School of Medicine graduate Da'Marcus Baymon received this year’s prestigious Gold-Headed Cane Award—the highest honor bestowed upon a graduating medical student.
The award recognizes extraordinary dedication to the health and welfare of patients, and nominees are selected by their peers in the graduating class. Being nominated for this award is an honor in itself, and honorable mention is given to the finalists.
The Gold-Headed Cane Award was established at UTMB in 1960 by the late Dr. Charles T. Stone, a UTMB alumnus and longtime chair of the Department of Internal Medicine. A gold ring engraved with the newest recipient’s name is added to the staff of the cane to commemorate the occasion. The cane is on permanent display in the Moody Medical Library.
The UTMB tradition honors the 18th century practice of presenting a gold-headed cane to the preeminent physician in English society. One such cane was continuously carried from 1689 to 1825 by five distinguished British physicians and now resides in the Royal College of Physicians in London.
2017 Gold-Headed Cane Award Winner
“My time as volunteer coordinator for organizations on campus sparked the passion to want to continue giving back to the community … as a clinical physician. Helping others, domestic or foreign, has always been a core value that I hold dearly. Emergency medicine provides me with the opportunity to exercise that core value and treat every sector of the human race without regard to their affluence, nationality or education level with the dignity that every single breathing human being deserves.”
2017 Gold-Headed Cane Award Finalists
“In medical school, I have learned that the practice of medicine intricately weaves together science and art, knowledge and ability. The science is complex and ever-evolving, demanding a commitment to lifelong learning. The art, less easy to define, is where the unique situation of each individual patient must be considered and reflected in decision-making. I have made strides toward medical excellence during my medical career through a compassionate attempt to act with both components in mind, and I will continue to refine this skill, to love the art of medicine and humanity, during my time as a physician.”
“By being there for [Mrs. S] in times of need, a role that Family Medicine doctors can fulfill best, I have grown not only as a health care provider, but also as a person. Too often, patients get lost in a sea of recommendations and medications (sometimes conflicting) prescribed by a multitude of sub-specialists, with no one to bring it all together. As a family physician, I will provide holistic lifelong care to my patients, integrating not only their medical treatments, but also their psychosocial environment and economic factors. I truly learned from Mrs. S, and through a career in Family Medicine, I hope to be there for many more patients, and forge lasting relationships with them that continue to enrich both their lives and mine.”
“Since 2014, I have dedicated a significant amount of time volunteering at the local student-run clinic, St. Vincent’s, a free medical care facility that is run by medical students to serve uninsured and indigent Galveston County residents… It fills me with a sense of purpose. I have learned a great deal from the patients I see and the challenges faced when working with uninsured patients. I had to navigate patient assistance program websites to get medication for free or discounted prices and I contacted community programs and agencies to set up patients with counseling, colonoscopies and simple vaccinations. I gained experience teaching first- and second-year medical students while leading the patient care team.”
“During each of the clerkships that I participated in my third and fourth year, I lived and breathed clinical medicine… I found that my rotation in Family Medicine was the most enjoyable. Only in this specialty can one treat the father’s hypertension, recommend a screening mammogram for the mother and soothe a raging episode of otitis media in their child within the same hour. My love for continuity of care, holistic medicine and community leadership will be nourished by pursuing a career in Family Medicine. As a family medicine physician, I will continue to demonstrate compassion for patients, interest in clinical research and passion for learning and teaching the art of medicine while practicing in the state of Texas.”