UW Health Recognizes Excellence with Physician Awards

Madison, Wisconsin - It's awards season, and UW Health leaders recently gathered to celebrate the winners of its annual Physician Excellence Awards. It was the third year the peer-nominated awards have been given.


Outstanding physicians in three categories were honored. The Rising Star Excellence Award was given to Dr. Clifford Cho, while the Clinical Educator Excellence Award was given to Dr. James Conway. Dr. Gerald Lang and Dr. Gary Williams both received Clinical Practice Excellence Awards. Eight other nominees were also honored. 


View a slideshow from the awards presentation


"Each of this year's nominees should feel incredibly proud," said Elizabeth Bolt, senior associate dean for administration, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. "Our applicant pool for these awards was incredibly competitive. This year's award recipients are nothing but exceptional."

"To be acknowledged by your peers, I can't imagine a higher compliment," said Dr. Lang, who was also quick to share the credit with his fellow clinical team members. "That's the reason that I work here, because as a team we can do great things. I think the cooperation among care providers is the biggest reason we have the results we do."


Dr. Gerald Lang accepts his excellence award from UW Medical Foundation president and CEO Jeffrey Grossman, MD.Dr. Lang, an orthopedic surgeon at UW Hospital, was noted for his surgical skill, calmness under pressure (especially in his position in the high-stress role of trauma surgeon), leadership ability and high patient satisfaction scores in winning his Clinical Practice Excellence Award.


The Rising Star Physician Excellence Award (for an outstanding clinician and educator who has been with UW Health for a limited time) was given to Dr. Cho, who was recognized for his work with the portal vein embolization procedure, which is only offered at a handful of leading academic institutions. Using this technique, Dr. Cho's patients can undergo surgical removal of tumors while still retaining enough liver for survival. Previously many of these patients would have had only non-surgical options available.


Dr. Cho was also noted for his work with colleagues in establishing the Central Pancreas Consortium, a nation-wide cooperative to store and share data on pancreas patients, and for the praise he receives for his teaching ability from both medical students and residents.


Clinical Educator Physician Award winner Dr. Conway was recognized for his dedication in educating and training the next generation of physicians and health care professionals in the treatment of infectious conditions in children.


Demonstrating perhaps the greatest compliment a teacher can receive, Dean Robert Golden, UW School of Medicine and Public Health, recounted a story from the previous weekend's graduation ceremonies. After the ceremony was over, all the med students present brought their parents to meet Dr. Conway.


"I'm lucky; my peers here have set a great culture of learning," said Dr. Conway. "And nothing keeps us young like being around young learners."


Clinical Practice Excellence Award winner Dr. Williams practices general pediatrics and adolescent medicine at University Station Clinics. His nomination noted his unrivaled, compassionate and highly-academic approach to patient care.


"Dr. Williams lives the art of listening and being in the moment," said Donna Katen-Bahensky, president and CEO, UW Hospital and Clinics. "His commitment to his patients is exemplary and he is a role model physician to his colleagues, residents and students."


"I have travelled medically around the world and can say this is one of the finest institutions I've ever been privileged to work in, with one of the finest groups of people I've been privileged to work with," said Dr. Williams. "I am humbled by this award and I will really try to live up to it."


The common thread among the winners was best summed up by Bill Schrum, vice president of human resources at UW Medical Foundation.


"The doctors we recognize today understand the first rule of patient care is 'caring'," said Schrum. "And that's what makes UW Health such a great place."


2011 UW Health Physician Excellence Award Nominees


Date Published: 05/29/2012

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