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Director receives Courage to Teach Award
by Jonathan Ewart
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
“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
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,
“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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