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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Medical profs honored

Erich Healy / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Second-year medical student, Randi Heller, left, gives Dr. William Firth MD, right, a tour of the UA College of Medicine after the College of Medicine Faculty Teaching Awards ceremony Friday, November 19th. Dr. Firth was named Rural Health Professions Preceptor for the College of Medicines Rural Health Professions Program.
Erich Healy
Erich Healy / Arizona Daily Wildcat Second-year medical student, Randi Heller, left, gives Dr. William Firth MD, right, a tour of the UA College of Medicine after the College of Medicine Faculty Teaching Awards ceremony Friday, November 19th. Dr. Firth was named Rural Health Professions Preceptor for the College of Medicine’s Rural Health Professions Program.

Medical students honored their most dedicated and inspirational teachers on Friday.

The annual Faculty Teaching Awards Ceremony recognizes outstanding teachers in the College of Medicine. Students, faculty and community members supported the recipients in the University Medical Center, DuVal Auditorium.

Students nominated teachers who put significant time and effort into helping them through medical school.

“”It’s very easy to take for granted,”” said first year medical student Seth Turner. “”Some of our teachers really do care about us and go that extra mile. It’s really great that we honor them.””

Teachers in the College of Medicine often spend hours helping students outside of class time, and are not always paid as well as those who work in the medical field.

“”People go into academic medicine to make a difference in the life of students,”” said Carol Galper, assistant dean for medical student education in the College of Medicine. “”Their role in creating future physicians is essential.””

Class representatives presented the Faculty Teaching Awards. Teachers were commended for different characteristics including adding humor to their lectures, always having an open office for those with questions and knowing the names of all students in the program. Students shared their appreciation, as well as funny anecdotes during the ceremony.

Todd Vanderah, professor in the Department of Pharmacology, received an outstanding teacher award.

“”It feels great,”” Vanderah said. “”It’s fantastic.””

Students nominated Vanderah, in part, because he holds multiple review sessions each week to make sure they are comfortable with class material. Vanderah said he is dedicated to furthering the education of his students.

“”It’s very stressful,”” he said. “”It’s a lot of work. I spend a lot of my time preparing for teaching. I just think it’s really important.””

Students also said Vanderah creates close relationships with his classes. Second year medical student Neelesh Anand joked about running into Vanderah at the gym while presenting his award.

“”The only thing better than Dr. Vanderah’s physique, is his excellent teaching ability,”” Anand said.

The students also showed a short, animated “”JibJab”” video with Vanderah’s face on a ribbon twirler’s body. Vanderah said the video showed his familiar relationship with those he teaches.

“”It’s just a sign that students feel comfortable enough to do that,”” he said. “”It’s great.””

Faculty also nominated each other for teaching awards. The Vernon and Virginia Furrow Awards recognized outstanding teachers in five categories.

“”It makes you feel proud, obviously, and it makes you feel like you’re doing something right,”” said Jack Nolte, chair of the Academy of Medical Education Scholars and a professor in cell biology and anatomy. Nolte has received the award in the past and presented them at this year’s ceremony.

Other faculty members received grants for education initiatives during the ceremony. Some of these projects included adding an online integrative medicine class for students and implementing a breast-feeding curriculum for students in family and community medicine.

The awards seek to recognize the importance of those who educate medical students.

“”You can’t think of a better way to indicate that teaching is something that’s valued and important,”” Nolte said.

 

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