GIMSPP Decade of Service Award 2007

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The General Internal Medicine Statewide Preceptorship Program Decade of Service Award honors highly active and dedicated preceptors who have taught medical students in their practices for the past ten years. The award is presented this year to twelve preceptors who have served as mentors to students for at least seven of those years.

It is with genuine pleasure that this year, the Texas Chapter presents the GIMSPP Decade of Service Award to John G. Casey, MD, FACP; Delfino F. Garcia, III, MD; Robert E. Jackson, MD, FACP; Philip C. Johnson, MD, FACP; Mark A. Johnston, MD; Prakash P. Kagal, MD; Sheldon L. Markowitz, MD; Patrick McNamara, MD; Ana I. Rodriguez, MD; Francisco C. Rugama, MD; Pankaj K. Shah, MD; and Sarah I. Smiley, DO.

John G. Casey, MD, FACP

John G. Casey, MD, FACP

Dr. Casey joined the GIMSPP in 1997 and has served as preceptor to twelve students. He has also been a highly active member of TAIM's Medical Students Committee since 2003. Dr. Casey graduated from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and did his residency at Baylor in Dallas. He has practiced in Dallas for the past eighteen years. His students wrote of him:

"This opportunity confirmed my desire to be an internist and exposed me to new fields within internal medicine. Dr. Casey demonstrated how rewarding this field can be."

"I learned more than I ever thought possible. Dr. Casey is an excellent preceptor. I could not have asked for a better teacher."

"I felt very welcome in his practice. His friendship, professionalism and great sense of humor constitute an example worthy of aspiration."

"Dr. Casey was a great person to shadow. He is the easiest person in the world to get along with and I enjoyed and appreciated the time with him. I looked forward to going each day to learn something new and look it up in his reference books."


Delfino F. Garcia, III, MD, ACP Member

Delfino F. Garcia, III, MD, ACP Member

Dr. Garcia has been a GIMSPP preceptor since 1998 having mentored fifteen medical students during that time. He has practiced in Houston for eleven years after completing his residency at Baylor College of Medicine. He graduated from Boston University School of Medicine. Some of his students commented:

"Dr. Garcia was an excellent choice as a preceptor. He gave me a great deal of responsibility and feedback."

"Dr. Garcia was awesome! I would recommend him to anyone and plan on maintaining my relationship with him."

"Dr. Garcia was a wonderful preceptor. It was evident he enjoyed teaching and took a tremendous amount of time out of his busy schedule to help me learn."

"My preceptor was a fantastic teacher who significantly increased my interest in internal medicine. My experience surpassed all expectations."


Robert E. Jackson, MD, FACP

Robert E. Jackson, MD, FACP

Since joining the GIMSPP in 1998, Dr. Jackson has taught fifteen students for the program. He has been actively involved in TAIM's Medical Students Committee as well as being President of TAIM Services and President-elect of TAIM. He has practiced in Houston since 1984. Dr. Jackson's students wrote in their evaluations of him:

"Dr. Jackson was an exceptional preceptor. He was very informative and helpful in searching out additional information to share with me."

"When a preceptor explains something to you, it really sinks in. With such a great learning experience, there is no substitute. Dr. Jackson supplements his teaching with the phrase 'let's look it up', further developing your medical knowledge."

"I learned more about doctoring from observing him than I could have from any book. He is great fun to be around and is the benchmark to which all future teachers will be measured."

Dr. Jackson graduated from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and completed his residency at Baylor College of Medicine.


Philip C. Johnson, MD, FACP

Philip C. Johnson, MD, FACP

Dr. Johnson has taught sixteen students for the program since becoming a GIMSPP preceptor in 1998. He is a Professor of Internal Medicine and the Director of the Division of General Medicine at UT Houston Medical School and has practiced in Houston since 1984. Dr. Johnson has amassed a number of awards during that time, including Humanism in Medicine, Masters Teachers, Houston's Best Doctors and Dean's Excellence in Teaching Award. Several other members of his division participate in GIMSPP. Dr. Johnson graduated from Baylor College of Medicine. He did his residency at Baylor affiliated hospitals and completed a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at the UT Houston Medical School. His students have written of him:

"Dr. Johnson was an excellent preceptor. He emphasized hands on experience and had me interacting with patients from the very first day."

"I thoroughly enjoyed my experience with Dr. Johnson. I learned more than I ever expected and made a friend in the process."

"Dr. Johnson is a great preceptor who provided a comfortable atmosphere in learning and practicing medicine."

"His empathetic approach to patients was fascinating and something that can't be taught by reading books."


Mark A. Johnston, MD, ACP Member

Mark A. Johnston, MD, ACP Member

Dr. Johnston is in Dallas where he has practiced for twenty years. He has mentored nine students since becoming a GIMSPP preceptor in 1998. Some quotes from his students are:

"I don't think there is a better teacher than Dr. Johnston. He taught me more than I expected and I exceeded my goals."

"Dr. Johnston is dedicated to his team, his patients, and to creating an incredible learning environment for students. He is a physician that I admire and respect and I feel honored to have had the opportunity to work with him."

"Dr. Johnston was an excellent mentor. He gave me room to work on my history taking and exam skills on my own without ever allowing me to feel inadequately prepared for my responsibilities."

Dr. Johnston graduated medical school at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and completed his residency at Good Samaritan and VA Hospitals in Phoenix.


Prakash P. Kagal, MD

Prakash P. Kagal, MD

Dr. Kagal is a hospitalist who has practiced in the Dallas area since 1997, the same year he volunteered to become a GIMSPP preceptor. He has taught fourteen students since that time. His students wrote of him:

"Dr. Kagal exhibits great care for humanity."

"He is a wonderful example of how to treat/interact with patients and their families."

"Dr. Kagal has as his first priority the best interest of the patient."

"He was very interested in teaching me and answering all my questions."

Dr. Kagal graduated from Kasturba Medical College in Mangalore, India, and completed his residency at Eastern Virginia Medical School.


Sheldon L. Markowitz, MD

Sheldon L. Markowitz, MD

Dr. Markowitz has practiced in Austin for the past thirty-four years. He joined the GIMSPP in 1998 and has taught nine students for the program. He completed medical school at the University of Maryland and did his residency at the Mayo Clinic. Some of his students wrote in their evaluations of him:

"Dr. Markowitz is a wonderful physician with a great interest in teaching students."

"He is a wonderful physician and teacher. He is very enthusiastic about his work and helping out in the community."

"He's definitely someone that should continue educating future internists. He has helped to put me on track to being a great physician and I will always appreciate him for that."

Dr. Markowitz serves on the board of the Volunteer Healthcare Clinic, was Chief of Medicine of Seton Medical Center and has been active on many committees at Seton.


Patrick McNamara, MD

Patrick McNamara, MD

Dr. McNamara became a preceptor for the GIMSPP in 1998 and has mentored ten students. He was graduated from Hahnemann University Medical School in Philadelphia and completed his residency at Baylor College of Medicine. He has practiced in Houston for the past twenty years. Some quotes from his students are:

"I really enjoyed working with Dr. McNamara because I not only learned about internal medicine as a specialty, but also about AIDS care. I have decided to go into internal medicine after my experience in this rotation."

"Dr. McNamara understands the importance of excellent student education."

"Working with Dr. McNamara was a wonderful experience. I hope to one dayestablish the great rapport he has with all his patients."


Ana I. Rodriguez, MD, ACP Member

Ana I. Rodriguez, MD, ACP Member

Dr. Rodriguez has taught eight students in the ten years she has been a preceptor for the GIMSPP. Her students write of her:

"Dr. Ana Rodriguez truly is an outstanding physician whom I can only aspire to be like in the future. You can tell she is absolutely committed to the well being of her patients."

"Dr. Rodriguez was one of the most exceptional doctors I've ever worked with. The experience I gained was priceless."

"She sparked a renewed enthusiasm for me that is sometimes drowned by all of the book work first year."

Dr. Rodriguez graduated from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and completed her residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. She has practiced in San Antonio for fourteen years and is President and CEO of MacGregor Medical Center.


Francisco C. Rugama, MD, ACP Member

Dr. Rugama practices in Mission where he has been since 1993. In 1997 he joined the GIMSPP and has taught eight students for the program. He was graduated from Autonomous University of Guadalajara and did his residency at St. Barnabas Hospital in New York City. Quotes from some of his students include:

"Dr. Rugama was an excellent mentor and I not only learned about seeing patients but also some medical office management and how to deal with certain issues facing new doctors and residents."

"My preceptorship was a great experience that left me strongly considering a future in internal medicine."

"Dr. Rugama was a great preceptor since the student is allowed to do as much as he/she is comfortable with; therefore one learns as much as one desires."

Dr. Rugama featured GIMSPP Outcomes Studies, guidelines and the Primary Care Coalition Fractured report as part of his course work toward an MBA.


Pankaj K. Shah, MD

Pankaj K. Shah, MD

Dr. Shah has mentored thirteen students for the GIMSPP beginning in 1998. He has been in solo practice in Houston since 1991. Dr. Shah graduated Municipal Medical College of Gujarat University in India. He completed his residency at Mercy Hospital in Chicago. Some of his many students have written of Dr. Shah:

"Dr. Shah is an excellent physician and is highly regarded by his colleagues and patients."

"Dr. Shah was very caring, liked to teach, and was genuinely concerned about his patients."

"He taught a systematic approach to assessing any given pathology to teach us not to miss anything. He also quizzed us about general exams and helped us to notice all kinds of important and informative details."


Sarah I. Smiley, DO, ACP Member

Sarah I. Smiley, DO, ACP Member

Dr. Sarah Smiley has been a hospitalist since starting her career in internal medicine. She and her partner founded the largest hospitalist group in the Austin area 10 years ago, which she managed as vice president and COO until 2004. She remains on the board of directors of that group and has also worked as a hospitalist practice consultant since 2003. Her IM practice includes acute care, rehabilitation hospital, and hospice components. In addition to teaching eleven GIMSPP students since 1998, she has taught pharmacy students, advanced practice nursing students, nurses, and residents continuously since starting practice in 1994. She remains active in the medical community, serving on hospital staff committees and local medical society committees. Students write of Dr. Smiley:

"Dr. Smiley is absolutely amazing. She loves to teach and is so intelligent. I like being along for her thinking process."

"I learned a lot from Dr. Smiley, and she is a wonderful teacher. She helps students in every way that she can, and she is very approachable."

"Shadowing Dr. Smiley was really a wonderful way for me to see what being an internist was like. It really showed what a great profession I was getting into and what I can do to help keep it that way."

She graduated from the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth and did her residency at Brackenridge Hospital in Austin.

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