The Office of Medical Education paid tribute to the volunteer faculty who serve as preceptors and seminar leaders in the Foundations of Clinical Medicine course at the Annual Preceptor Appreciation and Awards Banquet on May 15. Honorees were recognized for 5-, 10-, 15-, 20-, 25- and 30-years of service providing medical students with one of their first and most impressionable clinical experiences, serving as role models and teaching history taking, performing a physical exam, the doctor-patient relationship, clinical reasoning, humanism, professionalism, health promotion and disease prevention. View the Preceptor Appreciation and Awards Banquet photo gallery.
Traci Furbert Gardner, M.D. ’98, right, clinical assistant professor of pediatrics and director of community engagement and ambulatory preceptor experience, had the privilege of presenting a 25-year award to Bella Pace, M.D., assistant professor of family and community medicine. It was a special reunion for them, as Dr. Pace served as Dr. Gardener’s preceptor when she was a medical student at New York Medical College. Dr. Gardener recalled her experience with Dr. Pace, echoing the stellar reviews she still gets today from medical students. One medical student wrote in their evaluation, “Dr. Pace was an incredibly patient and warm preceptor. She was very understanding about any nervousness or worries I had during the year. She was a pleasure to work with and I would highly recommend her for preceptorship.”
Special recognition was given to Jonna Mercado, M.D., assistant professor of medicine and Ray T. Whitt, M.D., assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology, who were honored with La Casita de la Salud Outstanding Physician Awards for their commitment and dedication to working with medical students at the NYMC student-run clinic providing medical services, health education and counseling to the East Harlem community. Rutmi Goradia, School of Medicine Class of 2021, who serves as administrative director of La Casita, presented the awards and expressed her appreciation.
“During our general health clinics, we have had the privilege of receiving the guidance of our nurturing precepting physician, Dr. Mercado. She has prioritized her Saturdays to teaching medical students and caring for patients at the clinic. After each clinic, she goes through each case with the students and patiently answers all our questions. She has been with La Casita since its early days,” said Ms. Goradia.
She also praised Dr. Whitt, “During our women’s health clinics, we have had the honor to work with a benevolent precepting physician: Dr. Whitt. Even when a day’s work was done, he would bring out his laptop and continue teaching us students.”