Outstanding Resident & Teacher of the Year Awards, 2021

At last week’s Internal Medicine Residency Graduation, the final two resident-chosen awards for the year were announced. The bulk of the awards had been announced the day before at Grand Rounds.

Outstanding Intern of the Year – Christian Anderson, MD, PhD
Outstanding Junior Resident of the Year – Ian Kidder, MD
Outstanding Fellow of the Year – Tyler Rasmussen, MD, PhD
Outstanding Support Staff of the Year – Abbey Gilpin

In addition, two named awards–one honoring Ernest O. Theilen and the other Fran├žois M. Abboud–were also awarded. The first to Hildur Jonsdottir, MD, PhD, and the second to John Rieth, MD.

These awards set the stage for the pair to be awarded at the end of the evening the next night. In each instance, emcee and Residency Program Director Manish Suneja, MD, added to the suspense by describing the winners in an attempt to see if they could guess it themselves. And, in each instance, the winner could. In the case of the Resident of the Year, Suneja read from the personal statement that Desmond Barber, MD, had written to accompany his residency application. At the mention of being inspired by his father–who was also in attendance that evening–Barber knew that the letter was his own.

In the case of Gwen Beck, MD, Suneja also revealed enough hints to make it clear to her and to fellow Associate Program Director Justin Smock, MD, that Beck had indeed been awarded Teacher of the Year.

Once Suneja had revealed the winner to the rest of the still-guessing audience, a short video with testimonials ran. Colleagues, former trainees, and family had all been asked to appear on camera to offer their congratulations and to describe why, to them, Beck and Barber each deserved their awards.

After the videos completed, they each came to the podium, while the audience came to their feet, to receive their award and to make a brief statement. Each delivered thanks to the residents who voted for them and described what serving in their roles has meant them.

At the end of a necessarily lengthy ceremony, each award presentation lent a fitting emotional capstone to the evening’s previous events.

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