Gladys Jacobs received the inaugural Foundations of Clinical Medicine “Patient as Professor” Honorary Teaching Award, presented by second-year P&S student Lisa Roth and Delphine Taylor, M.D., assistant professor of clinical medicine and co-course director, Foundations of Clinical Medicine.
In a surprise mini-ceremony following Ms. Jacobs’ talk to first-year students on Sept. 1, 2010, Ms. Roth read remarks she had written in honor of Ms. Jacobs. She noted that Ms. Jacobs, age 60, who was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia as a teenager, has shown considerable “strength and grace” in talking to students about what it is like to be a long-term patient.
“She has … taught us humility and inspired us with the triumph of her spirit against incredible adversity,” Ms. Roth said.
Ms. Jacobs began speaking to first-year P&S students in the Patient as Professor Rounds four years ago, Dr. Taylor explained. “However, as a long-time CUMC patient, she has participated in student teaching in other settings for many years.”
Dr. Taylor said she thought of Ms. Jacobs for the first award not only because of her many years of valuable teaching, but also because she inspired Ms. Roth to start a similar event involving students as patients, with stories and lessons shared with peers.
“That Ms. Jacobs inspired students to reflect on their own experience of illness,” she said, “and then share how that experience informs their approach to practicing medicine seemed an enormous gift that deserved special recognition.”