January Student Centeredness Award Winners
|Dr. Carlos Baptista|
The University of Toledo graduates about 150 newly minted medical doctors each year, but a blue ribbon panel of physician experts recently reported that unless more begin staying in northwest Ohio, the area will face a physician shortage of crisis proportions in five years.
The report underscores the importance of creating opportunities for UT medical students and ensuring they have a positive experience.
January's winners of the Students First Award, which recognizes student centeredness, are doing their part.
Dr. Carlos Baptista, assistant professor of neurosciences, and Maggie Lienhardt, the Department of Family Medicine clerkship coordinator, were both nominated for the award by several medical students.
Baptista said he came close to needing medical care himself when his award was delivered unannounced and in person by President Lloyd Jacobs and members of his Commission on Student Centeredness during a gross anatomy lab.
"Ialmost had a heart attack when Dr. Jacobs called out my name," Baptista said. "I was very honored and surprised."
Although anatomy is a notoriously difficult class, students noted Baptista makes it exciting.
Medical student Habib Srour said, "He makes innovative use of technology, makes an extra effort to follow up with students, and recognizes and teaches with an eye toward different learning styles. Because he is also an MD, he takes time to explain the context of what we are learning and how it's relevant to the clinic and life as a physician."
Medical student Mike Crotty added, "He is always available to explain difficult concepts, even if he was not the one who taught us the material. He spent an hour with me and I had not even been his student in over a year."
Asthe family medicine clerkship coordinator, Lienhardt assures physicians are properly credentialed, that UT recruits the best possible physicians, and that medical students are placed in enriching positions with outstanding preceptors.
But she doesn't let a job description stop her from putting students first.
Recently, when students were working to reopen a free clinic they operate for those in medical need, Lienhardt filled out the necessary credentialing packets for family medicine physicians, allowing them to serve as student preceptors and to see patients, thus clearing the clinic to open.
Dr. Thomas Tafelski, associate professor of family medicine, said, "That was not in her job description; she agreed to do it because the students needed help."
Sunil Arora, a second-year medical student, said each credentialing packet takes three to four hours to fill out, and "Maggie has filled out eight … and counting."
Fourth-year medical student Mary LaSalvia said reopening the clinic was a six-month process that wouldn't have happened without Lienhardt.
"She was the driving force behind making it happen," LaSalvia said. "She was very supportive."
Asa result, medical students and the community are feeling better.