Paul Paulman, M.D., named Educator Laureate

by John Keenan, UNMC public relations | February 07, 2019

Image with caption: Paul Paulman, M.D.

Paul Paulman, M.D.

Paul Paulman, M.D., professor of family medicine at UNMC, has been a medical educator since 1982, when he joined UNMC.

Award ceremony today

The Impact in Education Awards ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. today in the Durham Research Center Auditorium, with a reception to follow. The ceremony can be viewed via livestream here.

Awardees are:

Varner Educators Laureate:
James O'Dell, M.D., Stokes Shackleford Professor and vice chair in the UNMC Department of Internal Medicine, and chief of the UNMC Division of Rheumatology; and

Paul Paulman, M.D., professor in the UNMC Department of Family Medicine

Innovative Practices in Education Award:
Danish Bhatti, M.D., assistant professor, UNMC Department of Neurological Sciences

Interprofessional Education Scholar Award:
Elizabeth Beam, Ph.D., assistant professor, UNMC College of Nursing Omaha Division

Inspirational Mentor of Educators Award:
Shannon Boerner, M.D., assistant profession, UNMC Department of Internal Medicine

Research in Education Scholar Award:
Kendra Schmid, Ph.D., professor and interim chair, UNMC Department of Biostatistics

Valor in Educational Service Award:
James Newland, M.D., emeritus professor, UNMC Department of Pathology & Microbiology

Visionary Leadership in Education Award:
Karen Gould, Ph.D., vice chair of education and associate professor, UNMC Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Anatomy

Today, he will be recognized for his career-long dedication to teaching when he receives the Varner Educator Laureate Award through the Impact in Education program in the UNMC Office of Academic Affairs. The award, which he will receive along with James O'Dell, M.D., recognizes an individual with sustained achievement in education who has significantly improved the UNMC learning environment through the provision of outstanding educational experiences.

Dr. Paulman said he was humbled and honored by the award, especially to be included with Dr. O'Dell. He said education is a team sport, and he sees it becoming even more interprofessional as time goes on.

"I view (this award) as recognition of what our teams have done over the years. Because it wasn't just me, I had a whole lot of help, especially the staff that do the heavy lifting and make the programs run. My family, of course, has been really supportive, and my wife (Audrey Paulman, M.D., professor of family medicine) has kept me on a straight and narrow track."

Dr. Paulman said teaching allows him to give something back to the profession and to the patients.

"It's enjoyable and rewarding," he said. "Seeing students have that 'A-Ha!' moment is pretty cool."

During his career, he has seen many educational innovations.

"One of my guiding principles is that experiential learning lasts longer and makes a bigger impact on the learner," he said. "So the rise and increasing sophistication of simulation technology for medical education is pretty exciting. At UNMC, we are going to be one of the leaders in this, with the new Dr. Edwin Davis and Dorothy Balbach Davis Global Center coming online. "We can't get real-life experiences for every student with the unusual illnesses and situations, but we can simulate a lot of them.

"If you can get a student to an experience, that's great. If you can't have an experience, have a simulation. And lately, we can take the simulation to the learner through our Simulation in Motion-Nebraska trucks. It's an exciting time to be teaching - the potential is incredible. The students are more technically adept, they're comfortable with technology."

What hasn't changed is the students' commitment to helping others, he said, pointing to efforts such as UNMC's student-led SHARING Clinics and frequent mission trips the students undertake.

"The institution has been committed to the entire state," he said. "I've had the opportunity to work with practicing doctors all throughout the state with family medicine student programs."


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Patti Carstens
February 07, 2019 at 4:05 PM

Congratulations on your award. Through your leadership and innovation in teaching along with the mentoring of students and staff: all have been able to experience a multitude of learning activities in many differing areas including: classwork, sharing clinic, rural rotations, OSCE's, and simulation. Bravo!!! This is a well-deserved award.

Tom O’Connor
February 07, 2019 at 12:03 PM

Congrats Paul. You da’ man!

Erica Stohs
February 07, 2019 at 10:00 AM

Congratulations, Dr. Paulman! Well deserved. I can attest to the importance and welcomed opportunities of the student experience from years ago that made my time at UNMC enriching. Thank you.

Howard Fox
February 07, 2019 at 9:32 AM

Paul, well deserved and keep on keeping on!

Rick Blum
February 07, 2019 at 9:21 AM

Congratulations to a great doctor and a great man! Paul delivered our first child here at University Hospital, and it's great to see this recognition for him.

Kai Fu
February 07, 2019 at 9:09 AM

Paul, congratulations! Well deserved.

Don Leuenberger
February 07, 2019 at 8:29 AM

Paul, Congratulations. You have been a leader, an innovator and a mentor to so many including the Sharing Clinic and simulation. You and Audrey have also been leaders and mentors in supporting international students. This is a well deserved recognition.

Bill O'Neill
February 07, 2019 at 7:03 AM

Congratulations, Paul! Well-deserved!