Lifetime Achievement AwardJohn P. McGovern Academy of Oslerian Medicine

John P. McGovern

In 2001, UTMB’s Office of the President established the John P. McGovern Lifetime Achievement Award in Oslerian Medicine, an award that recognizes the practice and teaching of humane medicine in the tradition of Sir William Osler and affirms the university’s commitment to Oslerian ideals. Born in 1849 in Canada, Osler served on the medical faculties of McGill, the University of Pennsylvania, and Johns Hopkins, reaching the peak of his career as Regius professor of medicine at Oxford. Osler pioneered the practice of teaching at the bedside and initiated the modern residency program. His The Principles and Practice of Medicine was the standard text for half a century of medical students. Above all, Osler demonstrated, in both patient care and teaching, deep compassion, understanding, and love for his fellow human beings.

Candidates for the award include anyone who is a School of Medicine alumnus or has completed their residency, a fellowship or spent time as a faculty member for greater than or equal to 5 years. The selection will be made by the McGovern Academy's current Osler Scholars who will assess nominees for their longstanding and distinguished careers of service in four categories:

  • Combining scientific principles with humane practice in his/her clinical care and being committed to the relief of patients' suffering;
  • Displaying imaginative, innovative, and inspirational teaching;
  • Displaying exemplary personal attributes: honesty, modesty, generosity, affection, a respect for the past, spirituality and passion for aesthetic and creative pursuits; and
  • Displaying social consciousness and community involvement.

Current Recipient


  • C. Joan Richardson, MD

    2022 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

    C. Joan Richardson, MDDr. Richardson is Professor and Chair, Department of Pediatrics, and Director of the Division of Neonatology. She holds the John Sealy Centennial Distinguished Chair in Neonatology and the John Sealy Distinguished Chair in Pediatrics. She is a Scholar in the John P. McGovern Academy of Oslerian Medicine and is the UTMB Institutional Emergency Preparedness Officer.

    Dr. Richardson received her B.A. degree in Zoology from the University of Texas at Austin and her MD degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, where she also completed her residency in Pediatrics. She completed her fellowship in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine at the University of California, San Diego/LaJolla School of Medicine. Dr. Richardson has been a member of the UTMB faculty since 1974. She has held many administrative positions in the department and the institution, serving as Medical Director of UTMB Inpatient Services from 1999 to 2007 and Assistant Dean for Faculty Practice from 2004 to 2007. Before becoming Chair of the Department, she was Vice-Chair from 1991-2008. Her interests center around medical education, health care administration, faculty development, and care of the high-risk newborn.

Previous recipients Click on the name to view details


  • Jack Alperin, MD

    2020 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

    Jack Alperin, MDDr. Alperin grew up in Marianna, Arkansas, a Mississipi Delta town of 4,500 residents. Illnesses as a young child led to contacts with physicians that fostered his early aspiration to become a doctor himself. After several undergraduate years at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, he transferred to its College of Medicine in Memphis, receiving his medical degree in 1957.

    His five-year postgraduate education continued in Chicago’s Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center. During this period, his interests gravitated to his future fascination with blood. As he relates it, “I met a woman.” That young woman was a patient with thrombotic thrombocytic purpura, a rare disease that then carried a poor prognosis. He took over her care, enabled her to live additional decades, and became a hematologist as a result. He met another woman at Michael Reese, a staff member in public relations: Lynn Manaster became his wife 60 years ago. Completing his training, he spent an additional year at Reese teaching on the faculty of Chicago Medical School and learning how to perform hemoglobin electrophoresis.

    By then, Dr. Alperin had decided on a career in academic medicine. A colleague introduced him to Dr. William C. Levin, who invited Dr. Alperin to come to Galveston to serve a two-year senior research fellowship in hematology, after which he joined the faculty and eventually rose to the rank of professor of medicine. He has held appointments in Internal Medicine, Human Biological Chemistry and Genetics, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Pathology, serving five years as acting chief of the Division of Hematology-Oncology and later as associate director of the Division of Hematopathology.

    A Fellow of the American College of Physicians, Dr. Alperin received the Laureate Award from its Texas Chapter and was named a Diplomate of the International Board of Clinical and Applied Thrombosis, Hemostasis, and Vascular Medicine. Among his many other society memberships, Dr. Alperin was a member of the Texas Medical Association and served as president of the Galveston County Medical Society.

    As an active participant in investigative hematology, Dr. Alperin is the author or coauthor of more than 125 papers and abstracts reporting on nonmalignant disorders of the blood and transfusion medicine. Special interests have been nutritional anemias, hemoglobinopathies, hemorrhagic and thrombotic disorders, transfusion therapy, and blood component therapy. These articles have appeared in numerous publications including the New England Journal of Medicine, Blood, American Journal of Medicine, American Journal of Hematology, Transfusion, American Journal of Clinical Pathology, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, and Archives of Internal Medicine. Noteworthy are his publications on folic acid requirements in pregnancy and sickle cell anemia, and hemolytic transfusion reaction caused by anti-M; his work on vitamin K deficiency appeared in the English, Turkish, and Japanese editions of JAMA. For many years, he served on the Working Group on Hemoglobin Variants Subcommittee of the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards.

    Dr. Alperin has taught generations of physicians for 60 years. For 39 years, he served as Chief Faculty Marshal for the School of Medicine graduation; in 2015 he was honored to be named Senior Faculty Marshal. Among the many honors he has received for his teaching, clinical skills, and professionalism are the Golden Apple Award from the junior class in the School of Medicine, and awards from the School of Medicine Alumni Association, the Department of Internal Medicine, the Department of Pathology, and the School for Specialists in Blood Banking. For seven years, he was recognized by Texas Monthly as one of the “Top Hematologists in Texas.” The University of Tennessee College of Medicine Alumni Association presented him with its Distinguished Alumnus Award, and the UTMB Academy of Master Clinicians honored him with their 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award.

    Perhaps the award Dr. Alperin has most cherished came in 2001 when his abiding commitment to education, centered on compassionate and scientifically based clinical care, was recognized, and he was named one of the six inaugural Osler Scholars in the John P. McGovern Academy of Oslerian Medicine. After 58 years at UTMB, he is now a half-time clinical professor in internal medicine and pathology, serving as associate director of the Blood Bank and a consultant in hematology and transfusion medicine. He remains a happily active Emeritus Osler Scholar.

    The quotations below best summarize Dr. Alperin’s contributions to his chosen profession:

    From a distinguished former colleague: I’ve forever regarded you as the consummate physician and hematologist. You were and are a bastion of the department as a teacher, consultant, and friend.

    From a current colleague: You are and always will be a fabulous teacher and colleague . . . . I tell the students that they will meet true icons along the path of their education and at UTMB, you are the person I have put highest on the list. . . . you are the expert and teacher, I continue to strive for excellence . . . and you are helping me.

    And from a medical student completing his rotation on the hematology service: I’m thankful to have seen you interact with your patients and to take the time to sit by their bedside, hold their hands, and elicit a thorough history. The Oslerian saying, “Listen to your patient, he is telling you the diagnosis” has shined through as the key to diagnosing many of our patients this month. I’ve seen you gather more pertinent history from a patient by simply showing patience and a listening ear than most other residents or fellows I’ve worked with. Thank you for an unforgettable month and thanks for being UTMB’s own version of William Osler

  • Robert E. Beach, M.D.

    2019 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

    Robert E. Beach, MDDr. Robert Beach was raised in Shreveport, Louisiana. From an early age, the love of learning was evident. He voluntarily spent part of one blistering hot Louisiana summer reading the entire World Book Encyclopedia just because it was interesting! A later formative summer was spent digging ditches on construction sites, an experience that solidified a desire for a more diverse occupational potential. He played football in high school before attending Louisiana Tech University in Ruston and became the first college graduate of his family.

    While at Louisiana Tech he developed a keen interest in science and understanding cellular and organ function. After graduation, he entered graduate school in physiology where his graduate studies were in cardiac hemodynamics and renal function. It was during that time he met Patricia Beach, to whom he has now been married for 43 years. After graduate school and while awaiting matriculation into medical school, he applied for a substitute teaching position. As luck would have it, a local high school had a critical need for a teacher of Advanced Biology and Chemistry in a matter of days, and he secured the position for the upcoming semester. He was hired, full of enthusiasm but with absolutely no training as an educator. The experience, however, developed in him a passion for education. It took only 3 days to discern that lectures were a poor form of communication with bleary-eyed high school seniors, and that active learning was a far superior strategy for learning. As with William Osler, he found that dissection served the need. He has maintained a steadfast commitment to active learning ever since. He and his fiancé, soon to be wife, were fortunate to both be accepted at LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans. Following medical school, he entered Internal Medicine training at UTMB and served as chief resident from 1982-‘83. He volunteered to participate in a special Primary Care Track during residency, which allowed him an extra day of clinic each week in the Internal Medicine Group Practice. This provided the foundation for a life-long commitment to each patient as a person of worth, regardless of educational status, color, religion or personal choices. This genuine love of other persons has guided his professional identity. His learners have responded to that commitment in a myriad of ways, and many have chosen to demonstrate a similar commitment to their patients during their own careers. Following residency he entered Nephrology training at Duke University Medical Center with an emphasis on basic science research.

    The opportunity to return to UTMB following fellowship proved irresistible, and he joined the faculty at UTMB in 1986. He was an active researcher in the basic mechanisms of renal function and was supported by numerous grants, ultimately receiving the Henry Christian Award for outstanding research in 1991. In 1991, he assumed the directorship of the Division of Nephrology at UTMB and continued to build the research, clinical care and education of the division. There remained, however, a desire for an experience outside the walls of academia, and in 1994, he entered private practice in Bismarck, North Dakota. Almost immediately he became deeply involved with the Family Medicine Residency Program there. While in North Dakota he provided for the basic medical needs and clinical education at a tertiary medical center for a three-state region. He was also able to provide essential medical care to patients living in two Native American reservations.

    He returned to UTMB in 1998 and served as Assistant Dean for Educational Affairs, Director of the Office of Educational Development and the Instruction of Medical Education office from 2000-2005. Dr. Beach served as Course Director for POM-1 during its formative years from 2000-2005. He directed the Renal Course in the School of Medicine from 2000-2010, receiving numerous awards for the outstanding course and Golden Apple Awards. He also served as Director of Pediatric Nephrology from 2004-2007 and Adult Nephrology from 2004-2009 during which time he provided leadership following the devastation of Hurricane Ike in 2008. He has mentored numerous students and residents, served as Postdoctoral Director for 2 researchers, and served on the dissertation committee of 3 basic science Ph.D. candidates and 3 Institute of Medical Humanities candidates. He has been selected as the James Powers Award recipient on three occasions, nominated for the national Humanism in Medicine Award on two occasions, and was the first recipient of the UTMB Academy of Master Teachers Life-Time Achievement Award in 2007. He was inducted into the University of Texas Kenneth I. Shine MD Academy of Health Sciences Educators in 2006. Dr. Beach has served as a volunteer faculty at St. Vincent’s Student Run Free Clinic for 30 years, and served as the faculty director from 2004 to the present time. In 2016, he was named the Alfreda Houston Hero by St. Vincent’s House. In addition, he serves on the board of directors of CEDEPCA, a Christian educational and disaster relief program in Central America. He serves on the Outreach Committee of New Covenant Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church USA. He has a passion for care of the underserved, incorporation of humanitarian care in medicine, educating future clinicians, and understanding the function of the human body in health and disease. These attributes resonate with these words of William Osler, “If the license to practice meant the completion of his education how sad it would be for the practitioner, how distressing to his patients! More clearly than other the physician should illustrate the truth of Plato’s saying that education is a life-long process.”1 Or perhaps more to the point, “To serve the art of medicine as it should be served, one must love his fellow man.”2 

    1William Osler. “An address on The Importance of Post-graduate Study.” Lancet. 1900; 156 (4011):73-75 

    2William Osler. Modern medicine, its theory and practice. 1907; (1):34 

  • Sally Robinson, MD

    2018 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

    Sally RobinsonDr. Robinson is a Professor of Pediatrics. She received her undergraduate degree from Rice University, Houston and her medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, where she completed her residency and a fellowship in Hematology, nephrology, and neurology. Dr. Robinson has a clinical interest in Pediatric Chronic Rehabilitation and is board certified in Pediatrics by the American Board of Pediatrics.

  • Dr. Walter J. Meyer, III

    2017 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient


    Dr. Walter J. Meyer, III