Med students honor outstanding educators

by Lisa Spellman, UNMC public relations | June 05, 2017

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Ashish Sharma, M.D. Parmender Mehta, Ph.D.
Ashish Sharma, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry, and Parmender Mehta, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, both received the Hirschmann Prize for Teaching Excellence at the Class of 2017 Honors Convocation and Hooding Ceremony on May 5.

The Hirschmann Prize recognizes two faculty members, one pre-clinical and one clinical, who the senior class feels have contributed to the education of medical students.

In nominating Dr. Mehta for the award, students commented on a significant piece of wisdom he likes to pass on to those he teaches.

"Throughout his lectures, he always takes a moment for meditation and relaxation, particularly when covering difficult topics," the students wrote on their nomination.

Dr. Sharma was lauded for his "pointed, helpful feedback to students that help them to grow during their short preceptorship."

"I enjoy clinical teaching and the opportunity to really help mold students into the physician they will become," Dr. Sharma said.

"It's truly an honor and humbling," Dr. Mehta said.

Dr. Mehta also received the Silver Pear Award from the UNMC College of Medicine Class of 2020.

In nominating him for this award, those students noted "his calm demeanor, positive attitude, and thorough explanations of core concepts."

The Hirschmann Prize for Teaching Excellence is awarded annually to two outstanding faculty members, one clinical and one pre-clinical, who demonstrate a devotion to teaching. Each year, the fourth-year medical class nominates and selects the winner. Guidelines for nominations include innovative educational methods, professionalism, and awareness of the educational needs of students. This award is supported by the Hirschmann family, which includes a father and son who are alumni of the College of Medicine.

UNMC's first and second-year medical students also annually recognize outstanding teachers with Golden Apple Awards, which are presented by the medical center's chapter of the American Medical Student Association. This year's Golden Apple Award winners include:

Kimberly Latacha, Ph.D., associate professor in genetics, cell biology and anatomy who teaches gross anatomy in the structure and development of the human body core at UNMC. It was noted that Dr. Latacha is an inspiring and passionate teacher who has a great knowledge of the subject matter.

David McMillan, Ph.D., a professor in the department of pharmacology and experimental neuroscience. The students said that "Dr. McMillan takes pharmacology, a very daunting subject for second-year medical students, and makes it approachable and easy to understand."


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Surendra Shukla
June 05, 2017 at 9:54 AM

Congratulations Dr. Mehta and Dr. Sharma!! We are proud of you people.