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Siegel Awards Acknowledge Teaching Excellence

Published April 11, 2017

Fourteen teachers in eight departments received 2017 Louis A. and Ruth Siegel Awards or honorable mentions for excellence in teaching at an April 4 ceremony.

“He worked hard to gauge our understanding of the material, and he spent a lot of time elaborating the more difficult concepts.”
Student comment about award winner Stuart D. Inglis, PhD.

The annual awards are the foremost means for University at Buffalo medical students to honor their professors, instructors and teaching assistants.

This year’s awardees are from the departments of emergency medicine, family medicine, medicine, neurosurgery, pathology and anatomical sciences, pediatrics, psychiatry and surgery.

Honorees are listed below, along with nominators’ comments read at the awards ceremony.

Award Winners

Teaching in the Preclinical Program

A student who nominated Inglis for the award noted that he “stands out as the most dedicated, passionate, approachable and down-to-earth professors I’ve had.”

Other nominators emphasized that his enthusiasm was energizing, he always listened to students and he was “eminently helpful.”

“He worked hard to gauge our understanding of the material, and he spent a lot of time elaborating the more difficult concepts,” said another student.

Teaching in the Clinical Program

Student nominators pointed out that Breuer is known for the useful feedback he provides and his creative videos depicting common ICU medical problems.

Breuer found inventive ways to integrate teaching into many situations, said one nominator. He would “carry dry erase markers at all times so he could draw on the ICU room windows to demonstrate how physiologic principles related to the patient’s care.”

Another student noted that Breuer “is part of the reason why I now want to pursue a critical care fellowship.”

Volunteer Teaching

  • Susan Schwartz, MD, clinical professor emeritus of medicine

Many student nominators were grateful to Schwartz for her instruction at the Lighthouse Free Medical Clinic, where she has trained students for more than a decade.

“She continues to improve the community at large and also the careers of her students who work at the clinic,” said a nominator. 

Schwartz “collaborates with all of the academic and community partners the clinic has established to better serve those in need,” one student noted.

Resident Teaching

Shakir “is always approachable and makes mentoring medical students one of his top priorities — even though his clinical responsibilities occupy so much of his time,” noted a student nominator. 

“He goes above and beyond to expose interested students to the field of neurosurgery, allowing them both shadowing and research opportunities to help them match into this competitive field,” said another student.

One nominator was impressed that Shakir “was always willing to offer advice and guidance — whether it was in how to succeed during my neurosurgery rotation or how to improve my research manuscript.”

Honorable Mention

The following honorable mention recipients also were recognized:

Teaching in the Preclinical Program

Teaching in the Clinical Program

Volunteer Teaching

Resident Teaching

About the Siegel Awards

Louis A. Siegel received his medical degree from UB in 1923 and served as an assistant professor of obstetrics-gynecology for 21 years. He was a dedicated clinical teacher who inspired both medical students and house officers with enthusiasm and the spirit of inquiry.

Considerations for the Siegel Awards include nominees’ instructional skill, ability to stimulate thinking and develop understanding in students, demonstration of sensitivity toward the human condition and ability to serve as a role model for students.

A student committee comprised of representatives from each medical class reviews nominations from students and selects awardees.

Michael E. Cain, MD — vice president for health sciences and dean of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences — and Frank T. Schimpfhauser, PhD, associate dean for curriculum, gave opening remarks at the ceremony.