Published April 19, 2016
Fourteen medical school teachers, three residents and a fellow received 2016 Louis A. and Ruth Siegel Awards or honorable mentions for excellence in teaching.
The annual awards are the foremost means for University at Buffalo medical students to honor their professors, instructors and teaching assistants.
The awards were presented during the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences’ Faculty Appreciation Day on April 13.
Honorees are listed below, along with nominators’ comments read at the awards ceremony, held in the atrium of the Biomedical Education Building.
Students described Cohan as “inspirational,” “incredible” and consistently going “above and beyond.”
He was cited for the “many ways in which he went beyond the job description in order to tailor the material to each individual student — not an easy task.”
Commenters noted that despite having more than 100 students in a class, Cohan knew all of their names by the end of the first week.
Students pointed out that his “devotion to the art of teaching neuroscience permeated through the short period that they interacted with him.”
One commenter described Zulqarni — known affectionately by her students as “Dr. Naz” — as “the most compassionate, caring, loving physician and person I have ever come across in my life.”
One student proclaimed: “She never shies away from the opportunity to be available and of service to those around her.”
“She is an exceptional teacher. She brought up topics on rounds to further enhance our learning, and she routinely asked if we understood things. If we didn't understand, she proceeded to explain thoroughly clinical findings, diagnoses and treatments.”
“Dr. Naz is the epitome of an outstanding physician who I would want to care for my own family members, and she is a teacher every medical student around the globe would be lucky to have.”
“Dr. Eckhert always took the time to address a patient’s emotional, as well as physical, well-being.”
Reflecting back on their rotation, one student said “I knew ultimately he would be my safety net, but I enjoyed the amount of independence I was allowed in patient management.”
“Dr. Eckhert has left a lasting impact on the lives of both patients and students who are fortunate enough to learn from him. He clearly embodies the multitude of factors that make for an exceptional physician and teacher.”
Chief surgical resident at Buffalo General Medical Center, Cho is noted for his patience and encouragement of trainees.
“Instead of correcting a wrong answer, he would ask follow-up questions to lead a student to the right answer. This served to help students understand how they arrived at answers and reinforce the correct answer.”
A Class of 2015 graduate named Cho “the best educator of my clinical years,” citing his constant effort to teach in a fun and effective way and a willingness to give honest career advice.
Recipients of honorable mention also were recognized at the ceremony. They are:
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.
Christopher S. Cohan, PhD, accepts a Siegel Award for preclinical teaching from third-year medical student Irene Lainiotis, a member of the awards committee.
Naz J. Zulqarni, MBBS, says a few words after receiving a Siegel Award for clinical teaching. Students called her the “epitome of an outstanding physician and teacher.”
Emily C. Battaglia, MD, a third-year fellow in cardiovascular medicine, received an honorable mention for resident and fellow teaching.
Ashkan Mowla, MD, speaks after accepting an honorable mention award for clinical teaching. It’s the second time he has won the award, having also received it in 2014.