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Neurosciences co-chair recognized as
by Cindy Abole
Sunil J. Patel, M.D., professor and clinical co-chair within the
Department of Neurosciences, was named among other national
physician-finalists for the 2008 Association of American Medical
Colleges (AAMC) Humanism in Medicine Award. Patel, who is a 1985
graduate of MUSC’s College of Medicine, has worked at MUSC since 1993.
Dr. Jerry Reves,
left, presents Dr. Sunil J. Patel with the Association of
American Medical Colleges Humanism in Medicine Award Feb. 15.
On Feb. 15, Patel was formally presented with the AAMC award by College
of Medicine Dean Jerry Reves, M.D., and Jeff Wong, M.D., senior
associate dean for medical education.
“If there's a quality we value more among our faculty-physicians is
humanism in medicine,” said Reves. “Dr. Patel's superior performance is
recognized by his colleagues on-and-off campus and especially with
Patel is among 50 national finalists and a host of other MUSC
physicians nominated previously for this award.
Patel was instrumental in helping to establish the institution’s
Department of Neurosciences, combining MUSC’s departments of neurology,
neurosurgery and basic research physiology/neuroscience, to help
promote human health in disease and injuries affecting the nervous
system. Within three years, MUSC’s neurosciences department has grown
to become the fifth largest department in the nation based on National
Institutes of Health funding and is the only department that promotes
collaborative work of researchers and clinicians working side by side.
After completing medical school at MUSC, Patel continued with his
residency training at MUSC in neurological surgery. Later, he went on
to complete specialized fellowship training in microneurosurgery,
microvascular neurosurgery and skull base surgery at other leading
institutions. In 1993 he joined MUSC’s Department of Neurological
Surgery as an assistant professor and also contributed as a research
associate at Hollings Cancer Center. In 1994, he helped establish the
Brain Tumor Clinic and is an active researcher.
Each year the AAMC, supported by the Pfizer Medical Humanities
Initiative, honors individuals working in medical education for their
excellence and outstanding qualities of care and compassion in their
roles as teachers, mentors and advisors to medical students.
Students serving in the medical school’s AAMC Organization of Student
Representatives and COM Student Council collaborate to nominate
deserving faculty. Criteria for the award focused on individuals
achieving excellence in five categories: positive mentoring skills,
community service, compassion, sensitivity and collaboration.
Fourth-year medical student and AAMC student representative Clarice
Seifert was among several students praising Patel for his mentoring
skills and compassionate qualities supporting patients and students.
“Dr. Patel’s enthusiasm for teaching is an invaluable asset to the
education of countless students at MUSC,” said Seifert. “In
addition to his mentoring skills and educational instruction, Dr. Patel
also leads by example in showing compassion for his patients. He
is an extremely knowledgeable and busy physician, but never appears
arrogant or aloof. He teaches students that it is not enough to
simply diagnose and treat patients, but the student must also
teach each patient about their own body regarding disease, diagnosis
and treatment. He has been known to make personal phone calls to
patients and their families, and always does anything necessary to make
sure that his patients are comfortable and well cared for.”
Fellow medical student Lewis Cooper echoed Seifert’s support and
nomination of Patel.
“Dr. Patel stands out because of his enthusiasm with teaching students
and his compassionate patient care,” Cooper said. “He is a gifted
teacher who gets students excited about the material and learning.”
Friday, March 14, 2008
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