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Gold Humanism Honor Society Inducts 32 Miller School Students

For John Tsatalis, practicing medicine in the spirit of humanism means “listening to patients’ hearts with more than your stethoscope.” For Allison Draper, humanism is acknowledging every patient as an individual, and for Duyen Vo it is taking action to resolve suffering on both the individual and community level.

Dr. Latha Chandran

Tsatalis, Draper, and Vo were among 32 students at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine who were inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society in an April 15 virtual ceremony, along with a resident and faculty member. “These students represent the best of us,” said Latha Chandran, M.D., M.P.H., executive dean and founding chair of the Department of Medical Education, who hosted the event as faculty advisor to the Gold Humanism Honor Society.

The 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.

“Humanism is a philosophy that emphasizes the dignity and capacity of patients and families, and it reflects the attributes we want our graduates to embody in medicine,” said Henri R. Ford, M.D., M.H.A., dean and chief academic officer of the Miller School. “But to make an impact on others, we must pursue excellence through teamwork, which begins locally and expands globally.”

In his keynote address, Darrell G. Kirch, M.D., president emeritus of the Association of American Medical Colleges, spoke about the values held by pediatric neurologist Arnold Gold, M.D., and his wife Sandra, who 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.

Inductee Allison Draper

“Arnold was a chief resident at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital during the polio pandemic of the 1950s and worked with Albert Sabin, M.D., who was developing the first oral polio vaccine,” said Dr. Kirch. “Although he had a front-row seat in medical science, Arnold gradually became concerned that technology could overwhelm the human side of medicine. That led the Golds to create a foundation to support the values of compassion, empathy and activism in medicine.”

Dr. Kirch added that humanism supports the principles of social justice. “It involves seeking good for all patients – not just the one in front of you,” he said. “I appreciate the way the Miller School is embracing diversity and inclusion, and I encourage you to nurture your commitment to social justice in caring for your patients.”

At the ceremony, Donald T. Weed, M.D., professor of otolaryngology and head and neck surgeon, was the faculty inductee. “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 know the patient’s individual situation.”

Resident inductee Olorunleke Oni, M.D., M.P.H., who is chief resident in family medicine at UM/Jackson Memorial Hospital, added, “To me, humanism means treating every person with dignity and respect – something I hope to do as a family physician.”

The following Miller School students were inducted:

  • Arshia Arora
  • Alessandra Concetta Della Porta
  • Allison Joy Draper
  • Kyrra Mary Engle
  • Ayi Bassey Eta
  • Sirisha Gaddipati
  • Margaret Edith Chiseko Ginoza
  • Christopher Nicholas Garcia-Wilde
  • Anika Sandeep Jain
  • Sopiko Jimsheleishvili
  • Melissa Mary Jones
  • Sara Elizabeth Jones
  • Bradley Austin Lezak
  • Rick Yeh Shiuan Lin
  • Jazlyn Marie Merida
  • Christopher Jordan Murdock
  • Sirpi Nackeeran
  • Megan Alexandra Nocita
  • Christine Marie Nuñez
  • Malcolm Palmer
  • Alanna Perlin
  • Nicholas Christian Schiller
  • Billy Scola
  • Ryan Martin Severdija
  • Viraj Niren Shah
  • Emily Rebecca Singer
  • Amanda Faith Spielman
  • Sze Kiat Tan
  • Tanya Emmanuelle Thomas
  • John Peter Tsatalis
  • Flavia Valdes
  • Duyen Thuy Vo

The UM chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society is holding a virtual COVID-19 remembrance ceremony on Thursday, April 22, from 5 to 6 p.m.  More information and a link to the ceremony are available here.

Tags: Dean Henri R. Ford, Dr. Darrell Kirch, Dr. Latha Chandran, Gold Humanism Honor Society