School Year Off to Momentous Start
Dr. Glassroth welcomes the Class of 2012 to the Feinberg School.
Founders’ Day did double duty this year. Not only did the August 29 event officially open the Feinberg School’s academic year by welcoming the Class of 2012, but it also launched the beginning of what will be a year-long observation of the medical school’s sesquicentennial or 150th anniversary.
In 1859 the Feinberg School of Medicine got its start as the new medical department of Lind University in Chicago. Thanks to six young physicians who believed in more exacting standards for medical education such as “graded” studies, a century and a half ago 33 students looked forward—just like this year’s 170 entering class members—to their first year of medical school. Fittingly, Northwestern has made sure each year to share the achievements of the Feinberg School’s original founders with all students and their family and friends at Founders’ Day.
“This Founders’ Day Convocation is the first of several formal celebrations of the accomplishments of our students and faculty,” said J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD, vice president for medical affairs and Lewis Landsberg Dean. “I thank you for coming today to be a part of the celebration and to welcome a talented group of new students who will help to write the story of the Feinberg School of Medicine for the next century and beyond.”
Following his welcoming remarks, Dean Jameson introduced key faculty and administrative leaders whom the entering students will come to know during their four years at Northwestern. Raymond H. Curry, MD, GME ’85, dean for education, presented several teaching awards to medical educators recognized by the Feinberg School’s leadership as well as by medical students. The Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence went to Walter G. Barr, MD, professor of medicine; Kimbra A. Bell, MD, assistant professor of clinical medicine; John E. Butter, MD ’91, assistant professor of medicine; Marian Dagosto, PhD, professor of cell and molecular biology; and Nancy Schindler, MD, GME ’98, associate professor of surgery.
Student votes from the first- and second-year classes highlighted extraordinary instructors and their skillful ability to teach basic science and the Patient, Physician, & Society (PPS) course. Known as the George H. Joost Outstanding Teacher Awards, these honors for the 2007â08 academic year went to George R. Flouret, PhD, professor of physiology, for basic science teaching, and Gordon J. Siegel, MD, GME ’82, assistant professor of clinical otolaryngology—head and neck surgery, for PPS instruction. Katherine L. Watson, JD, assistant professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics, received the 2008 American Medical Women’s Association/Gender Equity Award and Elizabeth R. Ryan, EdD, assistant professor of family medicine, accepted the Michael M. Ravitch Outstanding Teacher Award.
Keynote speaker Jeffrey Glassroth, MD, vice dean, chief academic officer, and professor of medicine, welcomed the Class of 2012 to the world of medicine and “one of the most invigorating, expanding, and fulfilling experiences that you will likely ever have.” Learning how the human body functions in health and fails when disease strikes, these medical students will have the privilege during their careers as physicians to share in some of their patients’ greatest as well as most devastating moments, according to Dr. Glassroth.
Katherine L. Watson (left) received the 2008 American Medical Women’s Association/Gender Equity Award and Dr. Ryan accepted the Michael M. Ravitch Outstanding Teacher Award.
Presenting his talk entitled “Feinberg School of Medicine at 150 Years: Looking Back and Moving Forward,” Dr. Glassroth discussed the medical school’s long and illustrious history in medical education, clinical care, and research. He also lauded the contributions of the people—from Feinberg School founder Nathan Smith Davis, often known as the “father” of the American Medical Association, to astronaut and alumnus Michael R. Barratt, MD ’85, GME ’89—who have helped shape Northwestern into the outstanding medical school it is today.
“As we initiate the sesquicentennial celebration, I submit to you that there never has been a better or more challenging time to be a physician and/or biomedical scientist,” said Dr. Glassroth. “We have never had the ability to do so much good.” He urged the entering students to push the boundaries of science and technology as they move forward but to never forget the art and power of their relationships with patients “both to help them and to derive maximum satisfaction from your profession.”
At the conclusion of the convocation, Lindsay Kuo, president of the Medical School Student Senate and a member of the Class of 2010, presented the new M2 Student Senate Service Awards. Recognizing individuals who have gone beyond their medical school studies to positively influence their Northwestern environment and community, the award recipients were Juan Bautista, Rebecca Cantone, Ashley Keyes, Katie Kinner, and Janet Lee.
Then it was time for the white coat ceremony. With a rip of plastic bags, first-year students pulled out their sparkling white coats and donned them with the experienced assistance of the Class of 2011. It’s official. The academic year 2008â09 has begun!