MU medical students virtually honor influential patients at Legacy Teachers event

The program offers third-year medical students the opportunity to submit essays, artwork or poetry describing a patient they recognized as one of their greatest teachers.

photo of legacy teachers items (photos, cookies, booklet, etc.) on a table

The University of Missouri School of Medicine honors the important role patients and their families play in the education of medical students for 16th year.

April 23, 2021

The Legacy Teachers luncheon last year was canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This year, the Columbia and Springfield University of Missouri School of Medicine campuses joined together to create a virtual celebration.

“Today, our students honor the special patients who taught them lessons that will have a lasting impact on them as physicians and often as individuals,” said Steven Zweig, Hugh E. and Sarah D. Stephenson dean of the medical school. “These lessons our future physicians will carry with them forever.”

Since the celebration could not be held in person, extra effort was made to recognize these exemplary patients.

“Each Legacy Teacher has received a package with a signed certificate of appreciation from the MU School of Medicine thanking them for teaching our students. They will also receive program copies, a photo of their student, cookies bearing the Legacy Teachers logo and more,” said Betsy Garrett, professor emerita in the Department of Family and Community Medicine and director of the Legacy Teachers program.

Students involved received a similar package including a Legacy Teacher pin, which was created last year in recognition of the 15th anniversary of the program’s creation.

“We hope they will wear this pin throughout their training and beyond to remind us all that we must never stop learning from our patients, for they have so much to teach us,” Garrett said.

The original MU program has been adopted by other medical schools across the country, including the University of Kansas-Wichita; the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine; Tufts University School of Medicine, Tufts-Maine; and the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine.

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