By Colleen Locke

UMass Medical School Communications

June 10, 2021

The UMass Medical School chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society inducted 26 School of Medicine Class of 2022 students as members on June 2. The students were nominated by their classmates and mentors as exemplars of compassionate, patient-centered care. Six residents and four faculty members were also inducted.

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The Gold Humanism Honor Society is a signature program of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, an international nonprofit committed to fostering and maintaining a culture of compassion, caring and respect in health care.

“If you think about the words integrity, excellence, compassion, altruism, respect and empathy, wouldn’t all six together represent the best of our profession?” Chancellor Michael F. Collins asked in his opening remarks. “It’s hard for me to think anything else but that you represent the best in our profession.”

Michael C. Ennis, MD, professor of family medicine & community health and the chapter’s advisor, presented the student Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award to Marya Pulaski, MD’21. As the faculty winner of the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award, Vandana Nagpal, MD, assistant professor of medicine, delivered the keynote address. Dr. Nagpal encouraged the student inductees to be open and curious about other people’s stories, to be thankful and to be kind.

Nagpal was inducted into the society along with the faculty members and residents that the student inductees selected. Student chapter members introduced the student inductees, who then introduced the faculty and resident inductees. Terence R. Flotte, MD, the Celia and Isaac Haidak Professor, executive deputy chancellor, provost and dean of the School of Medicine, provided closing remarks.

“This pandemic year has taught me is that in its true sense, medicine should be humanism,” Dean Flotte said. “We should strive to help our patients reach their fullest potentials in their human physical bodies by treating and curing their diseases and promoting their wellness. But not only in their physical bodies, but also in their human minds, emotions, souls and spirits, helping each of them as a whole human person. Your amazing stories illustrate this beautifully.”

Founded in 2002, the Gold Humanism Honor Society is a signature program of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, an international nonprofit organization committed to fostering and maintaining a culture of compassion, caring and respect in health care. The Gold Foundation also designed the White Coat Ceremony, which has become rite of passage for first-year medical students. UMMS established its GHHS chapter in 2004.

The 2021 GHHS inductees are:

Students

Emily Adler

Maimuna Ahmad

Kara Banson

Mary Bassaly

Sarah Blackwell

Rodney Bruno

Deirdre Buckley

Deniz Cataltepe

Han Yan “Michelle” Chang

Peter Cruz-Gordillo

Brennan Dagle

Amberly Diep

Emily Gentile

Megan Hansen 

Alexander Kaplan

Iha Kaul

Leo Kuwama

Anushay Mistry

Shafik Mutaawe

Olivia Nuelle 

Nishwant Swami

Simone Thibault

Filia VanDessel

Bronwyn Wada-Gill

Charlotte Walmsley

Timothy Winn

Residents

Matthew Asirwatham, MD

George Ciociolo, MD

Catherine Hill-Verrochi, DO

Jose Mercado-Matos, MD

Laura Schoerning, DO

Brandon Smith, MD

Faculty

Gary Blanchard, MD

Elizabeth Eagleson, MD

Luu Ireland, MD, MPH

Vandana Nagpal, MD