The Graduating Class of 2022 have honored Michael Awad, MD, PhD, a professor of surgery and associate program director of the general surgery residency at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, as the Clinical Teacher of the Year. Graduates presented Awad with the award at the School of Medicine Commencement Ceremony May 20 on Francis Olympic Field at the Danforth Campus.
The award reflects medical students’ appreciation of his dedication, patience and skill in training future physicians.
“I am truly humbled to receive this award. It is especially meaningful coming from the graduating medical student class, for whom it has been my distinct privilege to have been a part of their pathway to becoming practicing physicians” says Awad.
“This is an incredible recognition of Mike Awad’s passion for education and his prioritizing of teaching among the many other priorities he has as a busy practicing surgeon,” says Timothy Eberlein, MD, Bixby Professor and Chair of the Department of Surgery.
Over the years, Awad has received several recognitions for his dedication to medical student education, including Distinguished Service Teaching Awards in 2018 and 2019.
Awad, who was inducted to the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Academy of Master Surgeon Educators, is a leading figure in surgical education at the Washington University. He is director of the Washington University Institute for Surgical Education (WISE), a 4,000-square foot educational space centered on surgical skills labs and simulation training. In 2013, WISE was certified by the ACS as a Level 1 Accredited Education Institute (AEI) for surgical education. Under Awad’s leadership, WISE established an ACS-AEI accredited education fellowship in 2018.
At the national level, Awad has led curriculum development for minimally invasive surgery fellowships as chair of the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons Resident and Fellow Training Committee. He is also President-elect of the Association for Surgical Education, a national organization dedicated to innovation, scholarship and professional development in surgical education.
For Awad, the most rewarding aspect of being an educator is the ability to help a learner grasp a challenging concept or technique.
“What I love is going to the operating room or clinic and having those moments with our students, residents and healthcare professionals, and seeing that light bulb go off,” he says.
The Department of Surgery congratulates Awad on this well-deserved recognition of his excellence in clinical education.