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Preclinical Teaching Awards Honor Faculty on Behalf of the Class of 2024

Continuing the annual tradition, Geisel second-year students reflected on their learning and the teachers that ensured their success during Phase 1 of the MD Curriculum at Dartmouth. Students transitioning into the clinical years nominated members of the Geisel community that inspired and supported them throughout their time in the intense didactic phase.

A total of 80 nominations were submitted celebrating phenomenal teachers at Geisel. Six faculty recipients were selected based on votes from Medical Education Committee Student Representatives and a final vote from the Class of 2024.

Lauren Gilstrap, MD, MPH, is the recipient of the Distinguished Lecturer Award and this year’s most-nominated faculty member across all award categories. Dr. Gilstrap’s “energy, enthusiasm, and deep expertise were not just impressive, but engaging for students.” Her teaching modeled integration and accomplished the objectives of her cardiology session by making “an intimidating topic approachable” and “vital.” The recipient of this award is selected based on their ability to effectively teach students in a large group setting, model strong moral character, and encourage enthusiasm in medical study.

For the second year in a row, the GI, Metabolism, and Nutrition course was incredibly acclaimed by Geisel students. Three faculty members share the Distinguished Course Director Award with influential ties to the course. Steve Bensen MED ’90 and Larry Myers, PhD are recipients of this award as co-Leaders of the course. Rima Al-Nimr, MS, RDN, LD, is an honorary recipient of this award for her leadership of the Nutrition Longitudinal Curriculum. Nominators found all three faculty modeled “exceptional professionalism and teamwork” that maximized value in the subject. Thus, all three were equally deserving of this award. A nominator commended the curriculum ranging from “TBLs focusing on metabolic pathways, equity panels around nutrition and food security, clinical exposure, and surgical skills practice.” This award is given to faculty for their exceptional ability to design, organize, and lead a course—inspiring the learning environment with their dedication and commitment to a holistic student experience along with outstanding teamwork and responsiveness to student needs.

Representing faculty in the Respiratory course, Brian Jones, MED ’08, PhD, is this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Small Group Leader Award. The recipient of this award embodies the ability to effectively convey information to students in a small group setting and model strong moral character to students and encourage enthusiasm in medical study. Students commended Dr. Jones for being “engaging and kind” as he “supported each student’s individual learning while facilitating the small group.” Dr. Jones provided “exceptional knowledge in a specialty incredibly pertinent to the care of our community today.” Students are thankful to have experienced his mentorship in their learning.

The second-year learners revered Cheryl Elinsky, MS, PA-C, and selected her for this year's Distinguished Educator Award. This award recognizes a member of the Geisel community who goes above and beyond their role as an educator to support and guide students, both inside and outside the classroom. As an Instructor in Anatomy, Cheryl was instrumental in students' success. Cheryl "reinforces clinical knowledge through anatomy and explains things in 5 different ways" to ensure success in exams, anatomy practical, and clinical practice. Cheryl "models a teacher-learner that all health providers should have with everybody." Students appreciated her "listening ear" and "great advice" in times of need.

Congratulations to this year’s Preclinical Teaching Award recipients from the Class of 2024 and the Geisel community. Click here for a link to last year's recipients.