Amanda C. Peltier, MD, MS, Receives AANEM’s 2023 Jun Kimura Outstanding Educator Award

Published August 02, 2023

Amanda C. Peltier, MD, MS, has been awarded AANEM’s 2023 Jun Kimura Outstanding Educator Award for her numerous contributions and dedication to advancing medical education in the fields of NM and EDX medicine.

Her journey in medicine traces back to her early years; she knew she wanted to pursue a career in medicine since grade school. Her fascination with the brain and anatomy led her to major in both biology and classics, with a focus on Ancient Greek language, during her college years.

Reflecting on her academic pursuits, Dr. Peltier shared, “I was always very interested in the brain and anatomy. I did research between my first year and second year of medical school, looking at pathways in the cerebellum to the brainstem, and I just knew I was interested in neurology and kind of the neuroscience area.” Initially considering a path in surgery, her perspective shifted during her first rotation, where she realized that neurologists played a crucial role in making diagnoses. It was the investigative process that intrigued her the most.

This early realization solidified Dr. Peltier’s decision to pursue neurology. She completed her medical degree at The Ohio State University, followed by a neurology residency and master’s degree in clinical research design and statistical analysis at the University of Michigan. Under the guidance of Dr. Eva Feldman, she also completed a NM fellowship, specializing in EMG, skin biopsy, and autonomic testing.

Reflecting on her mentors, Dr. Peltier expressed gratitude, “I was honored to work with Dr. Eva Feldman, as well as Drs. James Albers, Peter Donofrio, Gordon Smith, etc. Dr. Albers really taught me a lot about EMG, electronics, and neuromuscular medicine. He was the epitome of the teacher, researcher, clinician, and I always strive to emulate him.”

Dr. Peltier currently serves in many roles at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC). She is chief of the division of NM disorders, full professor of neurology and medicine, director of the MDA/ALS clinic, and the site principal investigator for ALS and NM clinical trials at VUMC. She also serves as the fellowship director for the NM program at Vanderbilt University and is a valued member of the Vanderbilt Autonomic Disorders Center and the Vanderbilt Amyloid Multidisciplinary Program.

When asked about her proudest career accomplishment, Dr. Peltier humbly responded, “This is probably one of them! I was also honored to take over as division chief in NM to mentor and coach our division of NM faculty at Vanderbilt.” Dr. Peltier’s dedication to teaching and education is evident in her various roles within the medical community. Apart from her responsibilities as a fellowship director, she actively participates in the Residency Recruitment Committee for the Department of Neurology and serves as the associate vice chair of faculty affairs.

Her contributions extend to the publication of over 40 peer reviewed articles and authoring eight chapters on diverse topics. Her research efforts have been primarily focused on identifying improved biomarkers for therapeutic clinical trials in polyneuropathy and other NM and autonomic disorders, and she has expertise in assessing and evaluating peripheral neuropathies and autonomic disorders.

When asked about her motivation to become an educator in NM and EDX medicine, Dr. Peltier emphasized the importance of passing knowledge onto the next generation. “I always thought that part of our calling in academic medicine was to teach and train the next generation. I always enjoy working with our fellows and with junior faculty and learning from them. I was lucky to have great mentors, like Jim Albers and Eva Feldman who taught me a lot, and I try to model them when teaching and mentoring,” she said.

To aspiring physicians interested in NM and EDX medicine, Dr. Peltier stated, “Get involved in AANEM!” Dr. Peltier has been an active member of AANEM since 2002. She has participated on the AANEM Program, Neuromuscular Update Course, Special Interest Group, and NM/MSK Self-Assessment Exam committees and has presented at numerous AANEM meetings. “The AANEM has a huge role in education support,” she said. “It is a fantastic organization, and I have enjoyed working with AANEM for the last 20 years. It has helped me in my role as a fellowship director especially. I have enjoyed being on different committees and having an opportunity to create courses over the years.”

Looking ahead, Dr. Peltier envisions further advancing NM and EDX medicine education through active involvement in workshops and the publication of additional manuscripts on autonomic testing and education. As associate vice chair for faculty development at VUMC, she is also committed to onboarding and mentoring junior faculty, establishing mentorship programs for both junior and middle faculty, and actively working towards expanding their division.

In expressing her gratitude for the award, Dr. Peltier shared, “Thank you all very much for this award. I was frankly surprised and very, very honored. I hope that I try to pass on all of the knowledge that I learned from my mentors.”

Dr. Amanda C. Peltier’s contributions to the fields of NM and EDX medicine education, alongside her dedication to mentorship, research, and patient care, make her a deserving recipient of the 2023 Jun Kimura Outstanding Educator Award. Her ongoing efforts continue to shape the future of this field and inspire the next generation of physicians.