Gold Humanism Honor Society Student Clinician Ceremony Honors Class of 2023 and Recognizes Resident Mentors
Class of 2023 Transitions to the Clinical Years
New York Medical College (NYMC) students and faculty gathered under the tent outside of Sunshine Cottage to celebrate the Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) Student Clinician Ceremony on June 24, when members of the School of Medicine (SOM) Class of 2023 took an oath of humanism prior to starting their clinical clerkships. Resident physicians from clinical affiliates, selected by the outgoing third-year class, were honored with Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Awards for demonstrating exceptional humanistic qualities in the care of patients, including compassion, empathy, professionalism and service, as well as going above and beyond in role as teachers to medical students.
Part of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, the GHHS Student Clinician Ceremony recognizes medical students, residents, role-model physician teachers and others, who have “demonstrated excellence in clinical care, leadership, compassion and dedication to service.”
“Most of all, for your patients, treat them not only with the golden rule but the platinum rule; to treat them the way they want to be treated,” said Jane M. Ponterio M.D. ’81, FACOG, NCMP, CHCQM, senior associate dean for student affairs and associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology, offering advice to the students.
Mill Etienne, M.D. ’02, M.P.H., FAAN, FAES, vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion, associate dean for student affairs and associate professor of neurology and of medicine, was the keynote speaker of the evening. Dr. Etienne was the 2021 recipient of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation-sponsored Leonard Tow Award for Humanism in Medicine, presented to a graduate and a faculty member who best demonstrate the ideals of outstanding compassion in the delivery of care, cultural sensitivity and respect for patients, their families and health care colleagues, as well as demonstrated clinical excellence.
“Always remember that we are taking care of human beings… patients are vulnerable,” said Dr. Etienne. He reiterated the advice he gives to first-year medical students. “Study like your life depends on it because one day someone’s life will depend on the knowledge you gain during this time period. All that time that you spend studying this material is because our patients are worth it.”
Susan Rachlin, M.D., FACR, associate dean for student affairs and associate professor of radiology, led the students in reciting their pledge to embrace humanistic ideals in their practice.
Jennifer L. Koestler, M.D., senior associate dean for medical education and associate professor of pediatrics and medicine, presented the closing remarks, encouraging students to not be afraid to look for mentorship and to consciously practice humanistic values and encourage others to do the same. “One skill that you can take for granted is the habit of humanism; it’s your job to practice those habits every day from now and beyond,” Dr. Koestler said.
The 2021 Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Award Recipients:
- Maria Pollack, M.D.. obstetrics and gynecology, Westchester Medical Center
- Zhong Zheng, M.D. internal medicine, Westchester Medical Center
- Aaron Grubner, M.D., pediatrics, Maria Ferari Children’s Hospital
- Gregory Patrick, M.D., surgery, Westchester Medical Center
- Abigail Cline, M.D., Ph.D., dermatology, NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan
- John Christopher Stivers, M.D., surgery, NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln