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AAMC honors Daniel Wolpaw with distinguished teacher award

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) selected Dr. Daniel Wolpaw, professor of medicine and humanities at Penn State College of Medicine, as a winner of the 2020 Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award. The award recognizes outstanding contributions by teachers to medical education.

A head-and-shoulders professional photo of Daniel Wolpaw

Dr. Daniel Wolpaw

Since arriving at the College of Medicine in 2013, Wolpaw has developed and co-directed the Systems Navigation Curriculum, developed and co-directed an innovative course in critical thinking and served as the design lead for educational innovation for the University Park Curriculum. He strives to integrate the humanities in medicine through scholarship, teaching and clinical practice.

Before arriving at Penn State, Wolpaw served for 30 years on the faculty at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. At both institutions and nationally, he is recognized for his skills as an educator and mentor. Previous accolades include the Career Achievement in Medical Education Award from the Society of General Internal Medicine, the Newark Beth Israel Healthcare Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award, Honorary Research Fellow in Medical Education at the University of Tokyo and the Penn State College of Medicine Clinical Science Master Career Mentor Award. He wrote the lead chapter of the seminal textbook on educating students for health systems practice and has published in numerous journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine.

“Dan is a champion for patient-centered medical education. His approach is to teach learners not only to seek answers, but to ask the right questions,” said Dr. Kevin Black, interim dean at the College of Medicine. “He encourages students to take time to get to know their patients and the stories that have shaped their lives, recognizing that those stories also shape patients’ perceptions and priorities as they pertain to health and health care. His efforts to instill compassion and critical thinking in the next generation of physicians is renowned in the medical education community, and he does so with a humble spirit and a focus on collaboration.”

The Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Awards were established by the Alpha Omega Alpha honor medical society in 1988 to recognize faculty members who have distinguished themselves in medical education. Wolpaw is one of four recipients of the award, which is named after longtime Alpha Omega Alpha executive secretary Dr. Robert J. Glaser.

In addition to a prize, the AAMC will award a $2,500 grant for teaching activities to the College of Medicine as well as $1,000 to support the College of Medicine’s Alpha Omega Alpha chapter.

Read the full AAMC profile on Daniel Wolpaw here

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