The Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM), a national community of academic leaders committed to advancing family medicine to improve health through a community of teachers and scholars, presented their 2019 STFM Gold Humanism Award to Catherine Florio Pipas, MD, MPH ’11, a professor of community and family medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine. The award honors her extensive work in humanistic care, teaching, and significant mentorship in humanistic medicine.
At a time when physician, resident, and medical student burnout is at an all-time high, her practical approach to initiatives promoting physician well-being demonstrates compassion toward colleagues and medical students alike.
“I’ve been a member of STFM since my days as a resident and I’ve worked with many of my fellow members promoting the message of wellness,” Pipas says. “We need to message that our health matters to our effectiveness as physicians and that we have the same needs as our patients—we must to embrace the whole spectrum of being human, not superhuman, and not subhuman, we need to take the same care of ourselves as we do of our patients. No more no less.”
Joedrecka S. Brown Speights, MD, FAAFP, a professor and chair of the Department of Family Medicine and Rural Health at Florida State University College of Medicine, nominated Pipas for the award based on her accomplishments and personal character.
“Dr. Pipas is a wellness champion. She has contributed nationally and internationally to humanism in medicine within our specialty of family medicine as well as to the entire field of medicine,” Speights says. “Dr. Pipas has developed tools based on her published scholarship and studies, professional practice, and personal dedication to the study and experience of a wholistic approach to being well including international work. She is a trailblazer and leader, well deserving of this humanism award.”
In 2007 Pipas was named Clinical Teacher of the Year by Geisel medical students; she was inducted into the Thomas P. Almy Chapter of the National Arnold P. Gold Foundation for Humanism in Medicine Honor Society in 2009; inducted into the first annual Geisel School of Medicine’s Academy of Faculty Master Educators in 2012, and most recently, was voted by her fellow physicians as “NH Top Doctor” for New Hampshire Magazine three years in a row.
Pipas received the award during STFM’s annual spring conference in Toronto, Canada.