Teaching Awards Spotlight Mentors
Education is part of BIDMC's core mission to educate and train tomorrow's clinicians. While the education of residents and fellows takes place around-the-clock, each year the institution pauses to take note of the many great teachers and mentors it has within its faculty.
More than 60 clinicians and students joined together for the annual Celebration of Teaching at BIDMC award ceremony. The ceremony historically takes place during Education Week in June, but was scheduled this year in the fall to avoid conflicts with resident graduation ceremonies and to bring greater attention to the medical center's outstanding faculty. The event celebrates recipients of both Harvard Medical School teaching awards and BIDMC Departmental Teaching Awards.
"It's important that we recognize all these superb teachers in a broader Beth Israel Deaconess context so we can honor these educators both inside and outside their own departments," said Richard Schwartzstein, MD, VP for Education, recipient of the HMS Class of 2008 Best Preclinical Instructor award. We want to celebrate, as a community, the outstanding work they did during the 2007-2008 academic teaching year."
All together, some 60 awards were presented to faculty, residents, and fellows who stepped forward to be honored for elevating the level of service to education within the academic medical center. The awards are a small, but significant, lapel pin: blue and yellow pins go to the graduates of the Rabkin Fellowship in Medical Education, while red and blue are for excellence in teaching. These pins, worn on the clinicians' white coats, are a quiet way of reinforcing the importance of education at BIDMC throughout the year.
Many teaching award winners are nominated by those who are being taught, which makes the recognition all the more special.
This year, Sara Fazio, MD, General Medicine, Healthcare Associates, shared the prestigious S. Robert Stone Award for Excellence in Teaching from HMS with Theodore Steinman, MD, Nephrology. "I'm fortunate that my job description allows me to work with patients as well as medical students and residents," said Fazio. "It's a lot of fun being able to combine the worlds in that way. My style has always been to just motivate and try to find the spark that exists within each student. It also helps to keep me on top of everything because I have to be able to teach the latest developments. It keeps my learning alive, as well as my own excitement and enthusiasm."
Peter Clardy, MD, Director of Medical Intensive Care, received two awards this year: the Department of Emergency Medicine's Off-Service Faculty Teaching Award, and the Department of Medicine's Hermann Blumgart Award (named in honor of the first Chief of Medicine at Beth Israel Hospital).
"Teaching is enormously rewarding," said Clardy, echoing the sentiments of all award recipients. "Teaching in any setting, especially in an ICU, is challenging. My sense has always been that people remember information that is clinically valuable. One of my most important roles as an educator in being able to summarize a patient's clinical course and draw out a few teaching points that are directly relevant to the patient's care at that moment. That's the kind of teaching that really sticks with people."