Students recognize mentors through new initiative

First-year medical students Sarah Durbin and Ben Holder have launched an initiative called the Professional Educator Appreciation and Recognition, or PEAR, Awards to recognize mentors who have had a significant impact on students during their medical training.

“Our providers work incredibly hard, both for students and patients, and they deserve to have their efforts recognized,” Durbin said.

Baylor medical students can nominate preclinical faculty, attending physicians, residents, physician assistants, nurses and others on the medical team who have challenged them, expanded their knowledge or imparted a significant lesson. Submissions are shared with the award recipient and his or her department chair. Students can submit nominations online.

PEAR Awards are supported by the Center for Professionalism, led by Dr. Ellen Friedman, professor of otolaryngology.

“Even though students are not currently in clinic, now more than ever, our medical and educational staff are deserving of recognition for their tremendous efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Friedman said. “We invite students to nominate any colleague who has impacted them during this challenging time or has provided an exceptional teaching moment. Our students, as well as our community, are lucky to call them our professors and providers.”

Award winners to date are listed below, along with quotes from student submissions.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Dr. J. Clay Goodman
Associate Dean for Unaduate Medical Education
Professor of Pathology & Immunology


Dr. Goodman from the very beginning has always shown me that he really cares for the students not just as young professionals, but he cares about our mental and emotional well-being as well. Beyond his reassuring weekly emails, I had the chance to talk to Dr. Goodman about my study tactics. He spent no less than an hour with me, taking the time to really understand how my brain works and what I could do to succeed based on my own individual characteristics. Now, especially, in the midst of the corona virus pandemic, he tries hard in his emails to comfort us in this time of stress, and I can tell that he is working very hard behind the scenes to make this transition easier for us. Aside from being a great lecturer, Dr. Goodman is simply a good man who cares deeply for us. Thank you so much. You have truly made these first months of medical school an amazing experience.


The first week of class, I was really stressed over adjusting to the amount of material we had to learn. I really appreciated Dr. Goodman’s emails, and they made me feel calm and supported. He’s one of those gems of a teacher who really cares about his students as human beings. I am very grateful that he is at this school, and he’s made Baylor a great place to learn.


Dr. Stacey Rose
Assistant Dean of Clinical Curriculum
Assistant Professor of Medicine – Infectious Diseases


Amidst all the hysteria surrounding COVID and its impact on BCM students and rotations, Dr. Rose came directly from a clerkship subcommittee meeting and had a phenomenal lecture on Legionella and other bacteria. She made no mention of all the pressure she was under and my favorite part of lecture was when she turned off her email, which was going crazy from the situation. I was super impressed how she was cool as a cucumber during the lecture and seemed unflappable even with everything else on her mind, or the fact she would have had a legitimate reason to not even lecture. She made the bacteria and diseases very approachable and clinically relevant and genuinely seemed to love her chosen field and teaching students.


Dr. Ming Zhang
Professor and Director of Anatomical Sciences


Anatomy was harder for me than other subjects were. Dr. Zhang was always available to help me figure out how to study better. Now I’ve greatly improved, and I think his patience and passion for clear and excellent teaching played a big role in that.


Dr. Zhang has been the best teacher and supporter this semester, for myself and others in lab. In one lab, we were struggling a lot with the facial nerve branches. He told us not to give up, because we can be tough and get through the lab and medical school. It really stuck with me and was a very nice moment between times of stress. He also helped me and a few others at a time outside of lab with identifying structures. To have a professor go out of their way to help us succeed is so amazing. Truly a great and impactful teacher.


Dr. Zhang has impacted my medical school career by showing our class how invested he is in us. Term 3 workload was difficult for me, and I always looked forward to meeting with Dr. Zhang. He is very patient and gives so much context to learning. He was always willing to come into lab early or stay in the afternoons to help us. I was really thankful for how he was so approachable, kind and willing to go above and beyond to help us. One specific instance was when I was feeling overwhelmed by some of the facial nerve pathways. Dr. Zhang spent 30 minutes slowly walking through every aspect of my confusion. It is rare to find a professor with so much patience. I felt so much better after than meeting and I’m grateful for how much I’ve learned from Dr. Zhang. His excitement for anatomy made me excited too!


Dr. Zhang took the time every single week to cover anatomy from the precious lab with me and some of my classmates. He always made time for our meetings and would patiently answer questions and teach interesting facts about evolution. He is incredibly passionate and very, very knowledgeable and I am honored that he is my professor.


Dr. Stacey Carter
Assistant Professor of Surgery


As an MS2 new to clinics, on surgery you mostly feel in the way. You might be lucky to suction bovie smoke, cut knots, or even bring the bed into the OR. When I went into her OR, she wanted to know who I was, what I was interested, what I knew about the patient, and what I hoped to get out of the case. During the end of the case she didn’t ask, but told me to come close skin, and what’s more watched me and critiqued my technique. She is also very personable and funny and an awesome surgeon.


Dr. Ramachandr Reddy
Professor of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology


Came up to me and gave me personal encouragement and told me a story about a successful student I remind him of.


Dr. Thao Galvan
Assistant Professor of Surgery


Dr. Galvan was an excellent clinical and personal mentor to me. She taught me a lot in the OR and gave me ample opportunity to hone my skills. She also found me in the team room upset one day and sent me a cute video to help cheer me up, while normalizing my experience. Thank you, Dr. Galvan!


Dr. Eric Lee
Assistant Professor of Family and Community Medicine


Dr. Lee is so conscientious of what we’re going through and eager to figure out how we learn best. Every time we go through a physical exam on a patient with him, he demonstrates it for us clearly, sends out follow-up information and asks for our feedback. He is a professor who always tries his best to make our learning experience excellent, and we so appreciate him.


Dr. Elizabeth Tran
Assistant Professor of Family and Community Medicine


Dr. Tran displayed exceptional patient care during my first clinical experience as a medical student. She emphasized the transparency and trust involved in the relationship between patients and physicians. She knew details of the lives of each of her patients, taking into account how their unique situation impacted not only their health but also their access to healthcare. The final day of our preceptor sessions, she taught me skills I would learn in the future and gave me the opportunity to practice them together. She was always interested in my education and knew that as a first-semester first-year medical student, there was very little that I knew. Regardless of this, she treated me with the utmost respect and took these moments as opportunities to relate the basic sciences to the art of clinical practice. Constantly looking up new therapies and new standards of care, Dr. Tran proved that clinical knowledge is dynamic and there is great wisdom in being open to new ideas.


Glen Yarneau
Assistant Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology


Glen was incredible simply because he held me (and all of us) to such a high standard. In talking with other medical students, BCM students have a much stronger anatomy program. The instructors are phenomenal, but a large part of this is because the expectations are simply higher. Glen really helps set that tone, and it is greatly, greatly appreciated. He sees what we can do and gives us the tools and advice to achieve. I consider myself fortunate to have had him as an instructor; he has indubitably impacted my medical education for the better.


Dr. Judy Levison
Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology


I was supposed to be on an elective with Dr. Levison that I had been looking forward to for months. Even though we got pulled out of clinic two days after I started the elective, she still called me almost every day while we were home to discuss interesting cases and answer my questions about the field.


Dr. Zaven Sargsyan
Assistant Professor of Medicine at Ben Taub Hospital


No other professor has gone so far to further our education as getting an LP before talking about meninges. While bringing his CSF to class and taking a sip was unorthodox, it absolutely captured our attention and reinforced the characteristics of normal CSF as opposed to what findings might accompany an underlying pathology. Zaven makes every effort to be the best educator he can, and this effort is greatly, greatly appreciated.