Alisha Thomas, ’05 MD, instructor of Clinical Family and Community Medicine, received the 2014 Illinois Family Medicine Teacher of the Year Award by the Illinois Academy of Family Physicians (IAFP). Dr. Thomas was chosen for her outstanding contributions to the field of teaching family medicine, and will be presented with the award at the IAFP Annual Meeting Awards Banquet on November 7.
“It means a great deal to me to watch my students grow in knowledge, skill and confidence over the course of time, and I feel humbled to be recognized by my peers in the IAFP for doing so,” said Dr. Thomas.
Dr. Thomas was nominated for this award by her students in the Education-Centered Medical Home (ECME) program, where students work with the same preceptor and classmates over the four years of their education to help care for patients and measure their progress. When the new curriculum launched, she was one of the first three pilot ECMH mentors.
“I am extremely honored to have been nominated for this award by my students from the ECMH,” said Dr. Thomas. “I think the ECMH model of providing longitudinal experience in an outpatient setting between student and patient, student and preceptor, and student and peer really helps to enrich the learning process.”
Elizabeth R. Ryan, EdD, vice chair for Education and assistant professor in Family and Community Medicine, said, “I often hear stories of how Dr. Thomas’s students love her. On top of her dedication to teaching her students she is humble and her love for teaching is driven internally and not from external validation. This is a characteristic in combination with her others noted by her students in her nomination letter qualify her for this honor and recognition.”
Dr. Thomas completed her bachelor of science in biomedical engineering and was a graduate of the Honors Program in Medical Education at Northwestern University. She earned her medical degree at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Thomas attended the West Suburban Medical Center Family Medicine Residency Program in Oak Park, IL, and has been a faculty member at Feinberg since 2009.
The Teacher of the Year Awards recognizes a physician who has made outstanding contributions to the field of teaching family medicine by developing and implementing innovations in family medicine education and inspires new family physicians through dedication, mentoring and support.
The Illinois Academy of Family Physicians (IAFP) is a professional medical society dedicated to maintaining high standards of family medicine representing over 4,000 family physicians, residents and medical students.