Compassionate Caretakers: From left, del Carmen,
Dooling and Pasternack
THE RECIPIENTS OF THE Brian A. McGovern, MD, Award for Clinical Excellence were announced March 23 at the MGPO annual Physician Recognition Dinner at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel. The three honorees were selected from among 95 MGPO physicians nominated for their dedication, patient-centered care and clinical excellence. The award was created by the MGPO and is presented every 18 months to honor McGovern, a well-loved MGH cardiologist, who died in 2003.
This year’s award winners are: Marcela del Carmen, MD, gynecologic oncologist of the MGH Vincent Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Elizabeth Dooling, MD, a physician in the Department of Neurology and the MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC); and Mark Pasternack, MD, unit chief of the MGHfC Pediatric Infectious Disease Program. Through the generosity of the Ira and Jacquie Stepanian Recognition Endowment of Excellence, this year’s winners will receive a stipend.
During the recognition ceremony, colleagues read excerpts from the honorees’ nominations.
Del Carmen was recognized as an unsung hero, a gifted surgeon, a natural leader and a physician who is adored by her patients. “She is the ‘go-to’ doctor for difficult cases, both oncologic and those that are medically or surgically complicated,” said Ellen Tracy, MD, MPH, in the MGH Vincent Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. “She and I worked together to help a patient who was quite difficult to reach, had a lot of fears about the medical system, and who was desperately in need of a surgical treatment. She did not give up and was there for the patient – and for me –through numerous cancellations by our patient. I would entrust her to care for my mother, my sister, my friends and anyone I hold dear. If I myself were to develop gynecologic cancer, she would be the first doctor I would call.”
Ann Neumeyer, MD, medical director of the Lurie Center for Autism, honored Dooling, noting she is known for her calm, measured, reassuring approach to families and patients, and for her strong work ethic. “Families, trainees, colleagues, secretaries – everyone knows that she never turns anyone away. No triage request, no interruption for advice, no telephone call is ever brushed aside. If there is a patient who needs to be seen and everyone’s schedule is full, she sees that patient,” Neumeyer said. “If you happen to be a parent of a neurologically-challenged child, and you feel lost in this world and don’t know exactly where to turn, then you must turn to her office where the most considerate, conscientious and compassionate caretaker that has ever graced this green earth awaits you with open arms.”
Pasternack was acknowledged for his dedication to his patients and for being a top-notch role model to other physicians. “He is a wonderful doctor who is quiet, reserved and an expert in his field – much like Dr. McGovern was,” said Tim Ferris, MD, medical director of the MGPO. “He’s thoughtful and respectful of everyone. You would never know his caseload is high; he always has time. Throughout the day every patient, every student, every trainee will feel they are the center of his attention and will be treated with compassion, grace, intelligence and humor. I know this from watching him up close for over two decades and from being one of those patients myself. We have a real treasure in our midst and this award is a most fitting tribute to a very humble individual.”
Read more articles from the 03/29/13 Hotline issue.