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Aspiring physicians honor medical faculty, residents, staff

Recognizing excellence and dedication in medical education during a time of unprecedented challenges, students at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis recently honored faculty, residents and staff with Distinguished Service Teaching Awards for the 2020-21 academic year.

Every year since 1991, students completing their first, second and third year of studies select the course masters, lecturers, clerkship directors, attendings and residents who have made significant contributions to the training of future physicians.

“This year’s awards ceremony, in particular, honors educators who have distinguished themselves during a time of unprecedented challenges, including the beginning of a global pandemic that has stretched into its third year,” said Joanna Kim, president of the Class of 2022. “More happily, we also marked the official debut of the Gateway Curriculum, the first overhaul of the School of Medicine’s program of studies in more than two decades. The honorees have gone above and beyond, and we, the students, appreciate their ongoing commitment to excellence in medical education.”

The Medical Student Government, with the support of the Office of Medical Education and the Academy of Educators, updated this year’s awards to reflect tenets of the new curriculum and the School of Medicine’s mission statement with new categories such as inclusion, creativity, and medicine and society.

Here are faculty honored at the awards ceremony March 1 at the Eric P. Newman Education Center: 

Class of 2024

Glenn Conroy Module Leader of the Year: Steven Cheng, MD, professor of medicine specializing in nephrology and internal medicine. The award honors Glenn Conroy, PhD, a professor emeritus of neuroscience and of anthropology who retired in 2017. He taught with his wife, Jane Phillips-Conroy, PhD, a professor emeritus of anthropology and of anatomy.

Jane Phillips-Conroy Professor of the Year: Justin Sadhu, MD, associate professor of medicine in the Cardiovascular Division. The award honors Jane Phillips-Conroy, PhD, a professor emeritus of anthropology and of anatomy who retired in 2017.

Thread Leader of the Year: Timothy Yau, MD, associate professor of medicine in the Division of Nephrology. Threads are key topics that are woven throughout all four years of the curriculum, providing repeated exposure to enhance student learning and comprehension. Yau was honored for a thread on clinical skills.

Stanley Lang Teacher of the Year: Jonathan Mullin, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics. The award is given to a junior faculty member in honor of Stanley J. Lang, PhD, a former professor of cell biology and physiology.

Teaching Assistant of the Year: Abraham Ogbaslase, a second-year MD/PhD student.

Distinguished Service Teaching Awards:

  • Inclusion — Dennis Chang, MD, associate professor of medicine in the Division of Hospital Medicine.
  • Critical Thinking — Allyson Zazulia, MD, professor of neurology.
  • Medicine and Society — Colleen Wallace, MD, associate professor of pediatrics.
  • Creativity — Amy Riek, MD, associate professor of medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism & Lipid Research.
  • Research — Brian Edelson, MD, PhD, associate professor of pathology & immunology.
  • Clinical Care — Caroline Lee, MD, associate professor of pediatrics.

Class of 2023

Course Director of the Year: Cheng

Professor of the Year: Yau

­Teaching Assistant of the Year: Sharon Abada, MD, Class of 2021, currently a resident in primary medicine at University of California, San Francisco.

Distinguished Service Teaching Awards:

  • Inclusion — Erika C. Crouch, MD, PhD, professor of pathology & immunology.
  • Critical Thinking — Zazulia and Nigar Kirmani, MD, professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases.
  • Medicine and Society — Kenan R. Omurtag, MD, associate professor of obstetrics & gynecology, and director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility.
  • Creativity: Sadhu.
  • Research: Lisa Zickuhr, MD, assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Rheumatology.
  • Clinical Care: Megan Wren, MD, professor of medicine in the Division of General Medicine.

Class of 2022

Clerkship of the Year: Internal medicine.

Clerkship Administrator of the Year: Megan Dietrich, medicine clerkship coordinator for the Department of Medicine.

Attending Awards

Clinical Educator of the Year: Gerome Escota, MD, associate professor of medicine.

Distinguished Service Teaching Awards:

  • Inclusion — Dennis Chang, MD, associate professor of medicine in the Division of Hospital Medicine.
  • Critical Thinking (procedural topic) — Tammy Sonn, MD, professor of obstetrics & gynecology.
  • Critical Thinking (medical topic) — Wren.
  • Medicine and Society — Jessica Pittman, MD, associate professor of pediatrics.
  • Research — Arun Varadhachary, MD, PhD, associate professor of neurology.
  • Clinical Care (patient) — Andrea Hagemann, MD, associate professor of obstetrics & gynecology.
  • Clinical Care (medical team) — Andrew R. Lee, MD, assistant professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences.
  • Didactic — T.K. Pandian, MD, assistant professor of surgery.

Resident or Fellows Awards

Clinical Educator of the Year: Jennifer Yu, MD, clinical fellow in general surgery.

Distinguished Service Teaching Awards:

  • Inclusion — Caroline Min, MD, obstetrics & gynecology.
  • Critical Thinking (procedural topic) — Wen Hui Tan, MD, general surgery.
  • Critical Thinking (medical topic) — Dean Odegard, MD, pediatrics.
  • Medicine and Society — Joshua Mendoza, MD, internal medicine.
  • Research — Jonah Graves, MD, internal medicine.
  • Clinical Care (patient) — Carley Gilman, MD, pediatric neurology.
  • Clinical Care (medical team) — Devan Patel, MD, internal medicine.
  • Didactic — Rina Ferguson, MD, pediatrics.


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