Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society

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Menlo Park, CA 94025
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2015 Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Awards

Each year since 1988, Alpha Omega Alpha, in cooperation with the Association of American Medical Colleges, presents four AΩA Distinguished Teacher Awards to faculty members in American medical schools. Two awards are for accomplishments in teaching the basic sciences and two are for inspired teaching in the clinical sci- ences. In 1997, AΩA named the award to honor its retiring executive secretary Robert J. Glaser, MD. Nominations for the award are submitted to the AAMC each spring by the deans of medical schools. This year’s nominations were reviewed by a committee chosen by AΩA and the AAMC. This year’s committee members were Peter Anderson, DVM, PhD; Charles L. Bardes, MD; J. John Cohen, MD, PhD; James M. Crawford, MD, PhD; Ruth-Marie Fincher, MD; Bernard Karnath, MD; Randall King, MD, PhD; Kelley Skeff, MD, PhD; Emma Meagher, MBBCh, BAO; LuAnn Wilkerson, EdD.

Winners of the award receive $10,000, their schools receive $2,500, and active AΩA chapters at those schools receive $1,000. Schools nominating candidates for the award receive a plaque with the name of the nominee.

—Richard L. Byyny, MD
Executive Director


From left to right: Peter Slavin, MD, Chair of the Board of Directors of the AAMC; Richard Byyny, MD, Executive Director, Alpha Omega Alpha; Thomas Kwasigroch, PhD, Distinguished Teacher Recipient; Gurpreet Dhaliwal, MD, Distinguished Teacher Recipient; David Muller, MD, Distinguished Teacher Recipient; Darrell Kirch, MD, President and CEO, AAMC


Gurpreet Dhaliwal, MD (Clinical)

Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine
(AΩA, Northwestern University, 1998)

Dr. Dhaliwal received his MD from Northwestern University in 1998, completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in 2002, and joined UCSF as an Assistant Professor the same year. He was appointed the Site Director of Internal Medicine Student Clerkships in 2005, a position he continues to hold, and in 2014 became Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Department of Medicine at UCSF.

Dr. Dhaliwal has received more than a dozen awards and recognitions during his tenure at UCSF, including the Henry J. Kaiser Award for Excellence in Inpatient Teaching in 2005 and 2011; membership in the Haile T. Debas UCSF Academy of Medical Educators in 2005; the USCF Department of Medicine Calvin L. Chou PRIME Teaching Award in 2006; the UCSF Medical School Class of 2015 Essential Core Teaching Award for Outstanding Lecture; and appointment to the Councilor of Master Clinicians in the UCSF Department of Medicine in 2013.

Dean Bruce Wintroub writes of Dr. Dhaliwal, “Dr. Gurpreet Dhaliwal is an extraordinary educator and master clinician who has made unparalled contributions to medical student education through his direct teaching and by teaching other medical educators—locally, nationally, and internationally—to more effectively teach the difficult skills of clinical problem solving and patient-centered clinical decision making.

“What is Dr. Dhaliwal’s secret recipe for effectiveness in direct teaching? Those of us who have heard him speak know that he can engage any audience with his erudite style. But, for medical students, his truest gift lies in his ability to deconstruct the complex process of context-specific clinical reasoning and problem solving into a set of tools that early learners can effectively apply. Students report that the majority of their clinical teachers do clinical reasoning as naturally as they ride a bicycle, yet they often have difficulty making explicit the steps they automatically go through as they solve clinical problems. Dr. Dhaliwal is tremendously successful at making explicit the metacognition of clinical problem solving—modeling his own clinical reasoning and helping students think about their thinking processes. Learners are riveted as he walks through his stepwise approach to even the most puzzling cases with clarity, organization, and ease.”




Jonathan Kibble, PhD (Basic)

Professor and Assistant Dean for Medical Education, University of Central Florida College of Medicine

Dr. Kibble received his PhD in Renal Physiology at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom, in 1994. He joined the University of Central Florida (UCF) as an Associate Professor of Physiology and Medical Education in 2008, was appointed Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education in 2010, and Professor of Physiology and Medical Education in 2014.

As Chair for the Program Evaluation Subcommittee of the Curriculum Committee, Dr. Kibble led the development of a program that has been recognized with commendation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. He was influential in setting the direction of the overall curriculum at UCF, as well as establishing policies and processes, while also mentoring faculty. He was also instrumental in facilitating the curricular shift from passive to active learning strategies.

Recognition for Dr. Kibble’s teaching skills have resulted in numerous awards at the University of Central Florida, including the Most Effective Teacher Student Choice Award in 2010; awards for Excellence in Teaching in 2011 and 2012; and the UCF College of Medicine Student Choice Award in 2012.

Dean Deborah German writes of Dr. Kibble, “Dr. Kibble is an evidence-based teacher who utilizes what we know about learning to improve the student experience and student learning. His research supports his teaching practices and impacts those whom he mentors. While Jonathan may not admit to mentoring most of the faculty, his colleagues will tell you that he constantly models and challenges them to consider best practices. In this way, Dr. Kibble is a highly influential teacher as he plays a role in how other faculty deliver the curriculum.”




Thomas Kwasigroch, PhD (Basic)

Professor in Biomedical Sciences/Anatomy, James H. Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University (Basic Science Teaching)
(AΩA, James H. Quillen College of Medicine of East Tennessee State University, 1988, Faculty)

Dr. Kwasigroch received his PhD in Anatomy/Embryology at the University of Virginia in 1976. He joined the Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University (Quillen) in 1979 as an Assistant Professor of Anatomy, becoming Professor in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology in 1992, Assistant Dean for medical School Curriculum in 2000, and Associate Dean for Student Affairs in 2005.

Dr. Kwasigroch introduced the idea of a flipped classroom to Quillen in 2013, following his attendance at an AAMC conference at which Salman Khan presented his ideas for the Khan Academy. In 2012, he obtained iPad technology at each dissection table, and pushed the use of educational apps in gross anatomy lab. Under Dr. Kwasigroch, the anatomy department has received the most awards from students in the history of the school. Dr. Kwasigroch continues to teach and provides leadership for the Department of Anatomy, and serves on multiple committees and in administrative positions at Quillen, evidence of his focus on improving medical education.

Dr. Kwasigroch is the most awarded professor in the history of Quillen. He received the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching all eight years the award was offered; received the Lee Brashear’s Memorial for Excellence in Teaching and Student Support twice; and was one of four recipients of the national Joy McCann Scholar Award in 2005. He has been awarded Professor of the Year thirteen times, and the Gross Anatomy course has won Course of the year thirteen times.

Dean Robert T. Means writes, “Dr. Kwasigroch excels in medical education by not only improving clinical and scientific learning experience, but by promoting medical student health. Clearly, even after thirty-five years of teaching, Dr. Kwasigroch still is improving himself, his classroom and his students. Without question Dr. Kwasigroch has diligently and faithfully served this school, this community and his country.”




David Muller, MD (Clinical)

Professor and Dean for Medical Education, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (Clinical Teaching)
(AΩA, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, 1995, Resident)

Dr. Muller received his MD at New York University School of Medicine in 1991, and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center in 1994. He held the position of Clinical Instructor at Mount Sinai in 1995, and in 2005 became the Chair of the Department of Medicine Education. He has been Dean for Medical Education at Mount Sinai since 2005.

Dr. Muller continues to teach, and serves each year as a small group preceptor for eight to twelve students who learn physical examination skills and study topics including palliative care, substance abuse, disparities in health care, cultural competency, bioethics, and domestic violence. He teaches in the Longitudinal Clinical Experience, a two-year immersion that allows incoming medical students to join a clinical practice and follow patients. Dr. Muller is also a clinical preceptor in Mount Sinai’s Inter-Clerkship Ambulatory Care track.

Dr. Muller’s teaching has earned him, among many other honors and awards, the Jacobi Medallion in 2011, the highest honor awarded to alumni of Mount Sinai; the AMA Foundation Pride in the Profession Award in 2009; the Alexander Richman Commemorative Award for Humanism in Medicine in 2005; the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Faculty Award in 2004; the Housestaff Teaching Award in 2001; and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine Humanism in Medicine Award in 1999.

Dean Dennis Charney says of Dr. Muller, “From his appointment as Chief Resident until today as Dean for Medical Education, [Dr. Muller] has been an oustanding teacher. His initial focus in teaching was our Internal Medicine housestaff, but even as junior faculty he was increasing turning his attention to medical student education and was receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback. Dr. Muller’s early teaching roles for medical students included traditional War Attending Student Preceptor for Third Year Internal Medicine Clerks, developing and teaching elective courses in Professionalism and the Humanities, and delivering a curriculum on Reflection and Idealism for trainees rotating through the Mount Sinai Visiting Doctors Program. Dr. Muller also served as a small group preceptor in a course called Art and Science of Medicine (ASM) from its inception in 2003. He was asked to take on the role of interim Course Director for one year and continues to teach in ASM today. These activities earned him high praise from our students and actually led to his being recognized as an outstanding candidate for the role of Dean for Medical Education. In fact, despite the many highly qualified candidates who applied for the position during our national search a decade ago, the Medical Student Council Executive Steering Committee advocated strongly that Dr. Muller be offered the position because of his track record as an outstanding teacher, role model, and advocate for students.

“The consistency of [Dr. Muller’s] teaching over so much time, by so many different levels of students, and across so many different teaching roles is likely to be unmatched by any of the teaching faculty at our institution. In written comments he is cited as an outstanding educator, role model, advocate, and mentor. Students remark on his unique ability to make learning fun, exciting, intellectually stimulating, and rewarding, while always keeping the focus on the needs of patients and their communities.”




Last modified: 11/13/15

Updated on November 16, 2015.


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