Highly-Regarded Doctor Named First Recipient Of The Laura Randall Schweppe Distinguished Professorship In Internal Medicine
WALK THE HALLWAYS of John Sealy Hospital, University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), and you’ll likely find Dr. Richard W. Goodgame deep in conversation with one of his Internal Medicine residents. The topic, however, may not always center on medicine.
“I go to their conferences, social events and talk to them about their lives and personal issues,” said Dr. Goodgame, program director of the UTMB’s Internal Medicine Residency Program. “It’s my responsibility to make sure they master the knowledge, skills and attitudes of Internal Medicine, and to do that I have to be involved in their lives.”
Dr. Goodgame, who came to UTMB four years ago from Baylor College of Medicine, said the vested interest he takes in his residents is similar to the experience he had as a resident at Johns Hopkins Hospital. “I always appreciated the faculty who gave me insights, who shared their personal lives with me and who had me to their homes,” said Dr. Goodgame, who is also vice chairman in the Department of Internal Medicine and a professor in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at UTMB. The faculty involved Dr. Goodgame in their lives, he observed. Their interactions were more than “just a routine set of encounters.”
Dr. Goodgame was recently named an Osler Scholar in UTMB’s prestigious John P. McGovern Academy of Oslerian Medicine, which indicates the high regard in which the doctor is held. Scholars are selected from among practicing physicians in UTMB’s School of Medicine based on their history of giving competent, humane and compassionate care, as well as for their qualities as teachers and role models. Dr. Goodgame also received the McGovern Academy of Oslerian Medicine’s Excellence in Clinical Teaching Award. Additionally, Dr. Goodgame was appointed this year to be the inaugural holder of the Laura Randall Schweppe Distinguished Professorship in Internal Medicine.
For Dr. Goodgame, these honors provide an overwhelming sense of support. The awards also give him freedom to use the money that accompanies the honors to bolster the residency program. Resources from the Schweppe Distinguished Professorship, for example, helped fund a Global Health Initiative Program in which residents spend a month providing medical treatment in Kenya, Africa; a weekly, online testing program that has resulted in vastly improved medical board scores; and a simulation program in which every intern receives training in ultrasound-guided invasive, bed-side procedures.
“We couldn’t do those things without support—those are not budgeted items,” said Dr. Goodgame. Such activities may receive financial support through competitive grants, he noted, but funding primarily comes from philanthropic sources like the Schweppe Endowment.
The Schweppe Distinguished Professorship honors the late wife of Dr. Henry I. Schweppe, a 1954 alumnus who is retired from private practice. Dr. Schweppe is also a former associate chief of Baylor College of Medicine’s Department of Internal Medicine. Dr. Schweppe said he established the endowment o honor his wife and to reward exemplary teaching at UTMB.
“The recipient does not have to crank out research, so long as they’re actively teaching,” Dr. Schweppe said. “From what I’ve seen of Dr. Goodgame, I think he’s an excellent choice.”
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