Thea James, MD, associate professor of Emergency Medicine at BU School of...
Four MED Profs Earn Top Honors
Recognized for teaching, mentorship, and medical expertise
Four School of Medicine faculty members were recently honored for their excellence in teaching, devotion to students, and respect for patients.
“Boston University School of Medicine very much values its master teachers,” says Karen Antman, Medical Campus provost and MED dean. “Alumni comment on the dedication of the faculty to teaching and mentoring and on their importance as role models in both science and patient care.”
Shoumita Dasgupta, MED associate professor of medicine
Dasgupta, assistant dean of admissions and codirector of the Graduate Program in Genetics and Genomics, earned the Stanley L. Robbins Award for Excellence in Teaching, MED’s highest teaching honor. The award was established in 1980 in recognition of Robbins, a former MED professor and chair of pathology, who was known for his exceptional teaching and devotion to students.
“The focus of my efforts in the classroom has always been to give students the tools they need to become accomplished doctors—to have those same students support my nomination for this award couldn’t be a bigger honor,” Dasgupta says. “It was also incredibly gratifying to have the support of my peers, and joining the group of past Robbins award winners puts me in the company of truly dedicated and engaging educators.”
In the classroom, Dasgupta applies classic genetics and modern genomics to biomedical research and clinical practice. She has presented and published nationally and internationally, regrading innovative teaching approaches to genetics and cultural competency education.
“Dr. Dasgupta genuinely cares about students and wants to make sure we learned as much as we could from the course,” wrote one nominating MED student. “She was always kind, engaged, and approachable. It is inspiring to see someone with so much enthusiasm for, and commitment to, teaching and to helping students.”
On a personal note, Dasgupta says that her parents made many sacrifices when they immigrated to the United States to raise her and her brother. “Being able to share this moment with my family, including my mother, made it even more meaningful,” she says.
Lorraine Stanfield , MED clinical assistant professor of medicine
Stanfield, director of the Clinical Skills and Simulation Center, received the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award, which is given to an educator who demonstrates clinical expertise, compassion in delivery of care, and respect for patients, students, and colleagues. The award is supported by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation.
Describing herself as both humbled and honored by the award, Stanfield says that she is “barely at the mean in terms of clinical acumen, teaching ability, or kindness” when compared to her peers. “It is my good fortune that in addition to having a rich primary care internal practice at the Dorchester House, I get to work with medical students,” she said. “Through their eyes I can marvel anew at how physical and emotional problems present in loud and subtle ways.”
Stanfield also won the Educator of the Year in Preclinical Sciences award. Among her many roles, she has directed and taught the Introduction to Clinical Medicine 2 course for the past 20 years, is a member of the school’s Office of Medical Education, and cares for patients and teaches MED students basic clinical skills at the Dorchester House Multi-Service Center.
The second award took Stanfield by surprise and made her wonder “is it because I am bald?” Diagnosed with breast cancer last fall, she has worked and taught through chemotherapy treatments that drained her energy and robbed her of her brunette bob. She was open about her condition and students and colleagues reached out in numerous ways. Students brought her fuzzy socks; colleagues and staff covered for her and sent home hot meals. “For someone used to being a caregiver, it was quite a role reversal,” she says.
In her clinical skills courses, Stanfield teaches medical students how to interview and examine patients. “We coach students on their communication skills,” she says. “’How can you use your words and your actions to help someone tell their story? How can you offer comfort to someone who is suffering?’ This year I have gained new perspective on all of this.”
“I love this work,” notes Stanfield. She says the two awards represent “a wonderful stimulus to continue to innovate. In the coming years at BUSM, I hope to grow as an educator truly deserving of these awards.”
David McAneny, MED associate professor of surgery
McAneny, vice chair for clinical quality and patient safety, received the Educator of the Year in Clinical Sciences award.
“I practice with so many worthy and accomplished teachers that it is a great honor to have received this award,” McAneny says. “Physicians and surgeons are natural teachers, based upon our calling to constantly educate patients and their families, as well as students and residents.”
McAneny is a previous recipient of the Stanley L. Robbins Award for Excellence in Teaching and of the Massachusetts Medical Society’s Grant V. Rodkey Award for his contributions to medical education and medical students. He specializes in tumors and other diseases of the endocrine system, the gastrointestinal tract, the pancreas, the hepatobiliary system, and the spleen.
Matthew Nugent, MED professor of biochemistry and ophthalmology and College of Engineering professor of biomedical engineering
“I had been nominated a few times in previous years but, knowing that there are so many excellent faculty at the Medical School, I never really gave much thought to winning this award,” Nugent says.
Nugent recently worked with a team of faculty to create a new curriculum for graduate students and mentors many students in his research lab in the biochemistry department. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers that have been cited nearly 4,500 times. From 2006 to 2012, he directed the Massachusetts Lions Eye Research Laboratory.
The awards were presented during MED’s Convocation ceremony on May 18.
This BU Today story was written by Leslie Friday.