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The Gold Standard

On the Saturday before commencement, students from the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) M.D. Program’s graduating class who were hand selected by their peers, gathered at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C., to celebrate their induction into the Gold Humanism Honor Society, along with several select residents and a faculty member. The Gold Humanism Honor Society is an organization that honors medical students, residents, role-model physician teachers and other exemplars who are recognized for “demonstrated excellence in clinical care, leadership, compassion and dedication to service.” Organized to elevate the values of humanism and professionalism within the field of medicine, the Society is fast becoming integrated into the medical educational environment.

Babak Sarani, M.D. ’97, RESD ’04, F.A.C.S., associate professor of surgery at SMHS, the faculty member selected as the faculty member to be inducted with the other inductees, was introduced by Chelsea Slade, M.D. ’14. Slade noted that the class felt that Sarani best embodies the ideal of the Gold Humanism Honor Society and leads by example, as a physician, a teacher, and gives compassionate care to his patients .

Sarani was thrilled and honored to have been selected and harkened back to his days in the “Practice of Medicine” course at GW where he learned a lot of the skills that he uses every day when working with patients.

During his remarks, he had several key take away messages for the students.

His first message for the graduates was that he feels that it’s easy to be nice to patients. He explained that it does not take much to introduce yourself to a patient and put your hand on their shoulder as you speak with them about their condition 0r deliver bad news. He reminded the graduates that it’s so important to be a human and not a title, when dealing with people who are in their most vulnerable moments, as they sit in front of a physician.

He also talked about how doctors cannot quell their emotions, but they need to be aware of the situation that their patients are in – noting that a trauma patient never expects to be in a trauma that day. He encouraged the graduates, and fellow inductees, to always put themselves in the shoes of the patient they are treating.

Sarani noted the importance of team work and that he works hard to treat his peers as he would like to be treated. He encouraged the students to lead by example and their positive behaviors will leave a good impression on their peers and their patients.

The inductees who were able to be in attendance at the ceremony were called up one-by –one and thanked those who supported them  and served as role models, leading them to their great accomplishments.

The 2014 Gold Humanism Honor Society Inductees were:

Faculty inductee:
Babak Sarani, M.D., associate professor of Surgery

Resident inductees:
Mohamad Houry, M.D., Internal Medicine
Austin Smith, M.D., Internal Medicine
Sanjay Shah, M.D., Internal Medicine
Mary Laureen Neel, M.D., Pediatrics
Melissa Drake, M.D., Obstetrics-Gynecology

Student inductees from the M.D. Class of 2014:

Bradley Troy Anderson
Mark Allen Anderson
Maureen Ann Banigan
Jeffrey Dale Barratt
Sean Bhalla
Katherine Elizabeth Cox
Julia Mae Emanuel
David Grabski
Johathan Patrick Keenan
Andrew Kerkhoff
Tawfiq Rajai Khoury
Karin Johnson Kuhn
Anne Cottier Mooser
Nisha Narayanan
Rachel Susan Nash
Katherine L. O’Flynn O’Brien
Devin N. Patel
Jessica Hallerman Price
Dana Rosenfarb
Amy Caryn Sherman
Chelsea J. Slade
Todd A. Spock
Frances Alexandra Tangherlini
Sarah A. Todd
Benjamin Jason Tabios Trevias
Amy Josephine Waldner
Tyler David Webster
Zachary Kirk Wegermann