Affirming the Association
Annual Alumni Weekend Enables GW Medical Alumni to Reconnect with Classmates and the School that Shaped Their Careers
More than 300 GW medical alumni and guests, faculty, and staff were on hand for this year’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) Alumni Weekend. In addition to the traditional slate of activities, this year’s events included a contingent of medical school alumni who were inducted into a new society geared toward the school’s most senior alumni.
The weekend opened Sept. 20, with the University’s Distinguished Alumni Awards Ceremony. Distinguished Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado Medical School Paul D. Miller, M.D. ’70, M.S. ’66, was among six GW graduates to receive 76th annual GW Alumni Achievement Awards.
The following day, former classmates reminisced about the “good old days” at GW, as SMHS honored the Class of ’62 on their 50th reunion at a special luncheon at the Fairmont Hotel. Alumni toasted their golden-anniversary, shared their most memorable experiences from medical school, and marveled at the evolution of SMHS. “So much has changed at GW’s medical school since I went to school here,” said Richard Roberge, M.D. ’62. “It’s like comparing the Revolutionary War to World War II.”
Jeffrey S. Akman, M.D. ’81, G.M.E. ’85, interim vice president for health affairs and dean of SMHS, welcomed the alumni and thanked them for their continued commitment to the GW medical community. The luncheon also served as the induction ceremony for the new H Street Society — a group named after the medical school’s home prior to 1973, at 1335 H Street, N.W. , and designed to offer older alumni a next step in their association with GW.
Addressing current medical students, alumni, faculty, and staff, John C. Pan, M.D. ’70, G.M.E. ’74, executive director and founder of GW’s Center for Integrative Medicine, delivered the fourth annual Allan B. Weingold Lecture, titled “Integrative Medicine, Now and Beyond.” He recalled his personal journey with integrative medicine, which began in 1998 when he took a bold step and left an established career as a gynecologist to practice integrative medicine. Pan defined the principles of integrative medicine, which focuses on whole-patient care and uses complementary and alternative therapeutics to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle. “You want to treat the patient who has a headache and not just treat the headache. That is what integrative medicine is all about,” he said.
The weekend also served as the backdrop for the first annual Frank N. Miller Lecture, honoring one of the school’s most influential faculty members. A panel of GW experts — moderated by Alan G. Wasserman, M.D., chair of the department of medicine and Eugene Meyer professor of medicine at SMHS — addressed the future of medicine. Panelists Ramesh Mazahri, M.D., assistant professor of medicine; Robert Zeman, M.D., professor of radiology; and Khashayar Vaziri, M.D., assistant professor of surgery, discussed the influence of innovation in medicine such as robotics as well as new frontiers in the exploration of cardiac catheterization and valve replacement, new technology in coronary computed tomography angiography, and advances in minimally invasive surgery.