Celebrating Teaching Excellence: Shaping Tomorrow's Physicians

Friday, Oct 27, 2023

Teachers receiving awards from students

Excellence is the cornerstone of Florida Atlantic Schmidt College of Medicine. This year, we continue our tradition of celebrating medical educators not only for their expertise but for their transformative imprints on their students. During our annual Medical Education Retreat, we came together to spotlight curriculum innovations and honor those at the forefront of our college's mission. Through these awards, we recognize our passionate faculty, the heart of our institution, nurturing the physicians of tomorrow.

Chosen through student nominations and committee selection, the award recipients exemplify a mix of dedication, passion, and innovation in medical education. They've made lasting impressions, shaping the minds and hearts of their students.

Spotlighting this year's distinguished awardees:

Dr. Parvathi Perumareddi (Associate Professor of Family Medicine), Outstanding Course Director : is recognized not only for her educational excellence but also for her impact on the students. Dr. Perumareddi shared, "I am deeply grateful for the privilege of teaching medical students who are enthusiastic, curious and dedicated and whom embrace my long-time passion of educating, guiding and mentoring them. Moments when I see growth and concepts click are incredibly fulfilling as is witnessing them reach their potential. It is a truly humbling honor to receive this meaningful award from my students; I am inspired by them daily and am excited to encourage and celebrate their future paths!”

Dr. Ajay Bommareddy (Associate Professor of Pharmacology), Outstanding Lecturer : transforms the complex subject of Pharmacology into an engaging experience. Emphasizing the importance of mindfulness, he remarked, “Students are my constant source of inspiration for bettering myself and allowing to do more in providing them an engaging and enjoyable educational experience”.

Dr. Stacy Rubin (Assistant Professor of Medicine and Foundations of Medicine Course Director), Outstanding Instructor : infuses subjects with a modern touch, ensuring they remain insightful. "It was such an honor it was to be selected by the students as an outstanding lab, simulation, or thread instructor. I was completely surprised and am incredibly grateful to the students for this recognition! I truly love educating and mentoring learners. It is especially rewarding to work with medical students at the earliest point on their medical education trajectory and watch them evolve into compassionate physicians who will deliver the highest quality of care to our patients.", Dr. Rubin mentioned.

Dr. Mark Di Corcia (Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Associate Dean for Educational Affairs and Admissions), Outstanding PBL Facilitator : distinguished for his PBL sessions, beautifully balances direction and freedom. He stated, "It's exciting to help a group of new medical students hone their clinical reasoning skills and become a functioning team during the first 9 weeks of medical school. My goal is to help facilitate their transition to medical school and to set them up on a trajectory for success over the next four years. I'm very proud of my former PBL students and what they have gone on to achieve and very touched to receive this award."

Dr. Suzanne Bertollo (Associate Professor of Population Health and Social Medicine and Associate Dean for Medical Education), IQ Facilitator : guides, challenges, and inspires, consistently inspiring students to reach their full potential. She expressed gratitude, "As a physician, I've been inspired by those who strive to provide care with expertise and compassion. I’m grateful to work with our exceptional students who exemplify this commitment and dedication to lifelong learning, and to receive an award for the privilege of doing so is truly special!"

Dr. Lea Sacca (Assistant Professor of Population Health and Social Medicine), Outstanding Mentor : is celebrated not just for her knowledge but for her profound impact on students' research journeys through her relentless mentorship. "Working with such an outstanding group of medical students is an honor. They inspire me every day with their determination, persistence, and never-ending ambitions to excel by striving to acquire new research skills to complement their medical knowledge. I am so grateful to be their mentor and I look forward to celebrating their successes.", Dr. Sacca reflected.

Dr. Peter Averkiou (Associate Professor of Pediatrics), FOM Facilitator : exemplifies what every facilitator should be. Students captured the sentiment, stating, "He is loved by everyone and brings a lot of light to the FOM team. He represents the pinnacle of what every facilitator should be: kind, encouraging, and knowledgeable." His approach to feedback and guidance not only uplifts but empowers students, refining their skills and elevating their confidence.

Dr. Robert Casey, Outstanding Clerkship Director : stands out for his personal touch in teaching. He crafts interactive, discussion-based lectures that leave a mark on his students. As one student shared,"His dedication is evident, not just in his lectures but in the way he takes the time to meet all of us, always addressing us by name. It makes us feel genuinely acknowledged." This engaged and attentive manner ensures every learner feels recognized and valued.

Mavis Brown (Director of Preclinical Education), Outstanding Staff Member : is the radiant presence that eases the challenges of academic life for students. A student recalled, "Her smile and laugh made every test day better. She is very positive, kind, and always tried to remember our names when we walked in the door." Mavis's efforts go beyond administrative tasks; she creates a warm and welcoming environment for all.

These educators, among countless others, ensure that the Schmidt College of Medicine remains a beacon of excellence, fostering the next generation of visionary and compassionate physicians.

We applaud all the award recipients who epitomize our dedication to excellence. Their tireless commitment aligns with our foundational values, casting an inspiring light on the path ahead for budding physicians. Their stories, much like their teachings, inspire, connect, and drive purpose in every MedOwl.

Our journey of recognizing excellence doesn't stop here. Looking forward, in February 2024, we'll be hosting the Faculty Recognition Ceremony. This evening is set to honor our community-based affiliate faculty, the unsung heroes who mentor our students in real-world scenarios.

At Florida Atlantic Schmidt College of Medicine, our vision is clear: nurture compassionate, knowledgeable, and exceptional doctors. With such educators guiding the path, the future of medicine is brighter than ever. To our educators, we extend our heartfelt gratitude for shaping the future of medicine through every lesson, piece of advice, and interaction.

Join us as we continue to honor the trailblazers in medical education, celebrating their tireless contributions and looking forward to more milestones in medical excellence. Because, at the end of the day, it's not just about teaching medicine, but about inspiring a vision of healthcare that is compassionate, informed, and always striving for excellence.

Go MedOwls! And here's to another year of celebrating teaching excellence!

Additional Information
The Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine offers students a variety of educational programs and degrees.
Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Road, BC-71
Boca Raton, FL 33431