Honoring Dedication and Excellence: Florida Atlantic Schmidt College of Medicine’s Faculty Recognition Ceremony

Friday, Feb 09, 2024
Interim Dean Curtis Whitehair, Dr. Lawrence Brickman, Dr. Allison Ferris, and Dr. Jennifer Foster at Ceremony

BOCA RATON, FL – The Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University recently hosted its esteemed Faculty Recognition Ceremony, an annual tradition since the inception of the medical school. This special event, held on February 6, 2024, welcomed affiliate faculty to campus to celebrate their pivotal contributions in teaching and mentoring medical students in the M.D. program .

The ceremony was a celebration and acknowledgement of the crucial role played by community-based physicians. These dedicated professionals, who volunteer their time and expertise, are vital in shaping the practical medical experiences of the Schmidt College of Medicine learners. The evening's awards, highlighted the profound impact of the affiliate faculty's commitment.

Another highlight was the presentation of the Michael L. Friedland M.D. Educational Leadership Award, a prestigious accolade named after the college’s founding Dean. This year, Dr. Mark J. Di Corcia , Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Associate Dean for Educational Affairs and Admissions, was honored for his remarkable vision, integrity, leadership, and dedication to teaching.

Interim Dean Curtis L. Whitehair, M.D. , reflecting on the significance of the event, stated, “This ceremony is more than just a recognition of the extraordinary efforts of our affiliate faculty; it is a testament to the collaborative spirit that drives the educational excellence at Schmidt College of Medicine. Each award recipient embodies our commitment to not just healthcare education but to the compassionate, patient-centered care that defines our community. Their dedication is not only shaping the future of medicine but also strengthening the bonds between our college and the community we serve."

Spotlight on Award Recipients and Their Impact on Medical Students

These awards, meticulously selected by learners and peers, highlight the roles these educators play across various specialties, from guiding students through the intricacies of their medical education to fostering environments of care, learning, and mentorship.

Dr. Shonte Fraser-Damas received the Outstanding Preceptor for Foundations of Medicine (FOM) award. As a Family Medicine physician at FAU Medicine, Dr. Fraser-Damas is acclaimed for her patient advocacy and the inspiring way she teaches, guiding students through the complexities of family medicine with a focus on compassionate care.

Dr. Kenneth Folsom, a distinguished Dermatologist and Chair of the COM Admissions Committee, was honored as the Outstanding Volunteer Facilitator for FOM. His renowned dermatology lectures and invaluable contributions to the Foundations of Medicine underscore his commitment to fostering a safe and engaging educational atmosphere.

Dr. Thomas Lang (Ob/Gyn), honored as the Outstanding Obstetrics and Gynecology Preceptor, was noted for his mentorship and active involvement with M3/M4 students, guiding them through obstetrics and gynecology with a keen focus on academic development.

Dr. Norina Ocampo (Pediatrics), received the Outstanding Pediatric Preceptor award for her exceptional approach to pediatric education. Renowned for creating a warm and comprehensive learning atmosphere, Dr. Ocampo ensures that her interactions with M3 students at West Boca are both welcoming and deeply educational.

Dr. Robert Mellman (Gastroenterology) received the Outstanding Community and Preventive Medicine Preceptor award for his exceptional teaching and engagement in student initiatives, precepts M1-M2 and M3 students, significantly contributing to their educational journey in the Foundations of Medicine and the community and preventive medicine clerkship.

Dr. Allan Greissman (Pediatric Critical Care Medicine), Pediatric Hospitalists of South Florida honored with the Outstanding Attending in an Acting Internship award for the transformative influence on students in the pediatric ICU, notably active in the M4 pediatric ICU, profoundly impacting students’ learning experiences.

The Outstanding Clinical Teacher Awards were bestowed upon several faculty members, acknowledging their significant impact:

  • Omair Abbasi (Psychiatry) was acknowledged for his commitment to psychiatric education, enriching M3 students' understanding of mental health care at Memorial.
  • Melanie Altizer (Ob/Gyn), serving at St. Mary’s Medical Center and a TeamHealth Associate Regional Medical Director, was celebrated for her instrumental role in teaching medical students and residents, enhancing their obstetrics and gynecology skills.
  • Scott Lazar (Pediatrics), the main inpatient attending physician at Joe DiMaggio and the 2015 Clinical Teacher of the Year in Pediatrics, was recognized for offering invaluable insights to M3 students.
  • Jeffrey Wilson (Internal Medicine), acclaimed for his engaging teaching method, involves students and residents in learning tasks, utilizing rounds as impromptu lecture opportunities to connect core physiological concepts with patient care relevance, highlighting his dedication as a clinician and educator.
  • Matthew Ramseyer (Trauma Surgery), at St. Mary’s Medical Center and Interim Associate Program Director for the residency program, was lauded for his role in educating M3 students and surgical residents in trauma surgery, emphasizing hands-on learning and critical thinking.
  • Jeffrey Fromowitz (Dermatology), involved with the Dermatology elective for M4 students and recognized as a published author, enriches his teachings with a wealth of knowledge and experience, making a substantial impact at Boca Raton Regional Hospital.
  • Samuel Ostrower (Pediatric Otolaryngology), acknowledged for his significant educational impact through the ENT elective for M4 students at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, demonstrating an impactful teaching style.

Each of these awards not only recognizes the individual achievements of these remarkable educators but also highlights their collective contribution to fostering a nurturing and comprehensive learning environment at Florida Atlantic Schmidt College of Medicine. Their dedication and expertise are instrumental in preparing the next generation of healthcare professionals, embodying the highest standards of medical education and patient care.

Dr. Stacy Rubin, FACP, Assistant Professor of Medicine, commented on the importance of the affiliate faculty: "Our students are incredibly fortunate to work with such a devoted group of affiliate faculty. Their mentorship is invaluable in preparing our students for the next phase of their medical education."

Dr. Jennifer G. Foster, M.B.A, FACP, Assistant Dean for Clinical Curriculum, also praised the community-based faculty, noting, "They are the backbone of our clinical curriculum. Their dedication not only guides our learners to their future specialties but also to serving our community upon completion of their training."

The Faculty Recognition Ceremony is a testament to the collaborative spirit and educational excellence that defines the institution. The Schmidt College of Medicine takes immense pride in its affiliate faculty, whose dedication and expertise significantly enhance the quality of medical education. This ceremony is not just an event but a symbol of the synergy between the college and its affiliate faculty, a relationship that continues to inspire and shape the future of healthcare.

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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