Teaching Awards

Harvard Medical School annually bestows teaching awards on its most outstanding teachers, who, through their excellence in teaching, will impact and influence the professional lives of students long after graduation. The awards presented at the Daniel D. Federman Teaching Award Celebration each May are HMS's most visible recognition of the teaching accomplishments of a highly select group of the School's leading medical educators, and reflect, in a small but tangible way, how much teachers are valued by their students and by HMS.

The 2017 Daniel D. Federman Teaching Awards was held on September 20 in the TMEC Amphitheatre and Atrium. This event celebrates our best teachers in the presence of students, faculty, former award recipients, and staff. The HMS community and their families are invited to attend this special event each year. For more information about the event, email pme@hms.harvard.edu.

2017 Recipients

Donald O'Hara Faculty Prizes for Excellence in Teaching

Donald O’Hara, Ph.D. Faculty Prizes for Excellence in Teaching

The Faculty Prizes for Excellence in Preclerkship Teaching are named in memory of Donald O’Hara, Ph.D., who was a beloved teacher of Harvard medical students. Dr. O’Hara also served as one of the leaders of the New Pathway Chemistry and Biology of the Cell course and as co-director of the HST course, Human Biochemistry and Metabolic Diseases. Dr. O’Hara was also a recipient of the Faculty Prize for Excellence in Teaching for his teaching of first-year medical students.

Dara Lee Lewis, M.D.
Instructor in Medicine
Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Dr. Lee Lewis, a graduate of Harvard Medical School who trained in medicine and cardiology at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, teaches in the preclerkship Pathways course, Homeostasis I. In nominating her for the O’Hara award, one student called her “one of the best instructors that I have ever had. She was always very clear in her explanations, and knew exactly how to resolve confusion. She also was extremely passionate and invested in student learning and always willing to put in extra time to answer questions!” She was also lauded for doing “a fantastic job explaining varied and difficult concepts…. She was able to walk us through step-by-step, and deconstructed ideas like heart failure and STEMi into pieces that we could follow. She also gave [us] frameworks for understanding these concepts... More importantly, Dr. Lewis went above and beyond and spent so much extra time explaining concepts to us outside and after class.” She “works very hard to make sure students understand the material… [and] understands very well how the new CBCL curriculum works, which really helps us as students learn.” “Lastly, she created an environment that was safe for asking questions, for making mistakes, and for testing ideas; our class was a safe place to learn.”

Jeffrey William, M.D.
Instructor in Medicine
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Dr. William is a nephrologist who trained at BIDMC and teaches in the Pathways preclerkship Homeostasis I and Homeostasis II courses. Student nominators lauded him as “one of the best [teachers] I have ever had in all my years of education” and shared that “as an instructor for first-year medical students he deeply cares about conceptual learning, and teaches us to apply process and logical thinking to every case we see, whether it's extremely simple or incredibly complex….He put an incredible amount of effort not only to provide information, but also to help us synthesize it into something that won't be easily forgotten—the essence of good teaching.” Students shared that Dr. William “goes one step beyond giving clear explanations; he pushes [us] on to truly understand the physiology. Every day [he] would show up to class… ready to face all of our questions, as complex as they might be.” He “went above and beyond to facilitate excellent class dynamics… [and] impressed” students with “how well [his] leadership style struck the balance between professionalism and familiarity. This balance–a difficult one to find–enabled our class to learn effectively while still developing a level of comfort that facilitated open discussion and participation.” All in all, “it is abundantly clear he cares so much for his students both professionally and personally.”

Charles McCabe Faculty Prizes for Excellence in Teaching

Charles McCabe, M.D. Faculty Prizes for Excellence in Teaching

The Faculty Prizes for Excellence in Clerkship Teaching are named in memory of Charles McCabe, M.D., who was a beloved teacher of Harvard medical students and who also served as the director of the Core Clerkship in Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital for more than two decades. Dr. McCabe was also a recipient of the Faculty Prize for Excellence in Teaching on multiple occasions for his teaching of third-year medical students.


Donald Bae, M.D.
Associate Professor of Orthopedic Surgery
Boston Children’s Hospital

Dr. Bae, a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School, teaches clinical orthopedics in the orthopedics elective at BCH, has taught the physical exam in musculoskeletal course in the preclerkship HMS curriculum, and has mentored HMS students in their scholarly research projects. He has received multiple awards for teaching, including the Robert P. Masland Award in 2013. A student who nominated him for the McCabe Award wrote, “I am … nominating him based on my day-to-day interactions with him, and the passion that I see he has for teaching and career mentorship. Whether in a complex case in the operating room, a booked clinic with unexpected delays, or in the hospital after a busy night on trauma call, Dr. Bae always makes time to get teaching points across to students. In clinic, between patient visits, he will print out journal articles for us to read, and will even give relevant mini-presentations before or after seeing a patient. Additionally, he is constantly encouraging us to seek improvement and reach beyond our comfort zone in all that we do, while emphasizing the bigger picture, which is always serving the patient to our best ability.”

Leigh Simmons, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Massachusetts General Hospital

Dr. Simmons is the Director of the Medicine Clerkship at MGH, Chair of the HMS Medicine Clerkship Committee, and Site Director for the Foundational Continuity Clinic (FCC) in the preclerkship Practice of Medicine (POM) course. She also precepts students in both FCC and the Primary Care Clerkship (PCC). She was nominated by students for the McCabe Award for being “an ideal preceptor…ensuring that…students encounter a breadth of primary care topics and receive abundant opportunities for firsthand patient experience.” As director of the Medicine Clerkship, she is “committed to ensuring that every student has an enjoyable and rewarding experience. She often stops by our afternoon didactic sessions and regularly elicits feedback on how things are going (not only at the middle and end of the clerkship).” Students shared that “she is effective at instituting changes and making improvements beyond our regular team duties, such as incorporating an online curriculum of cultural sensitivity modules and personally hosting evening case conferences for students on their ambulatory months.”

Bulfinch Medical Student Teaching Award

Bulfinch Award for Undergraduate Medical Education
Massachusetts General Hospital

The Bulfinch Award for Undergraduate Medical Education at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) was established in 2012 and is awarded to a Harvard faculty member at MGH for overall excellence in teaching of Harvard medical students. This award is voted by the students who complete the Principal Clinical Experience (PCE) at MGH.

Eli Miloslavsky, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Dr. Miloslavsky joined the Department of Medicine (DOM) at the MGH in 2014 and serves as the Co-Director of the MGH Vasculitis Center. Dr. Miloslavsky very much enjoys working with students throughout the medical school experience. He teaches in the preclerkship Immunity in Defense and Disease (IDD) course, is an Associate House Director in the PCE, serves as the Associate Director of the Medicine Core II Sub-Internship, and is the Co-Director of the Advanced Integrated Science Courses in the HMS Pathways curriculum. His research interests in medical education include medical simulation and resident-fellow interactions in the setting of consultation. He also spends a large portion of his time teaching residents and fellows in the DOM and serves as a Subspecialty Core Educator for Rheumatology and as Co-Chair of the Internship Recruitment Committee for the Medicine Residency Program. An award-winning educator, he has received multiple major teaching awards from students, residents and fellows at MGH and HMS for his role as teacher and clinician educator, as well as the prestigious Partners Medical Education Research Award for his contributions to the field of medical education.

Noelle Saillant, M.D.
Instructor in Surgery

Dr. Saillant graduated from the Boston University Modular Medical Integrated Curriculum program, a combined undergraduate and medical degree, in 2008 and completed her residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in 2013. She completed a clinical fellowship in Trauma Surgery and Surgical Critical at the University of Pennsylvania before joining the faculty in the Department of Surgery at MGH in 2016, where she is currently the Director of the Surgical Clerkship for the Principal Clinical Experience. A celebrated surgeon, intensivist and innovative teacher, her clinical interests include advanced surgical care of the trauma patient with particular focus on chest wall stabilization. Dr. Saillant's research interest is in the cellular aspect of trauma-induced coagulopathy. When not in the OR, she can be found surrounded by students, residents and fellows following her other passion, surgical education.

S. Robert Stone Award for Excellence in Teaching

S. Robert Stone Award for Excellence in Teaching
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

The S. Robert Stone Award for Excellence in Teaching has been awarded annually since 1981 to a member of the Harvard Medical School Faculty at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for outstanding achievement in the teaching of medical students and house staff. The award is given in honor of the late Honorary Trustee and past Board Chairman of the former Beth Israel Hospital by his children.

Anita Vanka, M.D.
Instructor in Medicine

Dr. Vanka is a hospitalist and Associate Program Director for the BIDMC Internal Medicine residency program. She is a site director for the HMS Transition to the Principal Clinical Experience course and is the author of a novel curriculum on teaching transitions in care. She teaches learners from the first week of medical school through senior residency training on the wards and is consistently praised for her compassionate care and her passion for and dedication to teaching and learning. In nominating her for this year’s Stone Award, students wrote: “She helped create a low-pressure, fun, welcoming atmosphere within which to learn and practice. Her clinical knowledge and bedside manner are outstanding.” “I am generally critical, but Dr. Vanka is superlative! Her enthusiasm for teaching was apparent from the outset and she is incredibly generous with her time. Her sessions were always relevant and clear, and learning with her was just plain enjoyable and dynamic. Great experience being her student.” “[I] wish I worked with her more.”

Yvonne Gomez-Carrion, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology

Dr. Gomez-Carrion is Director of the Ob/Gyn Resident Surgical Service at BIDMC. Her long career is characterized by her own enthusiasm for learning, which she shares with learners at all levels of training. She is known as a “simply superb surgical teacher” with a unique ability to bring both undergraduate and graduate medical education into the operating room setting. She provides residents and students with appropriate levels of responsibility while challenging them to grow their problem-solving skills. Students praise her creation of a safe learning environment, where questions are welcomed. She is described as “extraordinarily culturally sensitive and inspiring in her work with transgendered patients.” Dr. Gomez-Carrion’s high standards for herself and the people on her team inspire trainees to go out of their way to emulate her.

Leo A. Blacklow Teaching Award

Leo A. Blacklow Teaching Award
Mount Auburn Hospital

The Leo A. Blacklow Award is presented annually to an outstanding teacher who holds joint appointments at Harvard Medical School and Mount Auburn Hospital. The award honors Dr. Leo A. Blacklow, HMS 1930, who practiced Family Medicine in Belmont and at Mount Auburn Hospital. For over 60 years, he helped train residents and medical students while caring for five generations of families in Belmont and surrounding communities. Dr. Blacklow was a passionate advocate for education and an enduring role model for comprehensive and compassionate care for all.

Daniel Solomon, M.D.
Instructor of Medicine

Dr. Solomon is a primary care and infectious disease physician on staff at Mount Auburn Hospital. He completed his internal medicine training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Infectious Disease fellowship at the combined Brigham and Women’s/Massachusetts General Hospital program in the HIV clinician educator track. His clinical areas of interest and expertise are chronic infections that disproportionately affect marginalized populations, including HIV and hepatitis C. Dr. Solomon is the Associate Director of Medical Student Education and is widely recognized as an outstanding clinician and a remarkable educator, with a particular interest in how to teach clinical reasoning. Described by students and trainees as “inspiring,” “fantastic” and “phenomenal,” Dr. Solomon has a well-deserved reputation for combining intelligence, clinical insight, humility and warmth to create an exceptional clinical learning environment for all learners.

Bernard Lown Award for Excellence in Teaching

Bernard Lown Award for Excellence in Teaching
Brigham and Women’s Hospital

The Bernard Lown Award for Excellence in Teaching at Brigham and Women's Hospital was established in 2010 to celebrate physicians who are outstanding clinical teachers and to recognize the very significant role that education plays in carrying out the BWH mission and the institution’s deep commitment to the next generation of clinicians. The award honors Dr. Bernard Lown, senior physician at BWH, Professor of Cardiology Emeritus at the Harvard School of Public Health, and founder of the Lown Cardiovascular Center and Lown Cardiovascular Research Foundation. A gifted clinician, renowned bedside teacher, and research pioneer, Dr. Lown was named Master Teacher of the American College of Cardiology on five occasions. He co-founded International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) with Dr. Evgeni Chazov, of the former Soviet Union; in 1985, they were co-recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of IPPNW.

Stephanie A. Caterson, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Surgery

Dr. Caterson is the Director of Perforator Breast Reconstruction, a program that formalized microsurgical breast reconstruction at BWH. She also serves as the BWH Site Director for the Harvard Plastic Surgery residency program. Since joining the faculty of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 2007, she has been influential in the development of specialized pathways for care with anesthesiology and nursing, novel imaging techniques, physical therapy care plans, and online literature for these specific breast reconstructive surgeries. In 2009, she developed a Microsurgery Skills Lab for medical students, residents, and fellows to practice the delicate tasks of microsurgery outside of the operating room. Dr. Caterson won the 2012 PRS Julian J. Pribaz Teaching Award, recognizing the impact her teaching had on the residents’ microsurgical knowledge and proficiency.

Robert P. Masland, Jr. Teaching Award

Robert P. Masland, Jr. Teaching Award
Boston Children’s Hospital

Dr. Robert P. Masland, Jr. was the Chief of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine at Children’s from 1967-1993 and was a leader in establishing the field of Adolescent Medicine, as well as teaching communication and professionalism. In addition, he trained generations of medical students, residents, and faculty members at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH). He was a supporter of flexible careers and work-life balance long before these issues were openly discussed. As a medical educator, Dr. Masland served as Co-Director of the Combined Harvard Medicine/Pediatrics Training program and as Associate Master for the Cannon Society at HMS. One of his favorite activities was mentoring HMS students and trying to convince them to pursue a career in pediatrics. As the Chair of the Intern Selection Committee at Boston Children’s Hospital from 1983-2002, he sought to rank as many HMS students as possible. Dr. Masland died in 2010, and this award was established in his honor to recognize a Children’s Hospital faculty member who shares Dr. Masland’s passion for teaching medical students.

Ari Wassner, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Dr. Wassner is a pediatric endocrinologist, Director of the Thyroid Program, and Associate Director of the Pediatric Endocrinology Fellowship at BCH. A graduate of HMS, Dr. Wassner completed his internship and residency, chief residency, and fellowship in pediatric endocrinology at BCH. He is the consummate clinician educator and teaches medical students, pediatric residents, and pediatric endocrinology fellows. He is also an innovator and has used technology to enhance curriculum development, assessment, and communication. A recipient of an HMS Certificate of Excellence in Tutoring, he is a core faculty teacher in the preclerkship Homeostasis II course and a major developer of the endocrinology curriculum. It is in this role that he has been recognized by HMS students. A number of themes emerge from the many nominations he received, including his ability to explain concepts. A student wrote that he was "always keen on simplifying and clarifying material, drawing useful diagrams and tables improv-style...so the learning points would better stick." His support for students was also exemplary; "he reached out to students who needed help, offered his email in order to allow students to contact him, held office hours multiple times a week, stayed after class every day, and also offered the opportunity to let his students shadow him in the clinic." Several students were even inspired by Dr. Wassner to consider careers in endocrinology and pediatrics. His impact was best summarized by the observations of students that he "defines passion for teaching."

Richard A. Gillis Award for Excellence in Medical Education

Richard A. Gillis Award for Excellence in Medical Education

The Richard A. Gillis Award for Excellence in Medical Education was established in 2012 in memory of Rick Gillis (1953-2011), Executive Director of Curriculum Programs, whose 27 years of contributions to the MD program at Harvard Medical School exemplify the standards of excellence and the work ethic he inspired in those who were privileged to know him and to work with him. The award is given to a member or members of the HMS staff for their outstanding contributions to the educational mission of the School. This award serves as a reminder of Rick’s legacy and the critical role of staff in facilitating, in the words of his hero, President John F. Kennedy, the infinite potential of the human mind that can be realized through education … [and that] can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our Nation.”

Csilla Kiss
Program Coordinator
Oliver Wendell Holmes Society
Harvard Medical School

Csilla Kiss joined the Program in Medical Education (PME) as the Program Coordinator for the Oliver Wendell Holmes Society in January 2006, and since then she has made an important impact on the medical school experiences of students in the Holmes Society and across the other four societies as well. In addition to “her dedication to students, past and present, in the Holmes Society, she has “demonstrated outstanding teamwork in collaboration with her colleagues in the other Academic Societies and the Office of Student Affairs in the planning and implementation of sessions on career advising for students across all years of the MD program.” She is always ready to roll up her sleeves and tackle the next challenge or project and is a great colleague and support to the faculty of the Holmes Society. In the words of Holmes Society Advisory Dean Dr. Anthony D’Amico, Ms. Kiss “teaches professional and personal life balance through her actions and not just her words; [she is] a true role model and leader.”

L. James Wiczai, Jr. Award

L. James Wiczai Award for Leadership, Excellence, and Innovation in Medical Education

The Wiczai Award was established in 2000 by Karen C. Kirby in memory of her husband, L. James Wiczai, to honor a staff member from an affiliated hospital who fosters innovation and excellence in medical education and promotes collaboration between Harvard Medical School and the Harvard-affiliated hospitals.

Winnie Yu
Clerkship Coordinator
Boston Children’s Hospital

Winnie Yu is the coordinator for the core pediatric clerkship, the pediatric experiences in the Practice of Medicine course, and most clinical electives at Boston Children’s Hospital. Pediatric Clerkship Directors Drs. Amanda Growden, Katie O’Donnell, Vinny Chiang, Beth Harper and Liza Pingree wrote that Ms. Yu is “a whirlwind … [and] incredibly well organized, always has a smile, and is willing to do anything to help the medical students or the clerkship team. She seamlessly oversees the complex process of on-boarding 100 medical students per year for the clerkship (200 for the overlap!) as well as at least as many students [at BCH] for electives.” Among her many important contributions in 2017, “she has been instrumental in the adoption of OASIS… and Canvas.” Her HMS colleagues commended her as a pleasure to work with, noting that her “work ethic, attention to details, and constant administrative support” are the reasons the programs and experiences at Boston Children’s Hospital “run so smoothly.”