Dr. Francois on Receiving The Distinguished Teacher Award

It is humbling to be selected as a recipient of the 2013 New York University Distinguished Teaching Award because so many faculty contribute to teaching as a component of the "art" of medicine.

If dance, as an art, is a nonverbal form of social interaction that facilitates the expression and exchange of ideas, then the act of teaching must be the verbal equivalent in medicine. At its best the process of teaching is an intricate dance that allows all parties involved to potentially resonate with the desire to learn more, and to progress beyond the starting point. The questions & answers reflect the tempo & rhythm that ideally allow for movement towards shared understanding. Like a dance, to engage in the process of teaching is to place oneself in the vulnerable position of attempting the sort of engagement whose value might not be readily recognized or accepted. The risk is shouldered because acceptance allows for the possibility of transformative development towards lifelong learning. As academicians committed to the art of medicine in the rhythm of of research, clinical care, and education we can ill afford not to learn...not to teach...not to dance.

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Fritz François, MD, MSc, FACG
Associate Dean for Diversity and Academic Affairs
Director, Office of Diversity Affairs