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Dennis H. Novack

Dennis H. Novack, MD


Department: Medicine


  • MD, Hahnemann University Hospital

Awards & Honors

  • George L. Engel Award, Academy of Communication in Healthcare (2020)
  • Secretary of the Academy of Professionalism in Health Care
  • Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award from the American Association of Medical Colleges (2011)

Before his retirement from clinical practice in 2019, Dennis Novack, MD, was a general internist who was active teaching medical students clinical skills at Drexel University College of Medicine.


Clinical Services

Primary care, Internal medicine


  • George Engel's Medical-Psychiatric Liaison Group (1976 - 1978)

Dennis H. Novack, MD is a professor of medicine and an associate dean of medical education at Drexel University College of Medicine, overseeing clinical skills teaching and assessment. He is a general internist who completed a two-year fellowship with George Engel’s Medical-Psychiatric Liaison group in Rochester, N.Y. from 1976 through 1978. He was a founding member and leader in the Academy on Communication in Healthcare (ACH) for many years since its inception in 1979. He was one of the founding directors of the first several ACH annual national faculty development courses in 1983, which have continued until the present, and have trained thousands of faculty members who teach physician-patient communication in medical education. He founded and edited Medical Encounter, the quarterly newsletter of the Academy, for twenty years.

Dr. Novack has conducted educational research, developed curricula and written many articles in peer-reviewed journals about physician-patient communication, a number of which are used in various medical school curricula. He has also authored or co-authored articles on controversial topics in medical ethics, such as his articles in JAMA on "telling" the cancer patient and on physician use of deception in medicine. He has made many presentations at national and international meetings, and has been invited to serve at several consensus conferences on teaching physician-patient communication, including the Toronto Consensus Conference, whose conclusions were published in the British Medical Journal; two Kalamazoo conferences published in Academic Medicine; and an Institute of Medicine committee on the ideal behavioral sciences curriculum for medical education.

Dr. Novack is currently first editor of DocCom, a comprehensive online resource on health care communication that has over 50,000 subscribers. He is also the first editor of a new online resource,, developed with the support of the Arthur Vining Davis and Josiah Macy Foundations. is dedicated to professionalism education, assessment, remediation and research.

Dr. Novack is a past president of the American Psychosomatic Society, an organization of about 900 members dedicated to advancing the scientific understanding and multidisciplinary integration of biological, psychological, behavioral and social factors in human health and disease. He is past secretary of board and now president of the Academy on Professionalism in Healthcare, an organization dedicated to promoting professionalism and professional identity formation in healthcare education.

Dr. Novack is a nationally recognized educator who has received an Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award from the AAMC, a Career Achievement Award in Medical Education from the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM), and both the Lynn Payer and George Engel Awards from the Academy on Communication in Healthcare. He is currently co-PI on a Board Grant from the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation to develop an online resource on antiracism healthcare education that will be used for multi-and interdisciplinary healthcare trainees and for faculty development.

* This physician's clinical practice is independent of Drexel University.