Dr. Donald T. Weed Honored with Induction into Gold Humanism Honor Society
Donald T. Weed, M.D., co-leader of the Head and Neck Site Disease Group at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and vice chair for academic affairs in the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has been inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS), reflecting his deep commitment to compassionate patient care. “To me, humanism is about respecting our patients and helping them understand the situation,” he said. “As physicians, we don’t know what’s best unless we listen carefully to the patient.”
Latha Chandran, M.D., M.P.H., executive dean, founding chair of the Department of Medical Education, and faculty advisor to the GHHS, hosted the April 15 virtual ceremony, which included the induction of Dr. Weed, as well as Olorunleke Oni, M.D., M.P.H., chief resident in family medicine at UM/Jackson Memorial Hospital, and 32 Miller School students.
Fred F. Telischi, M.D., chair of otolaryngology and professor of neurological surgery and biomedical engineering, and the James R. Chandler Chair in Otolaryngology, praised Dr. Weed’s dedication to patient care, research, teaching and service.
“As a clinician, Dr. Weed always seeks the best, most appropriate and individualized solution to his patients’ medical conditions,” said Dr. Telischi. “Through the extensive research he has performed throughout his close to 30-year career, he has elevated the delivery and outcomes for head and neck cancer patients worldwide. He understands the sensitivity and speed required to effectively treat such patients and strives to ensure this special care is rendered to every patient, in the timeliest manner possible, including during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Dr. Weed is the most exceptional role model that I have seen in my 41 years of academic work,” W. Jarrard “Jerry” Goodwin, M.D., emeritus professor of otolaryngology, said in his nomination letter. “He is always there for his patients, no matter what they need from him and when they need it. He is an excellent communicator and it is clear that he cares deeply about their welfare.”
Through the years, Dr. Weed has served the medical school in many leadership roles, including director of the Department of Otolaryngology training program. “His leadership in each has been characterized by integrity, high expectations, mutual respect, humility, and compassion,” said Dr. Goodwin.
Dr. Telischi also cited Dr. Weed’s commitment to service, including free community head and neck cancer screenings and education on the risk factors, symptoms and signs of the disease. “Beyond the local community, Dr. Weed has organized and participated in multiple mission and training trips to Haiti and Kenya, to train surgeons in advanced techniques and treat patients in need of head and neck cancer care,” added Dr. Telischi. “He advocates for equality in health care delivery and works to improve access to treatment in disadvantaged communities, locally and internationally.”
The Gold Humanism Honor Society was founded in 2002 to recognize medical students, residents and faculty who are compassionate in delivering care and serve as role models for other professionals. Currently, there are more than 35,000 members across the country.
Pediatric neurologist Arnold Gold, M.D., and his wife Sandra launched the Arnold P. Gold Foundation in 1988 to support the now-traditional white coat ceremony for new medical students, as well as the Gold Humanism Honor Society.