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Education is a central component of the mission of the Roberta and Stephen R. Weiner Department of Surgery. As an academic medical center, we guide more than 100 talented surgical residents and clinical fellows through our acclaimed training programs each year.
In support of this, the Department of Surgery has established a number of awards granted to faculty members and trainees to encourage not just academic excellence, but also certain characteristics that will be critical to their development as well-rounded and effective surgical leaders.
These coveted awards, which are announced at the end of each academic year at a special ceremony attended by all of our faculty and trainees, are named in honor of beloved members of our faculty, whose memories live on in perpetuity through these awards.
The Isaac O. Mehrez, MD Resident Award recognizes a third-year resident selected by Mount Auburn Hospital surgeons for "Dedication to the highest quality care, honesty, willingness to learn, and a sense of humor."
This award celebrates the memory of Dr. Isaac O. Mehrez (1927-2020), who was a member of the faculty of Mount Auburn Hospital from the early 1960s until his retirement in 1999, after which he was an active member of the Emeritus faculty. For many decades, BIDMC Surgery residents have rotated at Mount Auburn Hospital, an acute-care, Harvard Medical School teaching hospital in Cambridge, Mass.
Dr. Mehrez, who emigrated from Egypt in 1956, became Chief of Surgery at Mount Auburn Hospital in 1980, leading the department through a period of significant change and growth. A highly skilled surgeon and devoted teacher, Dr. Mehrez inspired a generation of surgical residents and helped establish a Vascular Surgery Fellowship in conjunction with New England Deaconess Hospital.
Born in Egypt, Dr. Mehrez received his secondary education at a lycée in France, where his father was on the faculty. He returned to Egypt, where he earned his medical degree from the University of Alexandria and completed several years of internship and surgical residency at the Jewish Hospital in Alexandria before coming to the United States. He continued his surgical residency at St. Luke's Hospital in New Bedford, Beth Israel Hospital, and Boston City Hospital, followed by a vascular surgery fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, training under the renowned cardiovascular surgeon Michael DeBakey, MD. Following his training, Dr. Mehrez returned to the Boston area, where he remained for the rest of his life. In the early 1960s, he joined the staff at Mount Auburn Hospital.
Dr. Mehrez and his wife, Mary, formerly an anesthesiologist at Beth Israel Hospital who also emigrated with him from Egypt, traveled extensively, visiting every continent. He was known affectionately by many in his personal circles as "Doc," for always being there to stitch a neighbor's cut or offer advice. He was considered by his professional colleagues as an extremely skilled surgeon with a keen sense of humor, a predilection for witty malapropisms (his best known was "a three-ring zoo"), and a dedication to teaching.
The Harold Bengloff, MD Faculty Award is given to the faculty member who has shown the most concern for the residents' well-being as individuals, both in and out of the hospital. This recipient of this award is selected by the residents.
This award celebrates the memory of Dr. Harold Bengloff (1914-1983), a longtime member of the Beth Israel Hospital Department of Surgery who joined the hospital's staff in 1951. A native of Utica, New York, Dr. Bengloff graduated from Hamilton College with election to Phi Beta Kappa in 1934, and was awarded the Elihu Root scholarship, which entitled him to a year of graduate study at any university in America or abroad. Dr. Bengloff chose to attend Harvard Medical School, graduating AOA in 1938.
Following a two-year surgical internship at Beth Israel Hospital in New York, Dr. Bengloff decided to specialize further in gynecologic surgery. He became a fellow in gynecologic pathology at the Free Hospital for Women and began his residency in gynecology at New York's Mt. Sinai Hospital. Before the completion of his residency, he was called to active duty in the US Army. During World War II, Dr. Bengloff served with the US Army Medical Corps at the rank of Major and, through an unusual turn of events, later became Chief of Orthopedics at the 113th General Hospital in London. He returned to the US after four years and decided to take his boards in general surgery. He proudly described himself as "one of the last so-called general surgeons" prior to the age of surgical specialization.
Dr. Bengloff was a dedicated teacher and served in several leadership roles at BIDMC and other Boston-area hospitals, including as Chief of Surgery at Parker Hill Hospital. He also enjoyed traveling, art, and writing.
The Khalid Khwaja, MD Faculty Award will be given to a junior clinical faculty member (Instructor or Assistant Professor) who best fosters a culture of collaboration, respectfulness, compassion, and shared sense of purpose in their interactions with medical students, residents, clinical fellows, and faculty colleagues, nurses, and other hospital employees, as well patients, both within and outside their division, as an educator and clinician. The faculty and trainees within each division will nominate a faculty member, and an awards committee will select the recipient who best meets these criteria.
This award celebrates the life of Dr. Khalid Khwaja (1968-2020), a gifted transplant surgeon, innovative investigator, and inspiring educator.
Dr. Khwaja served in numerous leadership roles at BIDMC, including as Acting Chief and Senior Clinical Director of the BIDMC Transplant Institute and Surgical Director of Solid Organ Transplantation. He received his MD from the Aga Khan University Medical College in Pakistan and completed a residency in general surgery and a research fellowship at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Khwaja subsequently pursued a fellowship in transplantation at the University of Minnesota.
After joining BIDMC in 2003, Dr. Khwaja re-established the Pancreatic Transplantation Program, growing it to become the largest in New England. In 2008, Dr. Khwaja joined Lahey Clinic to lead its kidney transplantation program; in 2012 he rejoined the BIDMC Department of Surgery as Surgical Director of Solid Organ Transplantation.
Dr. Khwaja mentored scores of trainees, performed the majority of complex liver surgery at BIDMC, and was critical to the successful re-initiation of the Living Related Liver Transplant Program. He developed teaching modules for the surgical aspects of pancreas transplantation for the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, used by trainees worldwide.
The passing of Dr. Khwaja was a profound loss for the Department of Surgery, the medical community at large, his many grateful patients, and, of course, his family and loved ones.
The skill, dedication, and empathy he brought to every patient interaction inspired hope and instilled confidence in his care. As an educator, his deep investment in the success of the students, residents, and fellows that he taught and mentored provided them with a foundation for lifelong success, both professionally and personally. As a colleague and a friend, he was the person you wanted by your side when faced with a challenging case. As a healer, he always advocated the best for his patients. His clarity of judgment, skill as a surgeon, deep sense of compassion, and unwavering calm made everyone around him better.
Dr. Khwaja exemplified the very best of who we are and the values we embrace as compassionate and committed surgeons, dedicated educators, and inquisitive investigators. The Department of Surgery is dedicated to ensuring that the same spirit of collaboration, compassion, humility, and professionalism that he brought to his work will live on through the Khalid Khwaja, MD Faculty Award.
One characteristic that Dr. Khwaja embodied is clinical collaboration with and compassion toward others, both within and outside the Department of Surgery. In multidisciplinary programs, such as transplantation, collaboration and teamwork are critical to success. Effective collaboration requires and encourages respect for and trust in one's colleagues, calm deliberation, innovative problem solving, and, critically, humility and compassion – all qualities that Dr. Khwaja shared with us each day. With grace, humility, and mutual respect and trust, he built a culture of collaboration and compassion that brought out the best in those around him, ensuring the greatest possible outcome for his patients.
We hope this award will continue his legacy of bringing out the best in us, encourage others to emulate him, and in doing so, truly honor the memories of our beloved colleague and friend, Dr. Khalid Khwaja.
The John L. Rowbotham, MD Faculty Award is given to the faculty member who best exemplifies excellence in clinical surgical teaching. This recipient of this award is selected by the residents.
This award celebrates the memory of Dr. John L. Rowbotham (1920-2009), a longtime member of the New England Deaconess Hospital Department of Surgery who was renowned for his clinical teaching.
Dr. Rowbotham was a graduate of Phillips Academy Andover, attended Campbell College in Belfast, Ireland, and graduated cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Williams College in 1943. A 1946 graduate of Harvard Medical School, Dr. Rowbotham completed his internship at Faulkner Hospital and his surgical residency at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital (now Brigham and Women's Hospital) in 1955.
During his residency, Dr. Rowbotham was awarded the Surgical Traveling Fellowship at St. Mary's Hospital in London, England. From 1952 to 1954 he served in the Korean War as a captain in the US Army Medical Corps, serving as Chief of Surgery in MASH 8076 (the 45th Surgical Hospital). Dr. Rowbotham was awarded the Bronze Star for his work on prisoner-of-war exchanges at the end of hostilities in 1953.
Shortly after returning to Boston from Korea, Dr. Rowbotham participated as a member of Dr. Joseph E. Murray's surgical team, which performed the first successful human organ (kidney) transplant, an event that contributed to the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Medicine.
Concentrating his surgical practice on diabetic foot care and colorectal surgery, Dr. Rowbotham was on the faculty of New England Deaconess Hospital and was affiliated with Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, New England Baptist Hospital, and Faulkner Hospital.
Dr. Rowbotham was a Clinical Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School; a Fellow of American College of Surgeons; a Diplomate of the American Board of Surgery; and a member of the New England Surgical Society, the Boston Surgical Society, and the Royal Society of Medicine, England.
Dr. Rowbotham published numerous books and papers on ileostomies, colostomies, and urostomies, as well as on the treatment of diabetic foot problems. In 1986, Dr. Rowbotham retired to New Hampshire, where he was active in many local civic organizations and at Phillips Academy Andover, which presented him with the Andover Alumni Achievement Award in 1992.
The George W.B. Starkey, MD Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching Medical Students is presented to the faculty member with the highest-rated teaching evaluations from second-year Harvard Medical School students in the Core Surgery Clerkship.
This award celebrates the memory of the George Wallace Bailey Starkey, MD (1918-2000), a longtime, treasured member of the Harvard Medical School faculty and surgical staff at New England Deaconess Hospital. Dr. Starkey received his undergraduate education at Trinity College in Hartford before attending Harvard Medical School. After a surgical internship at Boston Children's Hospital, Dr. Starkey served as a battalion surgeon in the European theater during World War II. He completed his general surgical training at Roosevelt Hospital and a thoracic fellowship at Bellevue and Presbyterian Hospitals in New York. He was awarded Harvard's Traveling Moseley Fellowship for advanced training at Guy's Hospital in London.
Dr. Starkey joined the New England Deaconess Hospital staff in 1952. He personified the compassionate, humane physician and his counsel was widely sought by patients, families, and other physicians on both clinical and ethical matters. He knew his patients on a personal level and combined excellence in clinical surgery with wisdom, compassion, common sense, and an appreciation of the quality of life.
A beloved teacher, Dr. Starkey lived his commitment to education. He did not teach how to treat a disease; rather he taught how to treat patients with a disease. He required students to work hard but they could count on his critique of their clinical reasoning or technical skill being delivered with grace, humor, and understanding. They responded by repeatedly giving Dr. Starkey perfect ratings, easily the best of the clerkship. Dr. Starkey taught with his wonderful humor and was a mentor and friend to all who knew him.
In 1995 the Department of Surgery established the George W. B. Starkey MD Award; he was its first recipient.