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Professionalism Around Campus

The Nicholas and Katherine Leone Award for Adminstrative Excellence

The Nicholas and Katherine Leone Award for Administrative Excellence is presented annually to a manager or supervisor who has achieved administrative excellence and abides by the values and standards outlined in UTMB's Professionalism Charter.

The award was established in 1971, and it is made possible through an endowment from Dr. Nicholas Leone, a former commanding officer and director of the Public Health Service Hospital in Galveston, and his wife Katherine.
The award recipient of the award receives $2,500 and his or her department receies $5,000 to further promote professionalism education and activities.Only one winner is chosen.The recipient is selected by the Employee Advisory Council.

2016 recipient:Christy Bray, Assistant Director for Research Training and Development
"She manages her team instead of bossing it, leads instead of commanding actions, and coaches instead of criticizing. Quite simply, she exudes professionalism through each word and action …  and serves as a shining example of the integrity UTMB develops in its employees."

2016 Recipient

2015 recipient:Maria D Garcia, Senior Administrative Manager, Center for Addiction Research
"She is described as someone who cultivates an atmosphere of respect, value and community within her department while practicing professional integrity and etiquette....encourages an atmosphere of professionalism based on trust, honest, integrity and accountability."

Maria receiving award      

Hector P. Garcia, M.D. Cultural Competence Awards Ceremony

Annually, the Office of the President and the Hispanic Center of Excellence sponsor a luncheon to remember and celebrate the accomplishments of Dr. Hector P. Garcia.  Students are invited to submit essays that depict both cultural competency and a commitment to providing quality health care to all.  Dr. Garcia is a distinguished 1940 graduate of the School of Medicine and a civil rights champion.  The legacy of Dr. Garcia exemplifies all tenets of professionalism. 

The winning essay for the 2016 event was submitted by Ali Mohamed Mahmoud, MS2 in the School of Medicine.  The 2016 event also hosted a poster session. The winning poster was submitted by Paige Hoyer, MS3, School of Medicine.  For more information and to read the essay click here.

The winning essay belongs to Jorge  Roman, an SOM student.  Dr. Juliet V. Garcia, Executive Director of Texas Americas Institute was the key note speaker. Following are photographs from the 2015 awards ceremony.                                                  program  Key Note Speakerthe check  group shotRS and Akers      the last graduates
room shot

All Student Orientation August 24, 2015

Student  Representatives from the Professionalism Committee and the Honor Pledge Committee joined Dr. Saavedra in addressing the new student body with an overview of the Professionalism Committee, the importance of professionalism at UTMB, interprofessional professionalism, classroom etiquette, warnings about social media, and how to report disrespectful behavior

Dr. Saavedra Students in the Audience  Reciting the pledge

June26 2015 PA White Coat Ceremony (click to see photograph)
Eighty-nine students donned their white coats and pledged their professional oath in a ceremony at 6 p.m. Friday, June 26, in Levin Hall Main Auditorium.  The UTMB Physician Assistant White Coat Ceremony has become a tradition in the UTMB PA program.  It recognizes the transition of new PA students into the physician assistant program, into the profession, and into their future career as a physician assistant. 

Indirect Aggression: An Educational Approach
Personality plays a role in our personal and professional lives.  It effects how we deal with aggression of all kinds and how we interact with our team members. Are you a worrier? Do you feel awkward if you're the center of attention? Can you easily control your temper? Do you wish your nursing team got along better-or does your team get along great? Come and discuss with us how our own personal traits can contribute to making our lives worse or better and how to work on it through a nursing research approach. We'd love to see you!  This educational opportunity is open to all members of your healthcare team. Come as time allows to one of the dates and locations below or by signing up on the education calendar on the attached link:http://my.utmb.edu/nursingeducation/

Nurses receive 1 hour CNE for this education.

Roberto Logroño, MD Lectureship for Professionalism in Academic Medicine

The Roberto Logroño, MD Lectureship for Professionalism in Academic Medicine was inaugurated on April 12, 2012 in memory of Dr. Roberto Logroño.  Dr. Logroño embodied the spirit, character, and professionalism evidenced by his remarkable impact during his time at UTMB as the Director of the Division of Cytopathology from 1997 until his untimely death in 2006.  He oversaw technologic advances, introduced advanced testing approaches, and greatly increased the academic stature of the Cytopathology Division at the national level while maintaining excellence in clinical services.

In his foreshortened career as a clinician, educator, mentor and investigator, Dr. Logroño exemplified many of the attributes of professionalism, including altruism, accountability, excellence, duty, honor and integrity, and respect for others.  He has been described in such ways by numerous people who knew him personally and professionally:

  • "His respect, integrity, conscientiousness, and dedication promptly led to an unsurpassable reputation and trust among our local pathologists and clinical doctors. Roberto was humble and determined, and was not afraid to express his honest opinion in any situation."
  • "Dr. Logroño was generous with his time, and contributed without hesitation to support and advance the cytopathology community. He was always ready to share his experience and advice."
  • "Dr. Logroño was passionate about cytology and teaching. He cared deeply about his residents and fellows and made certain that they were included in cytopathology related activities."
  • "Roberto's passion for learning was exceeded only by his commitment to the profession as an educator."
  • "Roberto's commitment to all facets of academia was obvious at the institutional level as well as nationally. He was recognized for his excellence on numerous occasions, and his enthusiasm and passion for the topics he taught were reflected by the superb evaluations he invariably received."

The nominees for the lectureship are UTMB faculty members noted for a high level of professionalism in patient care, teaching and/or medical research, and candidates exemplify the principles of professionalism in everyday behavior and in interactions with peers, patients, and students. Nominations can come from students, house staff, faculty and staff. Selections are made annually by the Organizing Committee: Drs. Judith Aronson, Mark Holden, Alexander Indrikovs, Susan McCannon, Juan Olano, and David Walker and Ms. Norma Hernandez.

Previous recipients of the Lectureship for Professionalism in Medicine are:   

2012: Susan D. McCammon, M.D.

2013: Jack B. Alperin, M.D., F.A.C.P.

2014: Joan E. Nichols, Ph.D.

2015: Karen Szauter, M.D.   (2015 Award Ceremony)

2016: Gerald L. Campbell, M.D., PH.D.  (2016 Award Ceremony)

A request for nominations for next year's lectureship will be announced later this year. Thinking of the highest qualities of professionalism and the persons who exemplify them and describing these qualities in letters of nomination will remind us of our calling and the memory of Dr. Logroño as well as honoring a professional of merit at UTMB for specific aspects of professionalism.

UTMB Honor Pledge Committee

Professionalism Panel - Interprofessionalism


Samantha Etienne (Community Relations Chair), Vi Pham (Community Relations Chair) and Karis Marshall (President)

The UTMB Student Honor Pledge Committee hosted a panel discussion on Monday, November 30, 2016.  There were 46 students in attendance representing all four schools.  The questions that were posed to the panel were:

  1. What are some important qualities for you to see from other professions on your team? What makes a good relationship?
  2. What do you feel is a communication barrier between you and other members of your healthcare team?
  3. How do you deal with abrasive co-workers while still maintaining your professionalism?
  4. From a faculty member's perspective: What behaviors do students often exhibit that can be viewed as unprofessional?

Discussion highlights

  • Respect is key
  • Openness
  • Open communication will optimize patient care
  • Respect that everyone has something to add, everyone has a voice
  • Offering an opinion can be presented as a question, e.g., What do you think about…….?- opens dialogue.
  • Everyone's profession is important to them, everyone has different passions
  • Traditionally medicine has been practiced hierarchically, but a team approach is  best care.
  • Ego is the biggest barrier:  "I am the attending and I know best."  "I am just a student, what do I know?" 
  • Students bring fresh perspectives, speak up. Could preface statement, "I recently read an article….."
  • Lack of communication can bring about errors.
  • If you are ever shot down, do not challenge in the presence of the patient.
  • There are always two sides of the story, what you see and what may have precipitated the behavior.  Talk to the individual in the manner in which you would want to be talked to.
  • Students are always vulnerable.  Can discuss with your Student Affairs Dean, Ombudsman, or use the Professionalism Concern Note (button).
  • Make the team look good, not just yourself.
  • Diversity is multiple views.
  • Make the patient a part of the team, understanding the patient's perspective and needs can influence the patient's understanding, compliance and satisfaction.  Consider the thought process of the patient and that of the team.
  • Important to take care of self, not burn-out.
  • Not allow ego to get in the way of patient care and good relationships. 

 Behaviors that students exhibit that could be viewed as unprofessional?

  • Glued to cell phone (best to explain if you are expecting a phone call that you must take, looking up the answer, etc)
  • Important to let families and patients know that you are looking up information (otherwise perceived as disinterested).
  • Being late
  • Body language speaks volumes (slamming books, rolling eyes at prof or other students comments)
  • Not being prepared (no pen, stethoscope, etc)
  • Not letting others speak, when it is obvious that they want to


Obstacles of Interprofessional Healthcare

On April 6, 2015, the Student Honor Pledge Committee hosted a forum for students from all schools in which a panel of Faculty members discussed, "Obstacles of Interprofessional Healthcare."  The panelists were:  Dr. Cherry Beckworth, from the School of Nursing; Dr. Joan Nichols, from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Dr. Steven Fisher, from the School of Health Professions; and Drs. Mark Holden and Karen Szauter from the School of Medicine.

2015-04-06-12.48  2015-04-06-12.48b

2015-04-06-12.48c  2015-04-06-12.48d


Professionalism in Medical Education 

With the Physicians' Charter came a challenge to focus on professionalism in the training of physicians, resulting in several major medical education initiatives related to professionalism. Professionalism has been identified as a core competency which needs to be evaluated in students and residents. The Group on Educational Affairs (GEA) of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), and many specialty boards have identified professionalism as a priority for their attention.

White Coat Ceremony History
The first White Coat Ceremony was held on August 20, 1993 for the entering class of Columbia University's College of Physicians & Surgeons. The Honor Education Council, with the support of the dean of medicine, introduced the White Coat Ceremony to UTMB in 1996. The purpose of the ceremony is to welcome the incoming medical students and to introduce them to the profession of medicine while stressing the importance of the doctor-patient relationship. As the students don the symbolic white coat, they accept responsibility for acquiring and maintaining the knowledge and skills necessary to care for patients and commit to provide treatment in a compassionate and respectful manner. In the presence of faculty, classmates, family, and friends, each student pledges to act with honor, integrity, and selflessness when dealing with patients and colleagues. As a final testament to professional integrity, the ceremony closes with the recitation of the student-conceived Declaration of Commitment.

Honor Education Council
The Honor Education Council is a UTMB School of Medicine student-run organization formed in 1990. The Council consists of three medical students elected from each class to serve 4 year terms. Together with faculty advisors, the council works to educate medical students and faculty on issues pertaining to the ethical behavior of physicians, helps students develop an ethical decision-making process, and promotes honor and integrity within the profession. Council members serve as class advocates for integrity and professionalism issues during both the classroom and the clinical years. The council also provides a student forum for discussion of academic integrity violations and works with the school of medicine administration to actively reduce academic dishonesty. Each year the Honor Education Council sponsors the "Issues in Health Care" lecture series addressing topics concerning the medical profession. Past topics have included stem cell research, indigent health care policy, bioterrorism and health care in the prison system.  In addition, council members serve as small group facilitators for the discussion of ethical cases. The Honor Education Council also works closely with the Office of Student Affairs to host the annual White Coat Ceremony. 

Declaration of Commitment
At the time of beginning Medical School;
I solemnly pledge myself to consecrate my life to the services of humanity;
I will give to my teachers the respect and gratitude which is their due;
I will develop my skills with conscience, dignity and integrity;
The health of my patients and myself will be my first considerations;
I will honor those things that are confided in me;
I will maintain by all the means in my power, the honor and the noble traditions of the medical profession;
My colleagues will be my comrades;
I will not permit considerations of religion, nationality, race, party politics or social standings to intervene between my duty, my peers and my patients;
I will maintain the utmost respect for human life and I will not use any medical knowledge contrary to Law;
I make these promises solemnly, freely and upon my honor.
                    Used for the White Coat Ceremony at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
                              Adopted from the Declaration of Geneva and the International Code of Medical Ethics


Excellence in Professionalism Award - Student Life

Congratulations to our January-March 2013 winner…

Jaipreet Suri (SOM)
"Jaipreet is one of the best medical students I have ever worked with. I had the pleasure of working with him during his Neonatal ICU & Surgery rotations, and I was very impressed with Jaipreet's professionalism, work ethic, and dedication to his patients. He was always the first medical student at the hospital and would record the morning labs and vitals for all our team's patients. This really lightened the workload for us residents and helped morning rounds run much more efficiently. Jaipreet was always willing to stay late and help with any floor work or to return to his patient's room to see if they had any questions and to see if there is anything he could do to make them more comfortable. His professionalism and compassion especially shined in his interactions with the patient's families in NICU. He always remembered the parents' names, as well as their baby's. He took the time to update the parents on their baby every day. When a new student started on the rotation, Jaipreet helped orient them to our daily routine and answered any questions they had. Jaipreet is also extremely well-rounded. Along with being an excellent student, he is also heavily involved in research. He is working on several research projects and has presented his work at multiple national meetings. Jaipreet was awarded the 'Daniel H. Cannon Distinguished Research Award' for the 2011-2012 year. He is also an Osler scholar and member of Gold Humanism Honor Society. He is always looking for ways to give back to the UTMB & Galveston community and is involved in several organizations and projects. Jaipreet is one of the coordinators for the Books-to-Bedside book drive that provides reading materials for the John Sealy Hospital library. He also helps organize the Anti-Tobacco Awareness Program to help educate children about the negative effects of smoking. He also volunteers at St. Vincent's and served as a student intern during the summer between his first and second year. Jaipreet is the embodiment of what a medical student should be and I strongly believe he deserves recognition. He would be an excellent recipient of this award."   (learn more at the above link).

Honor Pedge Committee Pub Night

Pub group shot

On Thursday November 7th, 2013 the  UTMB's Honor Pledge Committee hosted its "Pub Night" Alcohol Awareness event. Students enjoyed british-style fish and chips and root "beer" floats while the honor pledge committee educated them on the effects excessive drinking can have on their personal and professional lives. Students participated in a standard field sobriety test using beer goggles that demonstrated alcohol use above the legal limit of .08. Honor Pledge Committee also distributed keychains to students with student resources on campus for students dealing with alcohol dependency.

pubnight distortion