Students and residents who exemplify Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine’s broad and longstanding commitment to humanism in medicine were recently recognized at the 8and Annual Faircloth Evening of Medical Humanism.
Co-sponsored by OUWB and Oakland University’s School of Education and Human Services, what became a signature event brought together nearly 100 people online and in person.
The evening is dedicated to Patrick Faircloth, Ph.D., an Oakland University alumnus, who established an endowment for OUWB and SEHS to ensure medical students study communications and interpersonal skills in as part of their training to become compassionate physicians.
At the March 30 event, 19 OUWB students and six Beaumont residents were inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society. The Counseling Department at SEHS presented eight awards and, for the first time, Leonard Tow Awards for Humanism in Medicine were given to an OUWB student and a doctor from Beaumont.
“More than ever, we need to recognize human kindness and goodness around the world,” said Duane Mezwa, MD, Stephan Sharf Dean, OUWB.
Kicking off the evening, Mezwa paid tribute to several in attendance, including fellow OU school deans and Oakland University President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, MD.
“So proud of these people”
Jason Wasserman, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Basic Medical Studies and Department of Pediatrics, OUWB – and Faircloth Coordinator – introduced the OUWB Gold Humanism Honor Society chapter leadership team. They are M4s Dina Abdo, Anisah Hashmi and Lucas Nelson – all 2021 GHHS inductees.
“The Gold Humanism Honor Society recognizes students who are not just leaders in medicine, but who are those who demonstrate compassion and exemplify care,” said Abdo, president of OUWB’s GHHS chapter.
Hashmi explained that in the first round of the process, GHHS inductees are nominated by their class peers. Hashmi noted that the decision was made this year to consider more applications in the first round in a bid to be “more fair and inclusive”.
The top 33% – in terms of peer votes received – are invited to submit a personal statement and letters of recommendation. The top 15% of these submissions are selected for induction.
“We were looking for people who embody the values of caring, community service, diversity and inclusion, and professionalism,” Hashmi said.
“We are so proud of these people,” she added. (See chart for full list)
Yousef Ibrahim, M3, was among those inducted and called it an “honour”.
“Every aspect of who I am is about giving back and why I went into medicine,” he said. “It’s an honor to be recognized, but it’s just the beginning…hopefully I can take that step and move on and keep building.”
Brittany Silverman, M3, said GHHS induction “means the world to me.”
“I think what really meant the most to me was just knowing that my classmates were the ones who wrote to me because…all of my classmates are amazing people,” she said. declared.
Majd Faraj, M3, called the GHHS induction a “great honour” which was made even more special by the fact that some of his family members from Lebanon were able to attend the ceremony.
“We learn a lot throughout medical school, and having humanism at the forefront of what we do is great,” he said. “This (event) illustrates that.”
Faraj’s family members weren’t the only ones who wanted to celebrate their relative inductees.
Holly Kazyak, mother of GHHS inductee Kelsa Kazyak, beamed with pride after the ceremony.
“It’s great that the OUWB understands all aspects of the medical profession rather than just the academic,” she said. “To see (Kelsa) honored in this way, I’m so proud of her…it’s who she is and where she shines.”
The Leonard Tow Award for Humanism in Medicine presented by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation recognizes graduate medical students and faculty members who exemplify humanism in patient care.
For the first time ever, the OUWB GHHS Chapter presented the award to a student and another to a faculty member. Each was nominated by members of the OUWB Class of 2022.
The faculty member was Steven Joseph, MD, assistant professor, Department of Emergency Medicine.
“I’m incredibly grateful for that,” he said. “You have no idea what this means to me…I really appreciate it. Thanks very much.”
The student was Maidah Rajah, M4. Abdo introduced Rajah as “someone who not only behaves with grace and integrity, but also with kindness”.
“He’s someone who shows up flawlessly for his peers no matter the time of day,” Abdo said. “He is someone who carries the OUWB mission statement in his heart.”
Rajah said she was “incredibly honoured”.
“I am only here because of the people who have helped me and will continue to do so – and that includes my patients,” she said.
“Listen Deeper and Listen More”
The evening’s talk was given by Greg Bennick, a humanitarian, TedX presenter and entrepreneur.
Bennick focused primarily on the topics of listening and humanism, and how the two are intertwined.
He drew on his experiences as the founder of One Hundred for Haiti (a humanitarian organization for Haiti) and co-founder of the Portland Mutual Aid Network – mixed with stories about his parents, the power of candy and even a little of juggling. .
“We are all insecure and scared creatures, and we desperately seek validation in the world,” he said. “But I hope that in the midst of this, our own sense of heroism will not get in the way of humanistic ideals of listening to people, of humbling ourselves for the people we serve.”
He concluded his lecture by explaining that his life experiences have shown him the power of listening.
“Listen deeper and listen more,” he said. “It’s something we can start doing here, now.”
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