Commending students and residents who excel at delivering humanism in patient care was the focus of an event held Monday at Oakland University.
Humanism in patient care celebrated at Oakland University
OUWB Faircloth 2020
Seventeen OUWB medical students were inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society during the 2020 Faircloth Evening of Medical Humanism on March 2. See story for complete list of inductees and award winners from the event.

Commending students and residents who excel at delivering humanism in patient care was the focus of an event held Monday at Oakland University.

The Faircloth Evening of Medical Humanism was co-sponsored by Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine and Oakland University School of Education and Human Services.

The evening is dedicated to Patrick Faircloth, Ph.D., an Oakland University alumnus, who created an endowment for OUWB and SEHS to ensure that medical students study communications and interpersonal skills as part of their training to be compassionate physicians.

During the event, medical students and residents were inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society, and the SEHS Department of Counseling presented its student awards.

The more than 100 who attended — including several school deans and Oakland University President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, M.D. — also heard a powerful keynote presentation from Hedy Wald, Ph.D. Wald is a clinical professor of Family Medicine at Alpert Medical School of Brown University, and faculty member at Harvard Medical School Global Pediatrics Leadership Program.

“The Faircloth lecture is a notable event because it allows us to celebrate a shared commitment to humanism in service to others, be they patients, clients, students, or colleagues,” said Duane Mezwa, M.D., OUWB Stephan Sharf Interim Dean.

The Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) recognizes students, residents, and faculty who are exemplars of compassionate patient care and who serve as role models, mentors, and leaders in medicine.

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Students and alum honored at Faircloth Evening of Medical Humanism

Jason Wasserman, Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Foundational Medical Studies and Department of Pediatrics, OUWB — and Faircloth coordinator — said induction into GHHS recognizes students and residents who have been exemplars of this.

“These are students and residents who have demonstrated a level of commitment to caring for patients and communities that they were nominated by their peers for this recognition,” he said. “They truly represent the mission, vision, and values of OUWB.”

Third-year medical student Manraj Sekhon said “it was a great honor” to be recognized for his work.

“By honoring those who emphasize humanistic qualities it really reinforces that those our important values that our school holds,” he said.

Third-year student Lexie Ranski said it was “huge” for her to be honored. Ranski is a co-founder of OUWB’s Street Medicine program that launched late last year.

“So much of it for me is service, giving back to the community, and treating every patient equally,” she said. “That’s why I do the work that I do.”

In addition to Sekhon and Ranski, other OUWB students inducted into GHHS were:

  • Jessica Barnes
  • Nilofar Behbahani-Nejad
  • Victoria Drzyzga
  • Michelle Fedorowicz
  • Alexandra Hospodar
  • Allison Low
  • Joshika Money
  • BreeOna Namukowa
  • Matthew Peacock
  • Mustafa Polat
  • Bhavneet (Bobby) Singh
  • Aviv Spillinger
  • Courtney Todd
  • Aimen Vanood
  • Caroline Vokos

Six residents from Beaumont Health were inducted. They are:

  • Filip Ionescu
  • Abdalla Kara Balla
  • Joshua Newson
  • Sonia Sajja
  • Priscilla Sigua Arce
  • Shrinjaya Thapa

Further, Ashley Branson, Ph.D., assistant professor, SEHS, presented two student awards:

  • Chi Sigma Iota Outstanding Doctoral Student Award to Rachel Brejcha
  • Chi Sigma Iota Outstanding Master’s Student Award to Brian Cooper

Remembering Holocaust physicians

OUWB Faircloth 2020 - Hedy Wald, Ph.D.Wald’s keynote was called “Holocaust & Medicine Education for Humanistic Professional Identity Formation: A Holocaust Survivor’s Daughter Teaches German Medical Students at Auschwitz – My Story.”

Wald said she uses the Holocaust as the primary example of what can happen with physicians’ abandonment of moral principles and their abuse of power within societal forces leading them to disregard what drove them to become doctors in the first place.

She also recognized physicians who, during the Holocaust, decided to not abandon their moral principles even though it may have been dangerous.

Wald urged the students and residents in attendance to remember how both types of Holocaust physicians ultimately impacted the world around them, for better or worse.

She noted the SS motto that translates to “My honor is called loyalty.”

“How will our honor not be loyalty when there’s a need to speak up and take action or not take action?” Wald said.

For more information, contact Andrew Dietderich, marketing writer, OUWB, at adietderich@oakland.edu
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