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Faculty Recognized for Teaching and Research Excellence

Each year, faculty are recognized for their extraordinary efforts in education and discovery. The 17th annual University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine Faculty Awards were presented by Paul J. Hauptman, MD, Dean; William Metheny, PhD, Assistant Dean for Graduate Medical and Dental Education; and Mitchell Goldman, MD, former Assistant Dean for Research, during the New Resident and Fellow Welcome Reception and Awards Ceremony. These faculty were awarded.

The GSM Spirit Award

Gregory Blake, MD, MPH
Professor and Chair
Family Medicine

Dr. Blake’s career exemplifies the GSM mission for excellence in medical education, practice and service. He graduated from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School followed by a Family Practice Residency at Dwight David Eisenhower Army Medical Center. He completed a Faculty Development Fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and later received a Masters of Public Health from the University of Oklahoma.

Dr. Blake was first certified by the American Board of Family Medicine in 1980 and has earned recertification five times, proving his dedication to his specialty. He is also boarded by the American Board of Disaster Medicine.

He joined the UT Graduate School of Medicine faculty in 1995 to serve as Chair of Family Medicine. He was promoted from Associate Professor to Professor in 1996. The Department has grown both academically and clinically under his leadership. Dr. Blake established a relative value units model (RVU) that captured both academic and clinical productivity, led two major building expansions for the University Family Physicians clinic and has published 12 book chapters and multiple original papers.

In addition to his career in academic medicine, he is a retired Colonel from the United States Air Force and Air National Guard, and served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Desert Shield/Storm. He also participated in multiple medical missions including several to Thailand, Indonesia, Chile and Brazil.

Dr. Hauptman said, “Dr. Blake has had a remarkable career, and his impact on the UT Graduate School of Medicine and on the field of Family Medicine has been profound.”

Pictured (from left): Dr. Gregory Blake and Dr. Paul Hauptman

Excellence in Teaching Award

William Dabbs, MD
Assistant Professor and Clerkship Director
Family Medicine

Dr. Dabbs joined the Department of Family Medicine as an Assistant Professor in 2015. He serves as the Clerkship Director for third-year medical students and leads the Capstone and Geriatric/Palliative Care courses for fourth-year students. He is on the Department’s Curriculum Committee; formulates objectives for noontime lectures; and has been actively involved in re-writing core goals and objectives for the Family Medicine Residency program.

Dr. Dabbs received the University Family Physicians Faculty Teaching Award in 2016. He also received the Golden Apple Teaching Award by the UT Health Science Center College of Medicine graduating class of 2018.

Residents have commented that he is an excellent teacher and communicator; provides timely and comprehensive feedback; and makes himself available to listen to the concerns of both students and residents.

As Chair of the Department, Gregory Blake, MD, MPH, said, “Dr. Dabbs encourages self-development and leads learners to think critically, analytically and independently. Further, he serves as an excellent role model for residents, students and fellow faculty.”

Pictured (from left): Dr. Paul Hauptman, Dr. William Dabbs, Dr. William Metheny

Excellence in Teaching (Volunteer)

Joseph Peeden, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor

Dr. Peeden began teaching in the Department of Medicine in February 2015 as the Pediatric Clerkship Director for medical students. His specialties include clinical genetics, pediatrics and pediatric emergency medicine. Through his guidance and partnership with East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, the pediatrics rotation provides a valuable experience for medical students.

Feedback from medical students has noted that Dr. Peeden is a phenomenal course director, physician and role model, and that he is the best physician some of them have worked with.

As Chair of the Department, Rajiv Dhand, MD, said, “Dr. Peeden is an enthusiastic teacher whose lifelong commitment to learning is evident in his practice of medicine. He is an extremely bright and well-read pediatrician. He exhibits empathy, professionalism and great humility.”

Dr. Hauptman has noted that Dr. Peeden is role model for all clinical faculty involved in teaching and applauds Dr. Peeden’s answer to his very own question: “Where does the final exam take place? At the bedside!”

Pictured (from left): Dr. Paul Hauptman, Dr. Joseph Peeden, Dr. William Metheny

Excellence and Leadership in Clinical Research

Gregory Mancini, MD

Dr. Mancini began his career with the UT Graduate School of Medicine as a General Surgery resident in 2000. He followed residency with a fellowship in minimally invasive surgery at the University of Missouri in Columbia, placing him in the forefront of this field, and then he returned to UTGSM to join Department of Surgery faculty. He has earned the title of Professor and serves as Director of the Advanced GI MIS/Bariatric Fellowship, a program he initiated and developed.

Dr. Mancini has been involved in several clinical research projects. He has ongoing collaborations with the UT Biomedical Engineering Department geared toward the development of robotic technology for surgical application through a grant from the National Science Foundation. He was the site leader for a multicenter clinical trial that evaluated the safety and efficacy of a new, long-term absorbable mesh implant for treatment of complex abdominal wall hernias and was the surgical lead on a study that supports evidence for positive metabolic changes that occur in surgical weight loss patients. Dr. Mancini is also developing low opioid perioperative treatment algorithms to reduce narcotic use in surgery.

As Interim Chair of the Department of Surgery, Michael Freeman, MD, said, “Dr. Mancini is truly a triple threat in academic surgery. He is an outstanding clinician who has provided superb care to his patients at UT. He also has been an excellent teacher to the medical students, residents and minimally invasive surgical fellows. Finally, he is an outstanding clinical researcher.”

Pictured: Dr. Gregory Mancini

Posted September 17, 2019


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