Six Residents Receive Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Award

March 19, 2020 by

University of Virginia School of Medicine Clinician Awards 2020

(Above, left to right: Rebecca Haug, Emily Richardson, Sarah Podwika, Mallory Abney, Joshua Reyes, and Delaney Carpenter. | Photo by Coe Sweet.)

The Arnold P. Gold Foundation recently awarded its Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Award to six of our residents. This award recognizes outstanding humanistic teaching residents, as identified by students who worked with them, and is based on the residents’ exceptional teaching skills and commitment to the compassionate treatment of patients and families, students, and colleagues.

The awardees are: Mallory Abney, MD (Emergency Medicine); Delaney Carpenter, MD (Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery); Rebecca Haug, MD (Medicine); Sarah Podwika, MD (Ob/Gyn); Joshua Reyes, MD (Pediatrics); and Emily Richardson, MD (Medicine).

Here is what their nominators had to say:

Dr. Mallory Abney, Second-Year Resident

“Mallory immediately stood out to me when I read of this award. He went out of his way to teach me when we were on service together. … He placed an emphasis on going to see every patient when cross-covering, always responding to nurse’s pages by checking on patients, and on treating all patients with respect and compassion even with all of the time pressures that come with being a resident. He is respectful, an excellent listener, and a wonderful doctor.”

Dr. Delaney Carpenter Third-Year Resident

“Delaney is an incredibly competent physician and goes above and beyond to teach, taking care to instill confidence in students to act independently. She regularly displays humanism when treating patients with life-limiting diseases, in particular devoting time to discuss details with patients and families, anticipate areas of uncertainty, and listen to all concerns.”

Dr. Rebecca Haug, Second-Year Resident

“… I wanted to highlight Dr. Rebecca Haug for being an amazing mentor. She was by far [my] favorite resident to work with during my third year. She was extremely patient, kind, and always looked to provide me with opportunities to learn during my GI Gen Med rotation. As third-year medical students, we are often expected to do this on our own, but she took time out of her busy schedule to make sure that all our questions were answered on a daily basis, that we were improving on our practical skills, and that we were having fun. One example that stood out to me in particular was when I watched her deliver a pancreatic cancer diagnosis to a relatively young man. She was direct yet gentle, stayed close to the patient while delivering the news, but also gave him space and allowed the family to digest the information before continuing to speak. She told me exactly how she was going to approach the conversation before going into the room and debriefed with me after to make sure I was OK, as it was quite emotional. That stands out to me as my most memorable moment of third year. Internal Medicine was my favorite rotation partly because of her, and Dr. Haug helped foster my interest in this field.”

Dr. Sarah Podwika, Third-Year Resident

“I worked with Sarah on L&D during a week in which there were several emotionally (and professionally) challenging patients and outcomes. Toward the end of that week she took the time to address precisely how difficult the experiences were, the draining effects of that type of experience, and what mental/emotional work exists to get to a good place with those challenges. She used her own experiences as a tool for insight, even to the effect of laying [out] a lot of personal emotion to relative strangers. It is (too) rare to have a resident open up about difficult experiences in medicine, and rarer still to have them use that difficulty and vulnerability to try and impart wisdom on less experienced team members. Yet Sarah was able to do it with composure, insight, contemplativeness, and genuine openness — all while being a great example of somebody who can tightly grip the reins and take hard control of situations as needed. In entirely separate settings I have seen her easily elicit deep and important emotions from patients, build genuine and meaningful rapport with ease, maintain unbroken empathy with even strange or unexpected patient encounters, and readily reflect on those interactions with those around her. I truly think she represents a rarer but very valuable intersection between exceptional professional confidence and control, with a deep foundation of humanism. It is my opinion that she would be well-deserving of this recognition.”

Dr. Joshua Reyes, Third-Year Resident

“Though all the pediatric residents at UVA are compassionate doctors, Josh goes above and beyond in his effort to ensure that his patients receive not only the appropriate medical care but also feel informed and well-cared for while they are here. He answers medical students’ and co-residents’ questions with endless patience and makes a special effort to set them up for success.”

Dr. Emily Richardson, Third-Year Resident

“… She is the quintessence of culturally competent and humanistic care. On the busy ACS service and in the tumultuous period of fresh, new interns in midsummer, Dr. Richardson took ample time to carefully explain how the service’s workups, orders, and rounding worked, not only to her interns and medical students but also to her patients. She explained concepts to her patients in clear, non-medical speak (and did the same for me when necessary). If it were not for this resident, my IM rotation and the rest of my 3rd year would have been a complete disaster because until that point no resident took the time to sit down with me and work through every single one of my weaknesses while encouraging and reinforcing my strengths. She makes both her team and her patients laugh; she is incredibly efficient; and she is more than deserving of the Gold Humanism award.”

Thank you to these residents for being such outstanding, dedicated, and compassionate teachers — and congratulations!

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