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Medical Education

School of Medicine Teaching Awards Ceremony highlights faculty excellence, professionalism

October 19, 2017

Professionalism: “The conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person.” (Merriam-Webster)

These values and other hallmarks of faculty excellence in teaching and patient care were celebrated at the School of Medicine’s Teaching Awards Ceremony October 18. Over 120 medical students, faculty, residents and graduates gathered at Cole Hall Auditorium to recognize the dedication and leadership of exemplary faculty.

For the first time, the annual event included presentation of the Maxine Papadakis Awards for Faculty Professionalism and Respect—a new award that advances UCSF values in medical education. The awards (see chart below for a list of recipients) highlight faculty who are exemplars in treating students and all others in the clinical environment with professionalism, courtesy, and respect. 

“These awards recognize outstanding behavior in shaping excellent cultures of learning and patient care,” said Catherine Lucey, MD, UCSF’s Vice Dean for Medical Education, Executive Vice Dean for the School of Medicine. “By celebrating the faculty teachers in the core clinical rotations, we have the opportunity to significantly impact the clinical learning climate for our students. Our faculty light the fire of energy, enthusiasm, and knowledge among our learners.”

The Maxine Papadakis Awards were provided to faculty in departments that participate in a core third-year or major fourth-year clerkship. The selection committee comprises third- and fourth-year medical students.









Maxine Papadakis, MD, was Associate Dean for Students at the School of Medicine from 1998 to 2016.  Dr. Papadakis devoted considerable effort to measuring and improving the professionalism and respectful behavior of faculty in the learning environment.  It was her work that led to the ‘respect’ questions on the student evaluations of faculty. These questions ask every student to indicate the extent to which faculty treated them and others with courtesy and respect. Dr. Papadakis has published widely in this area, and received national recognition for her work.

“Dr. Papadakis was totally committed to the success of our medical students,” said Dr. Lucey. “She set a shining example of what it means to be a professional, full of rigor and support for learners and colleagues along the journey with her.”

Other faculty were honored at the Teaching Awards Ceremony for excellence in teaching, and received Henry J. Kaiser Awards in recognition for outstanding work teaching in classrooms, inpatient care settings, and ambulatory care clinics; Special Recognition Teaching Awards and the Charlotte Baer Memorial Award, presented to members of the Volunteer Clinical Faculty who have made contributions through excellence in teaching and who enrich the ability of our students to learn; Bridges Curriculum Foundations 1 Teaching Awards, based on nominations from first- and second-year medical students recognizing outstanding instructors who have demonstrated excellence in teaching during the Foundations 1 (F1) phase of Bridges; the Pathways Mentor of the Year Awards (presented to Laurence Baskin, MD, Alejandra De Alba Campomanes, MD, MPH, Marcia Glass, MD, and Urmimala Sarkar, MD, MPH, which honor mentors’ commitment and dedication to nurture leaders, innovators, advocates, and researchers at UCSF) and; the Teach for UCSF Certificate Program Acknowledgements.  

The circle of knowledge, professionalism and excellence in teaching was well represented among one family who attended the event last night. Mary (Mimi) Margaretten, MD, Department of Medicine, was presented with a Henry J. Kaiser Award for Excellence in Teaching in a Classroom Setting.

“I am honored and humbled to receive such wonderful recognition from UCSF medical students and residents,” said Dr. Margaretten. “Having matriculated through medical school, residency, and fellowship at UCSF, I have benefitted from outstanding teaching. In fact, I have been lucky enough to experience great teaching and mentorship throughout my life. My father, Dr. William Margaretten, received the same award at UCSF in 1976.”

Stay tuned for the December episode of our medical education podcast The Spark, which will be devoted to professionalism in medical education.


Students reflect on faculty they nominated for the Maxine Papadakis Awards:

Dr. Stephanie Rennke helped me navigate transitioning a patient to hospice care during my medicine sub-internship. This was not a clinical situation I had encountered previously, and her thoughtful guidance helped me bring compassion, understanding, and respect to end-of-life discussions with this patient and her family.” Shire Beach 

Dr. Patrick Newman exemplifies all the principles of good communication with patients, interprofessional team members, and learners. In acute emergency situations I have seen him consistently role model excellent closed loop communication, summarizing, and tone. With patients, he has a structured, thoughtful approach to explaining roles and expectations. Dr. Newman did an excellent job explaining my role and expectations in a very concrete way - he showed me how to do a newborn evaluation, let me do one with him watching, and then let me do it all on my own.” Anelah McGinnis  

Dr. Jessica Opoku-Anane uses her words. As a learner, your improvement matters to her, and you know she notices you. She consistently explains step-by-step the technique that she wants you to perform from the perspective of the learner. She gives constructive feedback and exhibits and calmness and grace that makes her a role model for early learners. My opinion mattered and I felt like a participant rather than observer.” Anelah McGinnis 

Dr. David Elkin was really a standout faculty during my training at UCSF. He embodies what it means to be a physician, and truly cares about each trainee, colleague, and patient. Even as a third year student, my opinion always mattered. Dr. Elkin managed to always connect to every patient on a very human level. He always listens to what someone has to say, and he can understand where that is coming from. Dr. Elkin continues to be a beacon of empathy and compassion.” Eleanor Yang

Dr. John MacKenzie is polite, calm and professional during our interaction and his interaction with other faculty, staff, residents and patients. What better way exists to respect a student than providing them an excellent education? He has taken time to talk to me about my life, family and life goals… everyone in the reading room really feels comfortable sharing our lack of medical knowledge with him. This environment of 'safety' keeps us very inquisitive, and puts patient care as our number one priority.” Sagar Wagle

“Stated outright, Dr. Dorre Nicholau is a gem. She devotes an incredible volume of work to create a diverse, talented pool of medical students that train at UCSF. Numerous times she strongly advocated for underrepresented and disadvantaged applicants that deserve an opportunity to begin a career in medicine. UCSF can be proud in its claim of having the most diverse student body of any medical school, because of advocates like Dorre. Her interpersonal skills and bedside manner were exemplary. Truly, the unit is a warmer place when she's on service.” Richard Alexander

Faculty perspectives on receiving Maxine Papadakis Awards:

“I would like to thank the UCSF medical students for considering me for the Maxine Papadakis Award.  It is an honor and a privilege to receive the award named for one of our outstanding educators.  I am humbled.” John D. MacKenzie, MD, Associate Professor in Residence, Chief of Radiology at Mission Bay Medical Center

“I'm honored to receive this award, which highlights what makes UCSF and the Zuckerberg San Francisco General such special places to work. It's not just the caring and intelligence of the staff working so intensely in these settings, but the culture of collaboration and respect for one another that we help to create, to support us in the challenging but rewarding task of patient care. I'm especially grateful to the medical students and other trainees who have enriched my career and life.” David Elkin, MD, Professor of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry

“This award is a huge honor for me personally, but I have to insist it's not mine alone.  My role models are the nurses, environmental and food services staff, medical assistants, physicians, respiratory therapists, radiographers, lab technicians and scientists, and pharmacists with whom I work every day.  From the outset, they made me feel welcome and respected, inspiring me to be the best doctor I can be, and I simply return the favor.  This culture makes it a joy to come to work every day, and ultimately serves a larger goal: our patients receive better care when we are all working together as a cohesive team.” Patrick Newman, MD, MPH, pediatric hospitalist

“I am incredibly humbled and honored to receive this award. Professionalism and respect in education to me means encouraging all trainees to be curious, ‘comfortably uncomfortable’ with medicine as lifelong learners and to keep asking those clinical questions. As an educator I want trainees to be active listeners and to learn from their patients, colleagues and members of the interprofessional team.” Stephanie Rennke, MD, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, UCSF Bridges Curriculum Clinical Microsystem Clerkship (CMC) site director

“So much of what we learn in medical school isn't found in a textbook or on the internet. As students, we learn how to be physicians from our attendings, residents, and colleagues. Through them we learn to be responsible for our actions and our words, to care for our patients their families and our coworkers, and when it is important, to choose our battles. In the end we strive to practice medicine with dignity and respect. Maxine Papadakis is an inspiration to each of us who have had the good fortune to work with her and I am honored to receive the award named for her—as it represents her career-long dedication to teaching medical students ‘how to be’”. Dorre Nicholau, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine