Dr. Steve Halm, assistant dean for simulation medicine, was presented the Student Government Association (SGA)’s Faculty of the Year Award in a surprise ceremony Tuesday.
The award is presented by students annually to a professor who they feel made the biggest impact on their education. Halm will be leaving his position at Campbell to be the next Dean at Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine in July, and the first and second year medical students wanted to present him with the award before the semester came to an end.
“We are all very sad Campbell will be losing such an amazing professor,” said SGA Vice President Tyler Ramsey. “But, we know you will make an excellent Dean. They are extremely lucky to have such a remarkable physician.”
“We wanted to thank you for all you have done for the students of CUSOM, but we realized no one of us could articulate everything you are to students,” said Christopher Svendsen, president of the Class of 2022, “So, we surveyed the student body, asking them what they love about you…thank you for being caring and compassionate, patient and encouraging, for always having chocolate to share, for being a kind and dedicated mentor, a thoughtful and enthusiastic teacher…for always being warm and approachable, understanding and wise…empathetic, trustworthy and encouraging…you are a role model – a true servant leader.”
Dr. Halm joined the faculty at Campbell in August 2015 as Chair of the Department of Simulation Medicine and Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. Under his leadership, simulation medicine at Campbell evolved into an exemplary department where medical students learn hands-on medicine in a safe environment. Additionally, Dr. Halm’s PALMS leadership program has an immeasurable value to the students who are striving to become empathetic, as well as excellent, physicians.
“What an amazing honor,” Halm said to the students at the ceremony. “It took [a deanship] to pull me away — I’ve been in North Carolina for 25 years. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to teach you. I think one of the important things I can leave with you is serve your patients and serve a system of improving safety— just as each of us has to do in our process of improving ourselves — it is a lifelong venture of learning medicine and practicing medicine and caring for patients. So, keep compassion at the front.
“As you know, I’m a big humanistic guy. I hopefully taught you something about humanistic assessments in your OSCE’s — it really will be what makes you an outstanding physician. It’s not a matter of how smart you are because there are a lot of smart people out there — trust me, it’s going to be the difference you make in connecting with patients, communicating with patients, and caring for patients. Being there for your patients.”