Fall 2013
Award honors compassionate resident teaching

synapse: University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

medical students with awards

Resident physicians, from left to right, Munn, Silver, Anjum, and Desai received the Gold Foundation Human-ism and Excellence in Teaching Awards this year. Photo by Edgar Antonio Nunez.

By Matt Lush

Three current Las Vegas-based residents received 2013 Gold Foundation Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Awards at this year's School of Medicine award ceremony in May.

Those residents are Jyoti Desai, M.D. '11, obstetrics and gynecology; Jaclyn Munn, M.D., surgery; and Andrew Silver, M.D., plastic surgery.

Justin Terry, M.D. '10, Jaleel Anjum, M.D. and Diana Chang, M.D. also received the award and graduated from School of Medicine residency programs this spring.

Criteria for the award are based on demonstrated commitment to teaching and compassionate treatment of patients and families, students and colleagues. Nominations are solicited from the third-year class at the end of each clerkship and again at the end of the clinical year.

Upon graduating with a chemistry degree from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Mo., Silver decided to move to Nevada for medical school. Silver turned down a minor league baseball contract to pursue a career in medicine.

"I felt that becoming a surgeon would allow me to utilize all of my talents in a way that baseball never could," Silver said. "The School of Medicine provided unique opportunities, especially in regard to patient care. We have the privilege of taking care of a wide range of patients, from the uninsured to those of private practice, which provides a vast array of experience and learning opportunities."

Silver teaches in order to give back to the medical community, and said it's important to remember that there is a lot about being a doctor that cannot be learned from a book.

"Everyone remembers residents who took the time to teach," Silver said. "We are a major influence on medical students and their education. I like to show students that having a personality is an important part of being a physician, and I try to make hospital time enjoyable."

Upon being recognized as a 2013 recipient of this award, Silver said: "Although it is an honor to be recognized for my contribution to the education of the medical students, seeing them apply concepts and principles they have learned from our interactions is more important and more gratifying than any award I could receive."

Desai, a Reno native and University of Nevada biotechnology alumna, decided on a career in medicine after working on an undergraduate project involving in vitro fertilization.

"I've always had a passion for women's health, and my interest in reproductive endocrinology and infertility drove me to OB/GYN. It's a diverse field and I like the combination of clinic, procedures and surgery," she said.

Desai believes teaching is important because it builds confidence and competence and can have a big impact on medical students.

"Clinical years can be intense, and I remember how nice it was to have people take the time to go over things with us," Desai said.

"I realized during my time as a student that residents are very influential to medical students. We are close with the students and it's very rewarding."