Stanford Report Online

Stanford Report, June 20, 2001
Awards recognize compassion, skill


Highlighted among the many honorees at the School of Medicine convocation ceremony Sunday were winners of faculty and student awards for dedication and excellence. The awards were announced by Dean Philip A. Pizzo, MD.

The Alwin C. Rambar-James B.D. Mark Award for Excellence in Patient Care was presented to Youn H. Kim, MD, associate professor of dermatology. The award recognizes a medical faculty member "for compassion in dealing with patients and their families, excellence in providing medical treatment, and effectiveness and pleasantness in interactions with ancillary patient-care staffs."

Alfred T. Lane, MD, professor and chair of dermatology, said Kim is "loved in our department, and her patients' appreciation of her care is often evident. The merit and admiration of Dr. Kim's interaction in the dermatology clinic by clinic staff, medical students, residents and faculty are also clearly evident."

He said colleagues describe Kim as "a brilliant clinician and wonderful teacher," "an outstanding role model," with "exemplary interaction with patients" and "a tremendous fund of knowledge, in medicine and dermatology."

Additionally, she often receives gifts, flowers and appreciative comments from patients. One young patient, suffering from a rare form of lymphoma, wrote about Kim in his personal statement on his college application. He wrote that "it slowly dawned on me that what Dr. Kim had done for me was an entire universe of goodness that rivaled or eclipsed anything any business CEO could ever be able to do."

Kim received her medical degree from Stanford in 1984 and completed a residency and fellowship in dermatology at Stanford. She served as a clinical instructor and physician specialist and as acting assistant professor until 1993, when she joined the dermatology faculty. Kim subsequently served as clinical associate professor for two years and in 1998 became an associate professor. Her research and clinical expertise focus on cutaneous lymphomas and collagen vascular diseases including scleroderma. Kim directs the Cutaneous Lymphoma Clinic and the Clinical Trials Center in the Department of Dermatology.

She received a National Institutes of Health Physician Scientist Award (1991-95) and a Scleroderma Research Foundation Award (1992-95). The Department of Dermatology at Stanford granted her a Distinguished Service Award in 1995.

The patient-care award was established in 1985 by the family of the late Alwin C. Rambar, MD, a Chicago pediatrician who in his later years became associated with Stanford's Department of Pediatrics. In 1997 the award was renamed to include James B.D. Mark, MD, Stanford cardiothoracic surgeon (emeritus) and Rambar's son-in-law. The Rambar-Mark award recipient is chosen by a committee of faculty and community physicians, house staff, students, nurses and patient-relations representatives.

This year's Allen B. Barbour Award for Excellence in Internal Medicine went to Taylor I-Tso Liu, MD. Given to a graduating medical student by the Department of Medicine, the award recognizes "commitment to continuous self-improvement, meticulous care of patients and concern for the whole person."

Elliott S. Wolfe, MD, clinical professor of medicine and associate dean for clinical advising and professional development, commended Taylor for his clinical skills and professionalism. "He is compassionate and thorough, managing all his patients' problems with finesse," Wolfe said. "Patients love him and greet him warmly because he is always kind and courteous."

Wolfe added that another faculty member praised Taylor's "impeccable work ethic, logical and proficient approach, and ability to think critically."

The Barbour award was established in 1994 in memory of longtime faculty member Allen Barbour, MD, who died in 1993. After 20 years in private practice in Marin County, Barbour joined the Stanford medical faculty in 1963 and served as chief of Stanford's diagnostic clinic. He retired from practice in 1981 and became the medical school's first ombudsperson. Barbour was known for his devotion to patient advocacy and humanistic care. His book, Caring for Patients: A Critique of the Medical Model, was published in 1995 by Stanford University Press.

The Norman Blank, MD, Award was presented to graduating medical students Gloria Liaw Hwang, MD, and Shreyas Vasanawala, MD. Given by the Department of Radiology, the award recognizes outstanding performance in radiology or radiology research.

"Gloria's clinical achievements are outstanding and consistently praised. Her understanding of clinical problems is impressive," Wolfe said. "She cared for several complex patients with the skill of a first-year resident. She is a warm and kind person who easily relates to patients and their families."

Wolfe described Vasanawala as an exceptional student. "He possesses an outstanding foundation of knowledge. He is extraordinarily dependable and would leave the hospital only after everything needed for the care of his patients was completed with thoroughness," Wolfe said.

The Blank award was established in 1999 in memory of longtime medical faculty member and director of admissions Norman Blank, MD, who died in August 1998. After early retirement in 1988, Blank served for an additional decade, teaching in the radiology clerkship and directing medical school admissions. He was known for his clinical skills and medical knowledge as well as his dedication to medical students and radiology residents. He was founding member of the Fleischner Society, an international organization formed to promote the sub-specialty of pulmonary radiology.