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New York City
April 2002

Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Awards, 2001
By Edward D. Harris, Jr., M.D.

David C. Dale, M.D., President of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, presented the Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Awards to four prominent medical educators. Each winner receives $10,000 for continued activities as a teacher, his medical institution is given $5,000 for teaching programs, and the school’s Alpha Omega Alpha chapter is awarded $1,000.

Walter J. Bo, Ph.D.

Professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy,
Wake Forest University School of Medicine
on the Bowman Gray campus.

Walter Bo is now 78 years old, and it appears that his love of teaching keeps him young! After earning his Ph.D. at the University of Cincinnati in 1953, Dr. Bo joined the medical faculty at the University of North Dakota, and reached the rank of associate professor before moving to Bowman Gray in 1963, where he has taught for the past 43 years. He is one of the first faculty to meet matriculating students, instilling discipline, preparation, responsiveness, and respect for life.

Although much of Dr. Bo’s career antedated the computer revolution, he has emerged as a passionate proponent of the power of technology in medical education. His widely recognized textbook, Basic Atlas of Cross Sectional Anatomy, used in many anatomy courses, has been set in an interactive web-based format. Dr. Bo’s laboratory research generated NIH funding from 1963 through 1977. He has received the Basic Science Teaching Excellence Award at Wake Forest eleven times and in 1991 was presented with the Outstanding Service Award of the School of Medicine. In each of three decades Dr. Bo was given the School of Medicine Excellence in Teaching Award.

Dr. Bo’s continued vigor is attested by his leadership role in guiding the faculty through a recent reform of the curriculum at Wake Forest. He has taught anatomy to more than 3,800 medical students over these 43 years and is described as the “quintessential teacher with a heart of gold.”

J. John Cohen, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Immunology,
University of Colorado School of Medicine

“JJ,” as Dr. J. John Cohen is known around the Denver campus, earned both his Ph.D. in biochemistry/immunology and his M.D. during eight years at McGill during the 1960s, and after a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Henry N. Claman at the University of Colorado and with Av Mitchinson at Mill Hill in London he joined the Colorado Medicine faculty and has served there for 29 years. His research in programmed cell death and apoptosis has been widely acclaimed. As an example, the chapter he wrote on apoptosis in the immune system in Frank Dixon’s 1991 Advances in Immunology has been cited more than 2,000 times.

Dr. Cohen is the only teacher the University of Colorado Excellence in Teaching Award every year for the past 18 years. He has been the Teacher of the Year five times, has received the President’s award for teaching twice, and the Chancellor’s award from the graduating class twice. His exams are keyed to Magerian learning objectives, constituting a contract with the students. The course web site (http://mama.uchsc.edu) contains all of the objectives and complete notes, and is enhanced with practice tests, animations, and self-directed learning modules. Going beyond his expected duties, Dr. Cohen has over the past 12 years developed a Mini Med School, consisting of free lectures for the general public, that draws a standing-room-only crowd.

Dr. Cohen says of his students and postdocs, “I care about their development as people as much as I care about their development as physicians and scientists. I try to create an environment in which they are comfortable and can work at the level they’re happy working at.”

Douglas S. Paauw, M.D.

Associate Professor of Medicine,
University of Washington School of Medicine

Doug Paauw earned his doctor of medicine degree at the University of Michigan in 1985. After his residency at the University of Washington, he joined the faculty there in 1990. Despite his relative youth, in 2000 Dr. Paauw was awarded an endowed chair given by the Rathmann Family Foundation for Patient-Centered Clinical Education.

In 1991 Dr. Paauw took on the task of directing the core medicine clerkship and helped expand the program to include sites in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. His syllabus for the clerkship (Guide to Internal Medicine) is used by many scholars. A case-based problem-solving approach that parallels the core curriculum can be found on the internet at eduserv.hscer.washington.edu/med665/. Dr. Paauw founded the student-run “Osler Club” for generating interest in internal medicine. Recently, Dr. Paauw developed a curriculum that addresses patient communication issues and physician ethics for the clerkship. He has been a leader in developing effective use of standardized patients for assessing HIV risk and identification, and will be sharing his accomplishments as clerkship director by publishing a handbook for those in this important role in medical schools.

Dr. Paauw’s teaching efforts have been recognized by his receipt of the Distinguished Teaching Award at the University of Washington in 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997.

Dr. Paauw’s nomination for the Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award stated, “His door is always open.”

Steven E. Weinberger, M.D.

Professor of Medicine,
Harvard Medical School

A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Medical School (where he was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha in 1973), Dr. Weinberger was a resident in medicine at the University of California at San Francisco, and then served as a clinical associate in the Pulmonary Branch at the NIH in Bethesda. In 1980, he became an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and 15 years later achieved promotion to professor. Dr. Weinberger’s hospital base at Harvard has been at the Beth Israel Hospital and, after serving for four years as Chief of the Pulmonary and Critical Care Division, he was named Vice Chairman and Associate Physician-in-Chief in the Department of Medicine in 1998.

Since 2000, he has been Executive Director of the Shapiro Institute for Education and Research at Harvard Medical School. His priorities at the Shapiro Institute have been to support trainees, aid in faculty issues facing medical education at a national level.

Dr. Weinberger’s passion for innovation in teaching is illustrated by two electives that he initiated for Harvard students, including an inter-institutional pulmonary clinical elective with a common didactic series, and an advanced biomedical science course named Everything You Wanted to Know from Core Medicine but Were Afraid to Ask.

Dean Joseph Martin points out that Dr. Weinberger “has received more teaching awards than any other faculty member in the history of Harvard Medical School.” These include the S. Robert Stone Teaching Award (1986), the Preclinical Teaching Award (1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, 2000 and 2001), and awards by the Class of 2002 for excellence in both Lecturing and Tutoring.#

Reprinted from The Pharos, Autumn 2001, pp. 26-30. Copyright 2001, Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society.


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