The AANEM has the distinct privilege of serving thousands of extremely talented and dedicated physicians every year. This year the Distinguished Physician Award winner is awarded to Peter Donofrio, MD, for his distinguished service as a clinician, educator and overall support of AANEM. Dr. Donofrio has focused on peripheral neuropathy and motor neuron disorders throughout his career and brought this expertise to involvement with the AANEM.
“I have always enjoyed the annual meeting more than any other benefit of AANEM,” said Dr. Donofrio. “The lectures, plenary session, and interaction with colleagues I have befriended over decades, is the highlight of my AANEM year.”
Dr. Donofrio has been an active member of the AANEM since 1982. He has been a speaker at the AANEM meetings over the years (as recently as 2019), and served on the AANEM Board and was past President of the AANEM. He also served on the Muscle & Nerve Editorial Board. Dr. Donofrio has served as chair or member of other AANEM committees over the years including the Annual Meeting Coordination Committee, Constitution Committee, Finance Committee, Neuromuscular Board Task Force, Nominating Committee, Professional Practice Committee, Program Committee, and Workshop Committee.
“I always encourage committee membership in any organization to make the person part of the decision making,” he said.
Dr. Donofrio has also been actively involved with the American Board of Electrodiagnostic Medicine. He is ABEM certified, was a previous Chair and member of the ABEM Board of Directors, and was previously a member of the ABEM Appeals and ABEM Maintenance of Certification Committees.
Dr. Donofrio is currently Chief of the Neuromuscular Section in the Department of Neurology at Vanderbilt University. In addition, he is the head of the Muscular Dystrophy Association Clinic, the ALS Clinic, and is Director of the EMG Lab. He’s also spent decades working as a clinician and educator, dedicating many years to both patients and students. A consistent message always shines through when he talks about prospects for future
“I recommend making medicine fun, exciting and challenging by letting your patients and colleagues educate you. Consult the medical literature often to augment your knowledge base. In this way, medicine is stimulating, fulfilling and a constant enrichment process.”
Dr. Donofrio has authored articles on the treatment of neuropathic pain in patients with diabetic neuropathy and the treatment of chronic inflammatory neuropathies, particularly with plasma exchange and intravenous immunoglobulin. He has participated in many clinical trials of potential agents for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Dr. Donofrio is a 1972 graduate for the University of Notre Dame and earned his medical degree from The Ohio State University in 1975. He completed a medical residency at Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio, and completed a neurology residency and fellowship at the University of