Pamela P. Bensen Trailblazer Award


The Pamela P. Bensen Trailblazer Award is presented to a current College member for seminal contributions over time to the growth of the College and to the specialty of emergency medicine. The award is named after Pamela P. Bensen, MD, a charter member of ACEP and the first woman resident in emergency medicine (1971). She was also the first woman elected to the national ACEP Board of Directors and served from 1982-88. Dr. Bensen pioneered innovations in ACEP’s governance, developed the first emergency medicine group and the first paramedic training program in Maine, and was an early adopter of data analysis to improve clinical care in the emergency department (1980s).

2024 Award Recipient

Arjun K. Venkatesh, MD, MBA, MHS, FACEP


The Bensen Award is a walnut plaque featuring an etched portrait of the recipient. The recipient’s name is inscribed on a master plaque at ACEP Headquarters. By virtue of receiving this award, the recipient is not required to pay dues or registration fees for the annual meeting.


Any member of the College may nominate a member for this award. The nominee must be a regular member of the College for 10 or more years.

The nominee should have made and achieved a number of seminal contributions and accomplishments to the growth of the American College of Emergency Physicians and to the specialty of Emergency Medicine through a variety of avenues, including but not limited to: clinical, organizational, administrative, educational, governmental, political, prehospital and other venues. These contributions and accomplishments should demonstrate foresight and leading-edge thinking, at times requiring courage to prevail over customary attitudes and methods, resulting in solid achievements. The nominee should have demonstrated these attributes repeatedly over a period of years. Previous recipients of the Wiegenstein, Mills, or Rupke Awards are not eligible to receive this award. Recipients of this award are ineligible to receive awards in other categories of the Awards Program.

Past Recipients

2019  Andrew I. Bern, MD, FACEP
2020  Sharon E. Mace, MD, FACEP
2021  Rita A. Manfredi-Shutler, MD, FACEP
2022  Michael L. Callaham, MD, FACEP
2023  Amish M. Shah, MD, FACEP
2024  Arjun K. Venkatesh, MD, MBA, MHS, FACEP

Entry Procedures

Any member of the College may nominate a member by submitting a completed nomination form. Submit the nomination form, nominee's curriculum vitae, and up to 3 letters of support through the online nomination form located on the ACEP website. Letters of support are greatly encouraged and are at the discretion of the nominator. Additionally, a nominee should have only one nomination whether from an individual or a component body. All entries must be submitted no later than March 12, 2024 for consideration by the Awards Committee. Receipt of each nomination will be confirmed by e-mail. Please follow up if you do not receive a confirmation.


The Awards Committee will judge the entries, with its recommendations subject to review by the ACEP Board of Directors. The decision of the Board is final, and the Board reserves the right to make no award if there are no nominees of sufficient merit. 

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