Talented Medical Teachers Honored With 2014 Siegel Awards

George Ventro, MD

George Ventro, MD, accepts the Siegel Award for resident teaching. His students say he helps them feel confident working with patients and presenting to attending physicians.

Published April 17, 2014

Thirteen medical school teachers and four residents received Louis A. and Ruth Siegel Awards during the School of Medicine and Biomedical Science’s 2014 Faculty Appreciation Day and award reception April 16.

“He has mastered the ability to convey the joy of learning and discovery to his students.”
Student comment about Siegel Award winner Peter F. Kowalski, MD

The annual awards are the foremost means for University at Buffalo medical students to honor extraordinary professors and instructors.

This year’s awardees are from six departments: biochemistryfamily medicine, medicine, neurologypathology and anatomical sciences and surgery.

The honorees are listed below, along with nominators’ comments read during the award ceremony.

Teaching in the Preclinical Program

Steinbrenner “easily integrates her clinical experiences into lectures” and is “both a teacher and a role model.”

One student commented: “I often find myself writing down facts and treatment strategies from her lectures — knowing that they won’t be on the test — just because they are so interesting.”

Teaching in the Clinical Program

Students describe Kowalski as “a wonderful teacher” who “relishes the opportunity to teach.”

“He has mastered the ability to convey the joy of learning and discovery to his students.”

“He imparts the many critical life skills he obtained during his numerous years of practice.”

Volunteer Teaching

Gillespie “goes above and beyond his required duties” as a Clinical Practice of Medicine seminar leader and “trains his students to the highest standard.”

According to his students, Gillespie has held review sessions before exams with a standardized patient and has exposed students to multiple standardized patients per seminar session, which enables them to engage in greater patient interaction.

Resident Teaching

Nominators praised Ventro for “consistently treating everyone with respect” and for “setting a good example of how to develop rapport with patients.”

One student said, “he helped me build confidence in working with patients, and he helped me feel more comfortable presenting to the attendings.”

“He made all of his students feel as though they were a part of the team. He displayed an incredible knowledge base for a first-year surgical resident, and he shared his knowledge with his students.”

Honorable Mention

Recipients of honorable mention also were recognized at the ceremony. They are:

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.