Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award: Jennifer Swails, MD

By Roman Petrowski, Office of Communications

Swails Humanism Award

Jennifer Swails, MD, associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, is the recipient of the 2020 Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award, presented by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation.

The Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award annually honors faculty who are exemplary in their compassion and sensitivity in the delivery of care to patients and their families, who administer scientifically excellent clinical care, and who serve as role models to students.

Swails said she was surprised and grateful upon hearing she received the distinction. “Some of my dearest mentors and role models are prior recipients of this award, and it means so much to be recognized along with them.”

Swails, who was recently named as one of the 16 inaugural members of the Champions of Learning Environment at McGovern Medical School, said she loves having the opportunity to spend her days improving the lives of patients, students, and colleagues. The award to her means that her work is meaningful to others and that she is on the right track.

After earning her medical degree from Weill Cornell Medical College and completing a residency in internal medicine and primary care at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Swails joined the McGovern faculty in 2012. She serves as the program director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program and is co-director of Interprofessional Education at UTHealth.

The award is her third Dean’s Teaching Excellence Award after winning the Herbert L. and Margaret W. DuPont Master Clinical Teaching Award in 2019 and the John P. McGovern Outstanding Teacher Award in 2017.

“I’m so grateful to the students and residents who have entrusted me with their education and the patients who have entrusted me with their health,” Swails said. “I take those responsibilities seriously, and I do my best to be worthy of them.”

Previous winners of the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award are: Milton “Chip” Routt, Jr., MD, 2019; Daniel J. Freet, MD, 2018; Michelle S. Barratt, MD, MPH, 2017; Francisco Fuentes, MD, 2016; Heinrich Taegtmeyer, MD, 2015; Joseph Love, DO, 2014; Joanne Oakes, MD, 2013; Stefano Sdringola-Maranga, MD, 2012; Saleem Khan, MD, 2011; Gus W. Krucke, MD, 2010; James “Red” Duke, MD, 2009; Pedro Mancias, MD, 2008; Keith Hoots, MD, 2006; Larry C. Gilstrap III, MD, 2005; Virginia A. Moyer, MD, MPH, 2004; Cheves M. Smythe, MD, 2003; Oscar Rosales, MD, 2002; Philip C. Johnson, MD, 2001; Philip R. Orlander, MD, 2000; and John R. Stroehlein, MD, 1999.