As head of the medical education division at Washington University School of Medicine, Melvin Blanchard, MD, is passionate about preparing exceptional future doctors.
“The primary reason we’re here is to provide exceptional care to our patients,” Dr. Blanchard says. “Our training program has five guiding principles. One of the most important is that we train our doctors to take care of any patient, anywhere. Just as important is the training of our residents in the art of advancing knowledge that informs the care we provide. As a top-tier training program in the United States, we are preparing the physician workforce for today and tomorrow.”
He marvels at the major impact donors to The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital have on medical education. One example is through the annual Knowlton Awards program, which was established through the generosity of Charles Cella more than 30 years ago in recognition of his physician, Norman Knowlton Jr., MD. The Knowlton Awards program recognizes and supports medical residents who exemplify a compassionate spirit in addition to outstanding knowledge and skill.
Dr. Blanchard also emphasizes the importance of research in medical education. A donor-supported program called Mentors in Medicine teaches medical residents how to make substantial contributions to knowledge advancement through research. “By advancing research, we’re advancing patient care,” Dr. Blanchard says. “Without donors, progress in medicine would slow substantially.”
He says supporting medical education through the Foundation pays long-term dividends. “Whether by conducting important research or by providing compassionate care, physicians impact patients for their entire careers. An investment in medical education therefore benefits all our friends and families now, over the next 50 years, and beyond.”