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Internal medicine resident Lai honored for exceptional teaching

Dr. Forest Lai, an internal medicine resident at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, was recognized in August 2021 as part of the Exceptional Moments in Teaching program of Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine.

“Dr. Lai was extremely engaged in numerous aspects of my training,” a current student wrote. “He offered a wealth of pragmatic advice and medical knowledge. One unique and immensely helpful trait of his was explaining the mindsets needed for effective documentation.

“He both challenged and protected me and other students by adding to our workload when we were comfortable and subtracting from our workload when we were getting close to overloaded. I look up to Dr. Lai and will always trust in his knowledge, competence and insight.”

Lai is a PGY-2 internal medicine resident, originally from Warren, N.J. His passion for teaching began when he tutored during high school. He received his Bachelor of Arts in cell biology and neuroscience from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J., where he continued tutoring high school students.

After graduation, Lai was a research assistant at Massachusetts General Hospital, collaborating with NASA, SpaceX and CALM Technologies to understand the mechanisms of osteoporosis for International Space Station astronauts. He completed his doctorate at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, Stratford, N.J., and served as a teaching assistant in biochemistry for the university’s prematriculation program, as well as a tutor in several medical school classes.

Lai is thrilled to have the opportunity to be both a learner and teacher at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and aspires to be a role model for future doctors. In his spare time, he enjoys building computers, watching movies, playing tennis, trying new restaurants and spending time with his dogs.

Penn State College of Medicine’s Office for a Respectful Learning Environment recognizes exceptional faculty, residents and fellows with the monthly “Exceptional Moments in Teaching” program. Each month, one faculty member and one resident/fellow are highlighted for their contributions. College of Medicine students are invited to submit narratives about faculty members, residents, nurses or any other educators who challenge them and provide an exceptional learning experience using the online nomination form.

The Office for a Respectful Learning Environment fosters an educational community at Penn State College of Medicine in which all learners and educators feel supported, challenged, valued and respected. It serves all learners at the College of Medicine: medical students, graduate students, physician assistant students, residents and fellows.

See previous faculty and resident/fellow honorees here.

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