In keeping with the ongoing efforts of the David Geffen School of Medicine to improve the culture of medicine and celebrate a respectful environment for medical students, the Medical Student Council created an "Excellence in Teaching with Humanism Residents and Fellows Award" in 2013. This award created and presented by the DGSOM medical student body recognizes residents and fellows who model exemplary behavior toward medical students and other members of the health care team. For DGSOM medical students to become compassionate and effective future physicians, they must first have resident and fellow role models and mentors demonstrating such attributes. Excellence in Teaching with Humanism Residents and Fellows Award winners serve as exceptional mentors and are recognized for their ongoing contributions to the clinical training of DGSOM medical students. Nominations were collected for residents and fellows who embody qualities and attributes as outlined below:
Not a previous "Excellence in Teaching with Humanism Residents Award" recipient
Tonye "TJ" Jones Urology PGY-3 UCLA
Danica Lomeli Family Medicine PGY-2 UCLA
Emily Miraflor Colorectal Surgery Fellow Cedars-Sinai
Jacob Thomas Internal Medicine PGY-3 UCLA
Jason Murry Surgical CC/Surgery Fellow Cedars-Sinai
Mark Duncan Internal Medicine PGY-1 UCLA
Michael O'Leary Surgery PGY-3 Harbor-UCLA
Sarah Gustafson Pediatrics PGY-1 UCLA
Stacy Barron Pediatrics PGY-3 UCLA
Teo Soleymani Internal Medicine PGY-1 Cedars-Sinai
Dr. Clark is the best resident I've worked with in all of my clerkships and 4th year electives. Her strongest attribute is her ability to efficiently lead her team while maintaining the highest of morale. She is always there for her team members: always answering their questions, pointing out which articles to mention during rounds or topics to peruse at home, making sure there were no loose ends throughout the day, and anticipating challenging situations by providing us with guidance on how to deal with them. Like most residents, she does this in a calm, tactful manner. What sets her apart are her unwavering optimism, infectious humor, and ability to keep our team happy and functional. Dr. Clark also provides excellent care to her patients. She advocates for difficult patients who have been passed between various area hospitals and skilled nursing facilities to make sure they receive holistic and thorough care. She is thoughtful and patient in her interactions with families, while providing her interns-- and me! -- with opportunities to practice and then actually conduct family meetings on sensitive topics. Dr. Clark is the complete package: thoughtful, efficient, and hilariously personable. She is an inspirational resident, whom I want to emulate. I can only hope to work with her again some time in my career.
Dr. Lomeli's enthusiasm for Family Medicine rubs off on you in a way that makes you excited to show up to clinic everyday. She is constantly thinking of ways to integrate the students into the team and teach in an interactive way. Her confidence in students' abilities really challenges you to rise to the occasion. Most of all, Dr. Lomeli is the smartest and most thoughtful person I have ever met -- a gift to her patients and all who get to work with her! She is an outstanding role model. She lets me dive in to her cases and take full ownership of the patients. She explains to me her thought process and how she approaches each patient, enabling me to effectively see each patient in a short clinic visit. She has confidence in my abilities and guides me through procedures. Most importantly, she empowers me and makes me feel like a real health care provider, even when I am just a medical student.
When I was standing by the OR door after washing, waiting for Dr. Miraflor to enter before me to abide by the surgical hierarchy she said: "I don't believe in that hierarchy, please go ahead." From that moment on, I knew she was different. Dr. Miraflor always makes me feel like an integral part of the team and encourages me to present my patients directly to my attending physician. Even when I am not presenting, she asks me questions in the background to keep me engaged and always invites me to examine interesting physical findings. She treats me with the utmost respect and teaches me skills in the OR, ranging from simple things such as putting in a Foley catheter to suturing techniques. Every night, she group-texts the team (including myself) so we know the exact rounding plans for the subsequent day. She makes recommendations on which cases to scrub in and what I can do on the floor with the interns. This respect and warmness emanates to every patient we operate and examine together. If every surgical resident and fellow modeled after Dr. Miraflor, all medical students would want to pursue a career in surgery. Dr. Miraflor is the perfect role model for medical students and future surgeons, and deserves to be recognized by this prestigious award. I have simply never encountered such an amazing teacher and counselor.
Dr. Thomas truly embodies all the qualities of this award, and I can think of no one else whom I have worked with this year that deserves this award more than him. From the very beginning of starting the renal consult service, Dr. Thomas had a strong willingness to teach. He takes the initiative to teach me extensively about other interesting aspects of cases even if it is not directly related to our renal service. Dr. Thomas is also a fantastic role model at the bedside. He takes time in getting to know his patients not as problem lists, but as actual people, and it is obvious that his patients like having him as a doctor. Some of the things that I learned from him were simply by observing and modeling after him, such as hearing his succinct presentations or observing his interactions with the fellow. What sets him apart from other residents is his genuine interest in getting to know us as people, and not just as 'the medical student.' When I look back on my medical school experience and reflect on role models whom I would like to emulate, Dr. Thomas definitely falls into this category. He is such a positive role model-- always with a smile on his face, well prepared for rounds, respectful towards patients and co-workers, and ready to help any medical student on service!
Dr. Murry embodies the essence of an outstanding teacher, mentor, and physician. He teaches at every opportunity there is and always challenges me to think critically about the patient care decisions we make. Rather than simply telling me the answers, he probes and questions until I learn to think about the concepts at hand. He is my advocate to the attendings by highlighting my strengths and vouching for my work. Dr. Murry also pushes me just the right amount, forcing me to think critically and to justify my answers. He treats me as an integral member of the team by holding me accountable for caring for my patients and supporting me when I need it. Dr. Murry is so devoted to medicine and to his patients. He takes the time to talk to families even when he has a million things to do. He treats nurses and staff with the utmost respect. He is a great role model for medical students, and I can say without a doubt that Dr. Murry is the best resident/fellow I have had the opportunity to work with in the last two years. He excels in a multitude of ways, and I will truly be a better doctor because of him.
Imagine staring at CareConnect at 7:30AM, bleary-eyed, trying to make sense of lab values, and wondering how you will ever manage to shine on the rotation. Then, Dr. Duncan comes by and slips you the IDSA guidelines for exactly the problem your patient has, AND, he has highlighted all of the relevant points. Things like this happen everyday when you are the med student on Dr. Duncan's team. If I ever had a question, Dr. Duncan was always there to not only answer my question but also make sure I understood the concept behind the answer. He consistently makes me feel like such an important part of the team and is always the one to say 'great job!' after every presentation, giving me more and more confidence every day. On top of all this, he also really cares about my wellbeing and empowers me. One reason I fell in love with internal medicine was Dr. Duncan's mentorship. He is one of the most caring, enthusiastic, and amazing mentors I have ever had!
Talk about an all-around awesome guy. Dr. O'Leary is an endless source of positive energy, encouragement, knowledge, and patience, who will always take the time to teach and communicate. Dr. O'Leary is incredibly enthusiastic and went out of his way to teach to not only students, but also every patient and family member. He constantly encourages questions and fosters a secure and welcoming learning environment. Regardless of the case, he continually seeks to preserve this environment, going out of his way to make sure the student, patient, or individual feels heard and appreciated. This is a rare and excellent talent. That is not to say that Dr. O'Leary is awesome because he says nice things just to be nice-- he gives clear, precise instructions and explains his rationale for any sort of critique in a way that forces you to think about your mistakes in an intelligent way.
Dr. Gustafson goes out of her way to teach us, helps us understand everything about our patients, and takes advantage of every opportunity to teach us. She genuinely cares about our education and well-being. She is a great educator, but what really makes her stand out is how much she cares about her patients and how dedicated she is to their well-being on a holistic level. She is a constant source of support and inspiration, and I aspire to be an incredible, compassionate, and knowledgeable physician like her in the future. She always has the patients' interests in mind, and reminds us that we can always find the time to care for our patients. I wish all students had the opportunity to work with Dr. Gustafson because of the great example she sets as an intern and as a person. She makes the pediatric rotation at Cedars-Sinai a welcoming environment. It is a blessing to work with Dr. Gustafson.
As I look through the qualities and attributes of those who deserve this award, I am reminded as to how Dr. Barron goes above and beyond to make the medical students feel comfortable and involved on the rotation. As a teacher, she is eager, effective, and patient. She takes every opportunity to teach us topics that are relevant to our patients. She always gives us helpful feedback and consistently makes us feel like we are part of the team. As a resident, she is organized and a strong leader. As a doctor, she is kind and thorough, making patient care an important priority. Lastly, she stands out above the many excellent residents with whom we have worked because not only does she care about our well-being and education in pediatrics, but also she is invested in our overall career goals and provides a lot of mentoring and guidance to this extent. She is someone whom I not only look up to, but also whom I hope to emulate one day as a future resident/physician.
Dr. Soleymani goes above and beyond for his medical students. His depth of knowledge in the pathogenesis of disease is simply incredible and his ability to simplify and explain extremely complex treatment algorithms is second to none. His passion for teaching is clearly evident and illustrated throughout his self-scheduled teaching sessions and during patient counseling. He is patient, kind, and warm with his patients and his students. Dr. Soleymani is the perfect example of what a doctor should be, not just for his command over the medical literature, or because of his ability to bring patients at ease, but because of his desire and sincere passion for teaching future physicians. Dr. Soleymani represents everything this award stands for.