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Director receives Courage to Teach Award

by Jonathan Ewart
Public Relations
Residency education is a science as well as an art, and Peter J. Carek, M.D., has mastered them both, according to the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
Dr. Peter Carek

ACGME recognized Carek with the 2008-2009 Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Award for his achievements as residency program director in the MUSC Department of Family Medicine. This award distinguishes residency program directors who find innovative ways to teach residents and provide quality health care.  
Residency program directors from all disciplines, including fellowships, are eligible for the award. Each year 10 recipients are selected from thousands of eligible candidates nationwide.
Program directors are selected based on certain criteria. They must work in a fully-accredited residency program and have at least five years’ experience as program director. They must demonstrate dedication and effectiveness in teaching residents, project model, value-based and highly principled behaviors. They should be role models, contributing to innovation and improvement in the learning environment from which the field can learn; and they must participate in a national program directors’ association if one exists for their specialty.
Carek was nominated by Lori Dickerson, PharmD, associate residency program director, and Terry Steyer, M.D., director of the Transitional Year Residency Program, both faculty members in the Department of Family Medicine.
“This is a major honor for Dr. Carek, the Department of Family Medicine and the medical university as a whole,” said Dickerson.
Carek has been an MUSC faculty member since 1992 and became director of the Family Medicine Residency Program in 1995. In 1997 the department began a partnership with Trident Health Systems and moved the residency program to the Trident Medical Center campus in North Charleston.
Through a unique educational partnership between an outstanding community hospital and a modem academic medical center, Trident Medical Center serves as the primary site for resident education and also is the sponsoring institution for the program.
“The hybrid nature of the program provides the best possible educational experience for our family medicine residents,” said Carek. “The community hospital setting  offers real-world experience while the university affiliation provides the necessary access to educational support.  In this setting, our excellent faculty and outstanding residents have created a wonderful training environment.”    
The program focuses on evidence-based medicine, excellence in patient care, quality assurance and improvement. It is considered among the nation’s best and is attracting new residents on a national level, Steyer said.
“The ability of Dr. Carek to integrate quality improvement education into residency education before it became a requirement demonstrated his futuristic thinking into what makes a good physician,” said Steyer. “This type of thinking should be recognized and rewarded. We thought nominating Dr. Carek for this award was important.”
Carek is the second MUSC faculty member to win this award. William Hester, M.D., director of the MUSC-affiliated McLeod Family Practice Residency program in Florence, also received the award in the field of family medicine in 2002.

Friday, Oct. 10, 2008
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