Jonathan Day, MD, PharmD, third-year Internal Medicine resident, is one of the thirteen recipients of the 2023 GME Excellence in Clinical Teaching Award. This award is based on nominations from trainees, peers, and faculty to recognize “exceedingly dynamic and skilled instruction.” Day was presented with his award earlier this month.
Below is the nomination submitted by the medical student in support of Day.
The transition from pre-clinicals to clinicals is something people always warned me about in my first year of medical school, but I don’t think I was truly prepared for the amount of “not knowing” that was about to become a part of my daily life. My first rotation was internal medicine and despite the difficult change of pace, I am very grateful this is where I started my clinical experience. The main reason for this was the teaching atmosphere supplied by the residents, one, in particular, was Dr. Day on my Heme/Onc inpatient rotation. Prior to coming into the weeks on Team A, I felt I had been blindly going into presentations on morning rounds, searching every inch of the medical chart, hoping to do a good job, and completely missing the point of what I was supposed to be gathering and communicating to the people so far ahead of me in medical knowledge. It was all very intimidating. On the first day as I gave my jumbled, disorganized presentation that left me anxious and disheartened, Dr. Day stopped me and walked me through piece by piece how to present, creating a framework that I still use every day and has served me well in becoming successful/impressive to other evaluators.
Dr. Day was always willing to answer any question I had, never making me feel silly for asking it or that there ever could possibly be a bad time. Mid-rapid call? That’s okay, let me explain to you the basic pharmacology behind how we are going to approach this patient as we speed walk down the hall. There wasn’t a day that I left the unit without hearing him ask at least four times if there was anything else I wanted to learn that day. At first, I thought it was a test, but then I realized how genuine Dr. Day was being. He valued my learning and the experience I was having while on his rotation. I took full advantage of the walking medical encyclopedia I had as I rounded with him every morning. I learned most of my entire clerkship over those weeks.
Dr. Day never hesitated to invite me to rapid response calls, but more so than that he would seek me out to come along and make me feel like a valuable member of the team. As I continue in my core year, I am realizing more and more how lucky of an experience that was–that someone would take time out of their crazy, busy schedule to slow the pace down so I could learn, and beyond that make me feel like I was important to the functioning of everyone else. It’s a rare feeling as a second-year medical student. Dr. Day taught me there is a specific way I hope to be able to impact the students I have the opportunity to teach someday.
Finally, I think one of the traits that show how elite a teacher is, is when you get your most learning from them when they aren’t even aware that they are teaching. Dr. Day was great at this in his bedside manner and the effect he had on his patients. On some of their toughest days, while debating surgical intervention vs. hospice and quality vs quantity of life, Jon made the patients feel like they were more than their disease. He asked about their work, what they were passionate about. I originally thought he was just trying to make a point to build rapport, but I soon saw the impact it had on the patients over their days in the hospital and how Dr. Day gleaned valuable information about how the patients wanted their treatment to be chosen. It was obvious they loved having him as their doctor and was a great example of the doctor I spend all this time hoping to learn to be.