Jim Spears, MD SPECIAL LECTURER IN THE CENTER FOR FAMILY AND COMMUNITY MEDICINE
Dr. Jim Spears, your deep and sustained commitment to health care for those people who need it the most is at the core of your contribution to teaching at Columbia for almost twenty-five years. You are a marvelous teacher, mentor, and role model in the formal medical school and Family Medicine residency curriculum. You have also inspired faculty colleagues in Family Medicine to be better teachers.
This Presidential Teaching Award recognizes your innovative contribution to service-learning at the Columbia student-sponsored clinics: the Columbia Harlem Homeless Medical Program (CHHMP) and the Q-Clinic that serves LGBTQ youth. You have taught medical, dental, and public health students real world lessons about health care program planning, development, funding, and operation. The students’ clinical services for the homeless or LGBTQ youth provide a unique practical experience of the patient-centered, community-oriented approach to health care that you teach in the formal curriculum.
As doctor, you approach the clinical encounter with attention and kindness, honesty and insight. As teacher, you ask students to think through clinical decisions, consider alternatives and discuss plans with patients in the context of their lives. You are the guide and role model who has indeed impacted the lives of countless students and their future patients. Indeed, many of those students are today’s doctors and teachers.
Dr. Spears, you exemplify the noblest attributes of the medical profession: passion and integrity, encouragement and empathy. It is an honor to present to you today the 2018 Columbia University Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching.