The 1996 Teaching Awards at PennMed

This year's recipient of the School of Medicine's Leonard Berwick Memorial Award, which particularly honors a younger faculty member "who in his or her teaching effectively fuses basic science and clinical medicine," is Steven Spitalnik, M.D., associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, described by nominators as "nearly legendary.... His organization is impeccable, his delivery engaging, his meshing of the basic and clinical sciences seamless, and his enthusiasm contagious."

The 1996 recipient of the Dripps Award is Beverly Lange, M.D., professor of pediatrics at CHOP. "Her background in the molecular biology of childhood cancer and infectious diseases, and her outstanding knowledge of clinical medicine combine to bring depth and clarity to her teaching of the malignant diseases and complications of therapy that afflict our young patients." The Robert Dunning Dripps Memorial Award for Excellence in Graduate Medical Education was established by the Department of Anesthesia in 1983-84 to reward"excellence as an educator of residents and fellows in clinical care, research, teaching, or administration."

This year's recipient of the Blockley-Osler Award is Stanley Caroff, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry at the VA Medical Center. As a group leader, preceptor, course director and supervisor/lecturer in the residency program, Dr. Caroff is described as "an inspirational instructor who generously gives his time and energy to medical education. He is widely recognized throughout the department for his outstanding teaching abilities, both in the pre-clinical courses and in the Psychiatry clerkship for which he is one of the course directors." The Blockley-Osler Award was created in 1987 by the Blockley Section of the Philadelphia College of Physicians; it is given annually to a member of the faculty at an affiliated hospital for excellence in teaching modern clinical medicine at the bedside, in the tradition of Dr. William Osler and others.

The Dean's Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching at an Affiliated Hospital was established in 1987 to recognize clinical teaching excellence and commitment to medical education by outstanding faculty members from affiliated hospitals. One or more Dean's Awards are made annually. There are two this year:

-- Richard Rutstein, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics at CHOP. Called by a colleague "one of the finest teachers in the division," he created one of the first programs in the nation for the care of pediatric AIDS....As he has taken each step to create a superb clinical program, he has brought along our housestaff and Penn medical students through his bedside teaching and his didactic presentations."

-- Linda Martin, M.D., of Health Associates of South Philadelphia; Preceptor for Primary Care-ID 150. A PennMed alumna known as a "tireless worker on behalf of children in the West Philadelphia community," she sees a high volume of patients but provides time for teaching and career guidance, a colleague says. A student adds: "Her dedication to her patients and their families is evident in everything she does...a constructive model and affirming force in the lives of children who don't have many advantages. It is an inspiration to see someone who loves her work so, and treats all who come to her with respect and dignity."

The Dean's Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Training was established in 1992-93 to recognize excellence in graduate (Ph.D.) education by biomedical graduate faculty. The 1996 recipients are:

-- Marie-Francoise Chesselet, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pharmacology and chair of the graduate group in pharmalogical sciences. Cited for contributions also to the training of graduate students in neurosciences, she is called "a perfect example of what a scientist should be--mature, involved and dedicated...keenly perceptive to the strengths and weaknesses of the students...[and]... able to fashion a training program that then builds on the strengths yet begins to remedy the weaknesses."

-- Jonathan Raper, Ph.D., associate professor of neuroscience and director of the developmental neuroscience course. "He has the knack of making complex issues easily understandable... His style is relaxed and subdued but his thoughts sparkle and everyone tends to hang on every word," says a colleague. To students, Dr. Raper has a "contagious excitement for the field" and the right amount of involvement to provide guidance but foster independent thinking."

The Dean's Award for Excellence in Basic Science Teaching recognizes teaching excellence and commitment to medical education in the basic sciences. The 1996 recipients are:

Mark D'Esposito, M.D., assistant professor of Neurology. Cited as a role model who "excels at integrating observations from his own research program into basic science lectures" and taking the integrative neuroscience course "by storm," he also has a door that is "always open."

Charles Bevins, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of pediatrics at CHOP. Cited for his "broad fund of scientific knowledge, insightful problem-solving skills, exceptional communication skills, and friendly, non-threatening personality," he creates "a learning environment that both challenges and excites the student.

Awards by Students:

For the Medical Student Government Teaching Awards, the graduating class nominates one faculty member from the basic sciences and one from clinical medicine. This year's winners are:

Jon B. Morris, MD, assistant professor of surgery, receives the 1996 MSG Clinical Teaching Award for his "extraordinary talent for directing conferences and rounds, amd communicating ideas, principles and practices of surgery." Many say he had significant impact on their decisions to pursue careers in surgery. Dr. Morris has also twice received the Clinical Penn Pearls Award for Distinguished Teaching.

Helen C. Davies, PhD, professor of microbiology, receives the 1996 Medical Student Government Basic Science Teaching Award--and has for the past seven years. She is praised by students for her "extraordinary dedication and obvious love for teaching, mutual respect for students, and wonderful microbiology songs which alumni admit they use to make diagnoses in the clinical setting.


Volume 42 Number 29
April 23, 1996

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