, Dr. Bell is a member of the Neurophysiologic Intraoperative Monitoring Team at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center (NYP/CUIMC).

Dr. Bell is also widely respected as one of the few women in the Neurological Institute of New York's 100-plus-year history to direct the renowned Adult Neurology Residency Program. “Always diplomatic, practical, and hardworking to a fault, I could think of no better person to navigate all the intricacies of being the residency director,” comments a nominator.

From leading the successful implementation of the first all-virtual recruitment season, to the creation of education retreats, formal teaching reviews, and community building activities for residents and faculty alike, Dr. Bell has “kept residents engaged during what could otherwise have been an isolating past 18 months,” explains a peer. “While other neurology programs surveyed nationally by the ACGME saw their scores drop, this year Columbia’s program had an increase in the ‘well-being scores’ by residents despite the ongoing pandemic challenges of the 2020 and 2021 academic years.”

Dr. Bell’s role in education extends to the citizens of NYP/CUIMC’s local, Northern Manhattan community, where she lectures on brain health at community fairs, and works to address issues surrounding healthcare disparities, as a member of Neurology's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Program. In addition, Dr. Bell serves as Co-Chair of the Clinical Learning Environment Review (CLER) steering committee at NYP, and co-chair of the CLER Professionalism Subcommittee, both aimed at professionalism training. She has participated in the Columbia Center for Teaching and Learning’s Anti-Racism Institute, and serves on the national American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Graduate Medical Education (GME) Subcommittee, where she has participated in the development of a national initiative to improve the recruitment and development of underrepresented populations in Neurology, including women, minority, and LGBTQIA+ physicians.

“Michelle’s work this year has led to an AAN-GME committee launched virtual networking program to help [underrepresented] physicians early in their career to navigate the profession and develop networking, support, and mentorship they might otherwise lack,” explains a member of the nominating committee.

For these and countless other outstanding accomplishments, the faculty and staff of Columbia Neurology congratulate Dr. Bell on this well-deserved honor!