Herbert L. and Margaret W. DuPont Master Clinical Teaching Award: Sasha Adams, MD

By Roman Petrowski, Office of Communications

Herbert L. and Margaret W. DuPont Master Clinical Teaching Award - Dr. Sasha Adams

Sasha Adams, MD, associate professor in the Department of Surgery, is the winner of the 2022 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.

“I was very surprised and honored when I received the call about winning this award,” Adams said. “It was really a great honor to get that kind of recognition from the institution.”

Adams said that she believes teaching should be rooted in mentoring and that it is mostly a coaching job to help people find their way to the knowledge they need and the career path they want.

“It is very much like parenting,” Adams said. “We take people who are very capable, that know how to learn and tackle tough subjects, and our job as educators is to help them learn how to do that until they can do it by themselves. Sometimes that job is cheerleading, and sometimes that job is teaching, but it’s a constant and challenging, but incredibly rewarding, job to do.”

Adams models herself off Dr. James “Red” Duke, one of the first faculty members at McGovern Medical School, who established the trauma service at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center and was instrumental in developing Life Flight®.

“Dr. Duke was incredibly capable, intelligent, and an incredible surgeon, but most importantly, he was very humble and reached out to everybody from all walks of life with the same level of respect and caring,” Adams said. “That was something that really impressed me as I was coming up through my own training.”

Following her training at the Medical School, Adams accepted an assistant professor of surgery position at UNC Memorial Hospital before returning to McGovern as an assistant professor in 2015. She said what she loves most about working at McGovern Medical School is the amazing people that she gets to work with every day.

“It’s a great, challenging place to work,” Adams said. “We see very sick or injured people and very complex disease processes, and to learn every day like I still do about various things that we’re exposed to is so rewarding. To do that alongside people that are excited about learning too is phenomenal.”

Adams thanked the DuPonts for supporting the university and the students, residents, fellows, and colleagues that she works with every day.

“They are phenomenal to work with, and they make the job fun,” she said. “I wouldn’t change a thing about where I work.”

Adams received her medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina in 2002. She completed a general surgery residency at McGovern Medical School in 2010, which included a 3-year T32 research fellowship and remained at McGovern to complete a surgical critical care fellowship in 2011. Adams is the program director and vice chair of Surgical Education.

Previous recipients of the DuPont Award are: Katie Normand, MD, 2021; Robby Wesley, DO, 2020; 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.