Obenshain Receives Tosteson Award for Leadership in Medical Education

Scott Obenshain, M.D., associate dean for Medical Education and professor, Pediatrics, has been presented with the 2002 Daniel C. Tosteson Award for Leadership in Medical Education from the Carl J. Shapiro Institute for Education and Research. He will receive the award and a $10,000 honorarium at the April 27 Millennium Conference on the Clinical Education of Medical Students.

Obenshain's "innovations in clinical education and long-standing contributions as a clinician-teacher and scholar," were cited by Christine Couglin, director of the institute, in announcing the award. The mission of the Shapiro Institute is the support, promotion and development of innovative programs and models for teaching in academic medical centers.

Today the UNM School of Medicine (SOM) has a national and international reputation for pioneering the concept of student-centered, problem-based medical education. Obenshain was one of the main participants in creating that system. He first joined the SOM faculty in 1970 to direct the Pediatric Outpatient Clinic. In that capacity he was one of the first to implement early clinical exposure for medical students by inviting members of the first year medical class to participate in the care of patients in the clinic on nights and weekends. Within his first two years as a faculty member he received a grant from the National Fund for Medical Education to use videotaping to assess student performance in the clinical setting.

He was appointed assistant dean for Undergraduate Medical Education in 1973. Within a few years Obenshain, in conjunction with Arthur Kaufman, M.D., applied for a planning grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to plan a new approach to educating physicians for service in rural underserved areas of New Mexico. This led to the development of the Primary Care Curriculum, a student-centered, problem-based, small group tutorial track making the SOM the first existing medical school in North America to implement such a curriculum.

Obenshain also implemented the schools' rural preceptorship for fourth year medical students that became a requirement for all students shortly thereafter. Obenshain and Kaufman also worked to free up time for first year students to provide primary care under faculty supervision.

In 1995, his title was changed to associate dean for Undergraduate Education. Throughout his career he has held numerous national professional posts. He has also been responsible for training faculty from across the country and around in the world in teaching such curriculum The SOM's approach has served as a model for colleges around the globe including Harvard University.

"The leadership that Dr. Obenshain has demonstrated has made an impact far and wide," said Paul Roth, M.D., SOM dean. "He has set a tone of excellence both in the education of our students and in how they should be treated during training. His example has left a lasting impression on innumerable graduates from the medical school while his innovations have been adopted around the world."

Contact: Cindy Foster, 272-3322

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