Robby Wesley, DO, assistant professor of internal medicine, is the winner of the 2020 Herbert L. and Margaret W. DuPont Master Clinical Teaching Award.
Established in 2001 and made possible by a gift from the DuPonts, the award recognizes and preserves the essence and quality of the master clinical teacher, reflecting McGovern Medical School’s top priority of quality clinical medical education.
Wesley said he was humbled and honored to hear the news that he was the winner, especially given the issues with the COVID-19 pandemic. “It was a nice blessing in a time when all the news was bad news.”
Wesley’s teaching philosophy is an homage to the mentors and faculty leaders he had as a resident and junior faculty. As a way to “pay back” his previous mentors, he has adopted teaching styles and personalized attention as he has moved into a role of teaching students and residents. He says of his mentors, “the honor of this award is directly tied to their investment in me.”
Wesley recalled being a first-year medical student and being allowed to see patients directly. Though frightening, he said that it was experiences like that for someone new to medicine that allowed him to better understand patients before learning more about pathology.
“Herbert Fred stressed to me a quote from Béla Schick, who said ‘first, the patient, second the patient, third the patient, fourth the patient, fifth the patient, and then maybe comes science. We first do everything for the patient; sciences can wait, research can wait.’ I thank Dr. Fred in stressing the importance of the patient from my days as a resident to my time as a faculty as well.”
Wesley received his doctorate of osteopathic medicine from the University of North Texas Health Science Center-Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2007 before completing a residency in internal medicine at McGovern Medical School. He joined the Division of General Medicine as a chief medical resident in 2010 before becoming assistant professor in 2011.
Wesley thanked the faculty that trained him as a student and resident as well as the “great mentor faculty at McGovern that have guided me as a junior faculty member.”
Previous recipients of the DuPont award are: Jennifer L. Swails, MD, 2019; J. Chase Findley, MD, 2018; Don Molony, MD, 2017; Erin Furr Stimming, MD, 2016; Gabriel Aisenberg, MD, 2015; Mark Hormann, MD, 2014; Mark Farnie, MD, 2013; John Foringer, MD, 2012; Pedro Mancias, MD, 2011; Phil Johnson, MD, 2010; Francisco Fuentes, MD, 2009; Cheves Smythe, MD, 2008; Eugene Toy, MD, 2007; John Sparks, MD, 2006; Victor Lavis, MD, 2005; Philip Orlander, MD, 2004; Ian Butler, MD, 2003; Patrick Brosnan, MD, 2002; and Frank Arnett, MD, 2001.