Led by Chancellor Michael F. Collins, UMass Medical School celebrated excellence in education on April 25, honoring Michael Ennis, MD, with the second annual Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring and recognizing 27 faculty members with awards for teaching. David Hatem, MD, delivered The Last Lecture and the School of Medicine Class of 2019 recited their Second Year Oath.
Educational Recognition Awards
Deans and distinguished faculty awards were presented by Joan Vitello, PhD, dean of the Graduate School of Nursing; Anthony Carruthers, PhD, dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences ; and Terence R. Flotte, MD, dean of the School of Medicine. Vijay Vanguri, MD, associate professor of radiology and chair of the Educational Policy Committee, presented the Educational Achievement (Star) Awardsfor outstanding individual achievements in medical student education. Student Body Committee co-presidents and SOM ’19 classmates Katherine Mallett Zimmerman and Sana Majid, presented the student-selected Outstanding Medical Educator awards. Read the full list of award winners here.
Chancellor Collins presented the second annual Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring to Dr. Ennis, professor of medicine and co-director of the School of Medicine Learning Communities.
“Your nominators shared the belief that you have elevated the function of mentoring at the medical school to an art form. In this way you have helped to inspire and guide a generation of medical students and residents since joining our faculty more than three decades ago,” said Collins. “All value your willingness to listen, to offer guidance without being prescriptive and to help each mentee realize their highest potential. You’ve enriched the university’s culture of mentoring by producing a mentoring manual to capture and champion best practices, engaging specialty advisors, and serving as a role model for others.”
The Last Lecture
Dr. Hatem, professor of medicine and co-director of the Learning Communities, presented The Last Lecture, in which an esteemed faculty member shares wisdom gleaned from his or her own professional journey.
The honor of presenting The Last Lecture is conferred upon the holder of the Chancellor’s Medal for Distinguished Teaching, which Hatem received at Convocation 2016. He is also concurrently the second UMMS recipient of the Manning Award, which honors one outstanding faculty member with exceptional skills at each of the five University of Massachusetts campuses. At UMMS, the Manning Award is bestowed upon recipients of the distinguished teaching medal.
In his talk, Hatem invoked the writer Eudora Welty, whose three chapters in her autobiography are entitled “Listening,” “Learning to See,” and “Finding a Voice.” They offer students a guide on their journey toward gaining a professional identity. Professional identity formation is a relatively new goal in medical education, achieved over time and resulting in an individual thinking, acting and feeling like a physician.
The Wizard of Oz came into play with Hatem’s focus on the cowardly lion. Acknowledging the lion’s self-doubt during his ultimately successful quest for courage, Hatem urged educators and students alike to view becoming physicians, nurses and researchers as acts of courage.
“If we adopt the attitude that for our learners, showing up, taking risks and being vulnerable, and letting themselves be seen is enough, and is an act of courage, then we are in a better position to promote their learning,” he said.
Hatem closed his often emotional lecture by thanking those who mentored him along the way—including Chancellor Collins, whom he first encountered on a hospital ward as a second-year student when Collins was a young resident who offered to help Hatem understand some findings.
“There is no greater privilege in medicine than to watch one of your students become one of your teachers,” Collins said.
Second Year Oath
New this year was the inclusion of the Second Year Oath Ceremony. Taking the oath is a milestone in medical training, marking the transition from two years of largely classroom instruction, to two years of clinical rotations focused on providing direct patient care. The members of SOM Class of 2019 recited an oath they wrote collectively, pledging to “uphold the tenets of the medical profession and to use empathy as a compass to guide [their] actions.”
They also heard words of encouragement from Yan Emily Yuan, SOM ’18.
“Beginning next week, all of you will begin to set the tone for the kind of doctor that you’re going to become,” she said. “Many times you will find your convictions being tested by the realities and complexities of medicine and of human beings . . . In those moments your challenge will be to look deeper . . . This is not easy, but when you are successful it will be more rewarding than any exam score or evaluation.”
Recitation of the oath was led by members of the Class of 2019 Oath Committee.
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