2009-2010 Teaching Awards

The Psychiatry Teaching awards are presented annually during Psychiatry Grand Rounds.  Their purpose is to honor excellence in teaching, supervision, mentoring or related instructional activities in a number of categories.  Nominees for each award are selected for their ingenuity, clinical skill, innovation, availability, supportiveness, dedication, humanism, respect for diversity, improvement in the teaching process, and introduction of new important subjects.

Outstanding Medical Student Teaching

Eligible candidates are full-time faculty in the department who lecture, supervise or tutor in any of the courses for first or second year medical students or in any of the psychiatry clerkship or medical student electives (include those offered at our V.A. or affiliated medical programs)

Benjamin Furst, M.D.

Dr. Furst exhibits an enthusiasm and energy while leading his team on the inpatient service. With a team that includes interns, residents, nurses, psychologists, social workers and even recreational therapists, Dr. Furst makes one feel that they are part of a group that is doing everything possible for very sick patients. One medical student expressed gratitude for the regular one-on-one sessions he would have to help answer their questions. For the knowledge he imparts to students and for the example he sets for how a doctor should be, Dr. Furst is truly deserving of the 2010 Outstanding Medical Student Teaching Award.

Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching                      

Eligible candidates are full-time faculty in the department, who are teaching or supervising in courses listed in the departmental catalogue which is not for medical students or house staff.

Catherine Sugar, Ph.D.

Catherine Sugar, Ph.D. Dr. Catherine Sugar has been described as a determined academic who uses her passion for teaching and science to make things better for her students. In her Biostatistics 100B course, graduate students are taught with tailored instruction to their understanding and with meaningful and thoughtful intention to their research. Her discussions relate seemingly difficult statistical concepts to real life events, and in so doing, demonstrate their real-world utility. Regardless of her workload or pressing schedule, Dr. Sugar always makes time to meet with her students. She has an outstanding command of statistics and their clinical relevance to studies in biological psychiatry, and is able to translate complex statistical approaches into easily understood concepts. One student noted that Dr. Sugar’s greatest quality as a teacher is her contagious enthusiasm. She instinctively communicates the excitement of teaching, the excitement of learning, and probably her greatest talent – the excitement of tackling the unknown. For these reasons, Dr. Sugar is most deserving of the 2010 Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award. 

Outstanding Housestaff Teaching

Aaron Kaufman, M.D.

Aaron Kaufman, M.D.Dr. Kaufman is not only an excellent clinician with an eye for detail and excellence, but has the ability to find a teaching point to illustrate in every case. Despite a busy service on the psychiatry wards, he ensures that resident education is never neglected. Dr. Kaufman’s enthusiasm for teaching residents is apparent as he makes opportunities to teach with almost every patient – skillfully intertwining teaching in discrete seminars, with both Socratic-style rounds and clinical pearls of wisdom. He is an outstanding teacher and has a unique way of presenting information so that it can be internalized and subsequently applied to patient care. One resident expressed that Dr. Kaufman is not only a fabulous teacher, but a compassionate and empathetic psychiatrist whose style is worth emulating. Dr. Aaron Kaufman is an ideal choice for this year’s Outstanding Housestaff Teaching Award.

Outstanding Research Mentor

Eligible candidates are faculty in the department who are directly supervising research projects of house staff, graduate, or post-doctoral trainees and/or who are providing mentoring to such trainees or to junior faculty (below the rank of associate professor) on research, promotion, or career advancement.

Robert Bilder, Ph.D.

Robert Bilder, Ph.D.Dr. Robert Bilder embodies true leadership qualities and characteristics that serve him well as a teacher, mentor, and research scientist. He is truly passionate about teaching and always makes himself available for questions regarding a clinical case, or even just to offer some professional advice. Those that he has worked with have noted that Dr. Bilder’s commitment towards diversifying the field of neuropsychology will undoubtedly lead to innovative expansions within the field. The balance that Dr. Bilder strikes between his professional duties and his investment in personal relationships with students and trainees is remarkable. He is truly a rare, gifted kind of individual that possesses not only a brilliant and technical mind but also the ability to bring out greatness in others. Dr. Bilder’s love for teaching comes through whether he’s presenting a lecture, supervising a clinical assessment, or meeting to discuss ongoing research. He always finds engaging ways to connect with others, and offers unwavering support for his trainees. His knowledge of neuropsychiatry is unparalleled and he always has time to mentor and meet with trainees and junior faculty in order to spur their development. It is therefore my pleasure to award Robert Bilder the 2010 Outstanding Research Mentor Award. 

Outstanding Volunteer Clinical Faculty Teaching                         

Eligible candidates are volunteer faculty in the clinical instructor or clinical professor series whose primary work or responsibilities are outside the university, who have not received this award in the past three years, and teach in courses offered to medical students, undergraduate or graduate students, or house staff; provide individual supervision to psychology interns or psychiatry residents or fellows; or participate in other clinical teaching activities in the Semel Institute or Resnick Hospital.

Robin L. Kay, Ph.D.

Robin Kay, Ph.D.Dr. Robin Kay is a voluntary faculty member who leads a weekly seminar for fourth-year residents on Attachment-Based Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy, or AB-ISTDP. During her weekly lectures, she shows videos of her own and her colleagues’ work as they apply to the techniques she has described. Those that have taken her course have noted that one of the reasons her teaching is so effective is due to her incorporating the use of videotapes to demonstrate the therapy process. Dr. Kay is enthusiastic about her work, and brings an energy to the learning experience that residents have found motivating. She is described as a wonderful teacher whose energy and enthusiasm for teaching is something that has definitely been transferred to the residents she supervises. She has an uncanny ability to be able to relate complex and difficult psychotherapeutic concepts in a way that is understandable and able to be implemented by beginners. Dr. Robin Kay is therefore truly deserving of the 2010 Outstanding Clinical Faculty Teaching Award. 

Outstanding Teaching Resident or Fellow                  

Eligible candidates are resident of general psychiatric training or child, forensic, geriatric, or other fellows in their final year of clinical training who have primary teaching or supervisory responsibilities on their service or clinic for medical students, beginning residents, psychology interns, or other junior house staff or trainees.

Hossein Samadi, M.D.

Hossein Samadi, M.D.Dr. Hossein Samadi was nominated for this award while still a fourth-year psychiatry resident, and he is currently continuing his training as one of our Geriatric Psychiatry fellows. Those faculty members that he worked with noted that Dr. Samadi demonstrates an extraordinary interest in teaching and mentoring medical students and junior psychiatry residents. He reflects an understanding of the current psychiatric literature, and while he is able to translate this knowledge into his clinical teachings readily, he can also discuss some of the limitations of scientific knowledge into practice. Dr. Samadi readily integrates cultural and diversity factors into his teaching and is able to model to trainees on how to work with diverse individuals. He employs many interactive techniques in teaching, and engages trainees to make sure that they have a full understanding of the phenomenology of mental illness. Dr. Samadi never loses sight of the person that he treats, and always conveys this to his trainees. One medical student expressed that Dr. Samadi was very encouraging of students considering psychiatry as a career choice while at the same time offering ways in which knowledge of the field would benefit students with other interests. That is why it is my great pleasure to present Hossein Samadi with the 2010 Outstanding Teaching Resident Award.