Dean Giuseppe Colasurdo presents the award to Dr. Joseph Love.
Dean Giuseppe Colasurdo presents the award to Dr. Joseph Love.

Dr. Joseph Love, assistant professor of surgery, is the 2014 recipient of the 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.

“It’s humbling, and I was thrilled to get it more from the standpoint of whom had nominated me – having both your peers and trainees recognize you as an individual,” said Love, who is on the surgery staff at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center.

Graduating with his D.O. from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Love did a residency in general surgery at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, where he also completed a fellowship in surgical critical care.

He joined the Medical School faculty in 2011 as a clinical assistant professor of surgery and as the U.S. Air Force Liaison to UTHealth. He was named director of education in the Division of Acute Care Surgery in 2013.

In 2012, as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, he was deployed as a trauma and critical care surgeon to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, serving as interim Trauma Czar/ICU director for a 12-bed forward deployed intensive care unit. He finished his military commitment in November and how serves in the inactive reserves.

“There is no substitute for being deployed in theaters of combat – the sense of pride, camaraderie, and knowing you are making a difference for young people who are injured. The human interaction of military experience affected me,” he said.

Love organizes and directs the Advanced Surgical Skills for Exposure in Trauma Course for surgery residents and fellows. He also is the Problem Based Learning Scenario creator/editor for second-year medical students, which allows him to highlight trauma and military/veterans issues.

“The most important thing I do is just be approachable, and hopefully the students pick up on that. Every question and action is important. I have an open door policy and easy, open communication – I would hope that they would emulate that,” he said.

Previous winners of the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award are Joanne Oakes, M.D., 2013; Stefano Sdringola-Maranga, M.D., 2012; Saleem Khan, M.D., 2011; Gus W. Krucke, M.D., 2010; James “Red” Duke, M.D., 2009; Pedro Mancias, M.D., 2008; Keith Hoots, M.D., 2006; Larry C. Gilstrap III, M.D., 2005; Virginia A. Moyer, M.D., M.P.H., 2004; Cheves M. Smythe, M.D., 2003; Oscar Rosales, M.D., 2002; Philip C. Johnson, M.D., 2001; Philip R. Orlander, M.D., 2000; and John R. Stroehlein, M.D., 1999.

-Darla Brown, Office of Communications, Medical School