Three members of the Department of Surgery were recognized this year at the Washington University School of Medicine 2020-2021 Distinguished Service Teaching Awards. These awards are presented annually to medical school faculty and house staff in appreciation of exemplary service in medical student education.
Transplant surgery fellow Jennifer Yu, MD, MPHS, received the Clinical Educator of the Year Award for her teaching of medical students during the surgery clerkship. Students appreciated Yu’s commitment to providing exceptional experience in both technical skill and medical management.
One student said: “I’ve never worked with anyone so beloved across the hospital. Everywhere we went, people from all levels of the hospital staff, including nurses, floor secretaries, residents, etc. knew her and were excited to see her. She approached every day with so much joy and care for those around her.”
Another student stated: “Dr. Yu made sure I felt included in the group, and that I was getting ample opportunities to learn and grow. Her warmth and thoughtfulness created a culture of support throughout the team.
Yu, who also received the 2020-2021 Gregario A. Sicard Teaching Fellow Award for her performance in educating general surgery residents, has over a decade of experience at Washington University. In 2008, she graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with dual degrees in biomedical engineering and applied science in chemical engineering. She then earned her medical degree and a master of population health sciences degree, completed the T32 Surgical Oncology Clinical Research Fellowship, and completed general surgery residency training, all at the School of Medicine.
General surgery residency graduate Wen Hui Tan, MD, received the Critical Thinking – Procedural Topic Award for enhancing a medical student’s understanding of a procedural topic, such as surgical skills. Tan, who also earned her medical degree at Washington University, completed general surgery residency at the School of Medicine in 2021 and is pursuing further advanced training through a fellowship in minimally invasive surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She also received a 2020-2021 Teaching Award from the Department of Surgery for her contributions to resident and medical student education.
T.K. Pandian, MD, MPH, an assistant professor in the Section of Surgical Oncology, received the Didactic Award for outstanding didactic sessions outside of the clinical setting, such as in lectures, simulation labs or other sessions. Pandian, who is rotation director for surgical oncology medical student education, also completed the Teaching Scholars Program, a 12-month certificate program offered by the Office of Education to develop future leaders in health care education. As rotation director for the third-year medical student surgery clerkship, Pandian has developed new curriculum content for the medical school’s Gateway Curriculum. He is also a recipient of a 2020-2021 Teaching Award from the Department of Surgery and the 2021 Academy of Educators Honor Roll Award, which recognizes faculty members making outstanding contributions to education.
The Distinguished Service Teaching Awards are voted on and presented by Washington University medical students. These awards allow students to express their appreciation for the efforts, dedication and patience of their educators.
The Department of Surgery congratulates Yu, Tan and Pandian on these well-deserved awards.