OHSU Pediatric Residency Program Director Receives National Teaching Award

04/17/03    Portland, Ore.

Doernbecher neonatologist lauded for excellence in teaching next generation of pediatricians

Joseph Gilhooly, M.D., director of the Pediatric Residency Training Program at Oregon Health & Science University's Doernbecher Children's Hospital, is one of 11 graduate medical education directors nationwide to receive the ACGME's (Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education) prestigious 2003 Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Award. More than 200 applicants from 7,800 graduate medical education programs were nominated for this award that recognizes excellence in mentoring, and innovative program development and improvement.

"This award is such an honor because the nomination comes from my residents, residency coordinator and faculty colleagues. Parker J. Palmer's book The Courage to Teach is about teachers reconnecting with their vocation and their students. Like the book's purpose, this award has recharged my enthusiasm for developing innovative ways to teach and evaluate the learning of resident physicians," Gilhooly said.

One of Gilhooly's best-loved innovations, according to his residents, is his Get a Life contest, in which he encourages busy interns to get out and enjoy Oregon's interesting places, such as going on a hike or taking in an opera. Gilhooly offers a prize to the intern who visits the most venues.

"To be a resident is to live an unbalanced life," wrote Tara Prokop, M.D., pediatric resident, OHSU School of Medicine, in her letter of recommendation to the ACGME. "The long hours and emotional strain often leave us feeling overworked and overtired with little left for family and friends. For a residency program director to recognize this and offer solutions is a rare thing. Joe does."

Gilhooly was nominated for this award by his colleagues, residents and fellows. In letter after letter they lauded his dedication to their success, not only as physicians, but as human beings, earning their loyalty, trust and respect in the process.

Pediatric resident  Kristen Crowley, M.D., described Gilhooly's tireless efforts in advocating for resident education, developing community advocacy projects and lobbying for funding to add additional residents -- all this while encouraging residents to pursue their personal interests as well.

"Joe exemplifies the balance we should all strive to achieve in life, acting as a successful neonatologist, fantastic program director and involved family man," Crowley wrote. "He is an advocate for us both as residents and as people who have lives outside of the hospital."

Chief resident in pediatrics Wendy Lammers, M.D., wrote of Gilhooly's seemingly effortless ability to instill knowledge without his residents even knowing it's happening. "Joe can't help but teach; and he does so with an enthusiasm and humility that are infectious," she wrote. "We learn painlessly. As we work, most of us do not recognize that we are being taught."

Gilhooly has directed the OHSU Pediatric Residency Program since 1993 and has taught pediatrics in the OHSU School of Medicine since 1986. He is an active member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Section on Perinatal Pediatrics, and serves on the review board for the peer-reviewed journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Gilhooly earned his medical degree from John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii, and completed his residency in pediatrics and a fellowship in neonatology at OHSU.