Looking back at the number of oncology fellows and faculty who have participated in our communication skills and faculty development courses makes me very proud as they have contributed to the culture change in this area by becoming effective teachers of the doctor-patient relationship and developing their own scholarship.
Very recently, a student approached me with tears in her eyes. She told me that my latest lecture clarified for her concepts that had confused her for the entire year. It is these private “light bulb” moments that are particularly meaningful in my life as a teacher. This is when I truly feel that what I do makes a difference in someone’s life.
The highlight of my career was the privilege of serving as the dean of UT Dental Branch at Houston and helping to create a new direction and academic home for future dentists and dental hygienists, while forging special alliances with the alumni, community and organized dentistry.
I am very grateful for having the opportunity to be recognized for what I love and live to do on a daily basis. One of the proudest moments of my career was receiving the Piper Professor Award from the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation in 2009.
Last year at a conference in San Diego, I met one of my graduate residents from more than 10 years ago who told me, "You are my role model." After graduation, he had studied acupuncture and integrative medicine practices bringing these into his patient care and resident teaching. At this moment, I realized how our teaching efforts can have enormous downstream effects on our learners.