SMHS Celebrates 2022 Class of Gold Humanism Inductees

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Gold Humanism inductees

Finding what puts “Fire in your Belly,” “Making Humanism the standard and not the exception in medicine” and “being and agent of change” were just a few of many important words of advice that were bestowed upon the 2022 Gold Humanism Society Inductees on Saturday, May 14 at the Ritz Carlton at the Gold Humanism Honor Society Induction Ceremony. 

The event, led by Hope Jackson, MD, assistant professor of surgery and Lorenzo Norris, MD, associate dean for student affairs and administration and associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, brought together 29 soon-to-graduate medical students, one resident, and a faculty member who were recognized for their humanism in medicine and tapped to be part of the Gold Humanism Honor Society.

The society, which honors senior medical students, residents, role-model physician teachers and other exemplars for “demonstrated excellence in clinical care, leadership, compassion and dedication to service,” is a national organization that has more than 180 chapters in medical schools and residency programs. Close to 45,000 medical students, physicians, and other leaders have been inducted and serve as role models of the human connection in healthcare.

Faculty inductee, Maria Portella-Martinez, MD, MPH, assistant professor of Emergency Medicine, presented a beautiful and motivating speech, encouraging those in her induction class to not only find their fire, but also to create a community and organized, find what makes them happy and brings joy, and making sure that you put yourself in other people’s shoes, often.

While the resident inductee, Shanya Popkin, DO, psychiatry resident, shared her story about what she learned being a middle child and coming from a family of law enforcement and reminded the other inductees that “teachers come in many forms.” She relayed a story about an environmental services provider who stayed beyond his shift during the height of the COVID pandemic, to ensure that the hospital staff had clean scrubs. Popkin reminded the crowd that every human has value and to remember that you are first – a human; second – a doctor; and third – a specialist.

As it is each year, the event was inspiring and reminded each person in the room – students, faculty, family, friends – of the importance of humanism in medicine. Each new member of the Gold Humanism Honor Society was pinned with a lapel pin bearing the official symbol of being a member of this important honor society.

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