Talented Teachers Honored With 2019 Siegel Awards

Published May 21, 2019

Eight medical school teachers, a fellow, four residents and three medical students received 2019 Louis A. and Ruth Siegel Awards or honorable mentions for excellence in teaching.

“He provided me with the role model of the type of resident I hope to be one day.”
Student comment about award winner Kyle Waisanen, MD ’14

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 following six departments: emergency medicine, family medicine, medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pathology and anatomical sciences and urology.

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

Award Winners

Teaching in the Preclinical Program

Nominators emphasized his preparation, respect for his students and his teaching skills.

“I wish that every second-year medical student could work with this physician, as It would help them better prepare for third year and feel more confident for their first day of rotations,” is how one nominator described Manion.

“He really went above and beyond to prepare our preclinical students for the clinical years,” another nominator said.

Another said “he actively sought out interesting and unique patients for students to see, to help them experience what they learned in lecture in a real-world setting.”

Teaching in the Clinical Program

Student nominators emphasized Aswani’s bedside manner and empathy for his patients and his students.

“This is a physician who prioritizes not only the care of his patients, but also the molding of the next generation of physicians,” one nominator stated.

“He would take the time to meet with each student each week and give them personal feedback and also ask how they were doing,” another noted.

Volunteer Teaching

  • John Gillespie, MD, clinical assistant professor of family medicine
  • Jeffrey J. Lach, DO, clinical instructor of medicine

One student said that Gillespie “embodies the understanding of a strong connection of interest, respect and goodwill between teachers and students and offers the best environment for learning to occur.”

Another student noted that Gillespie “has gone the extra mile, taking his own personal time to ensure that all of us will be competent and well-rounded physicians.”

One student commented that Lach “required his students to provide evidence-based, clinical-care justifications on patient rounds, allowing students to apply book knowledge to real patients.”

Another mentioned that Lach “did everything possible to explain what was going on with his patients and to ensure they were comfortable. Time was never a concern.”

Resident Teaching

Waisanen earned high praise for the effort he put forward in his work with students.

One nominating student said that Waisanen “has gone above and beyond the call of duty, not only as a resident, but as an intern as well.”

“He provided me with the role model of the type of resident I hope to be one day,” another commented succinctly.

Special Recognition

  • Andrew Knapp, fourth-year medical student

Knapp established a mentoring committee with fellow fourth-year medical student Joel Braverman.

One nominator said of Knapp: “I strive to emulate his kindness, enthusiasm, integrity and selflessness. He’s the ultimate example of a natural leader who is as humble as he is charismatic and down to earth.”

Others noted how much help he gave others, despite his hectic schedule.

One student noted, “I literally couldn’t have gotten through Step 1 without his guidance and support.”

Honorable Mention

The following honorable mention recipients also were recognized at the ceremony:

Teaching in the Preclinical Program

Teaching in the Clinical Program

Volunteer Teaching

Resident Teaching

Special Recognition

  • Angela Grassi, second-year medical student
  • Elizabeth Kaufman, second-year medical student

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 conducted April 15 in the second-floor atrium of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences building.