Reflections and stories from the past and today.
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P&S Awards for Excellence

CHHMP Community Service Awards

On January 12, 2017, P&S held the annual P&S Awards for Excellence ceremony.  Award recipients were chosen by a committee from a pool of nominees to receive the distinguished awards for their commitment to P&S. The Community Service Award was presented to students and physicians of CHHMP: Columbia-Harlem Homeless Medical Partnership, a P&S student-run clinic.

Charles Drew, P&S MSD'40

Charles R. Drew, P&S MSD'40

Charles R. Drew, MD, MSD (1904-1950), was an American surgeon whose expertise in blood preservation helped shape blood banking in the United States. His doctoral work was completed at Columbia, and in 1940 he became the first African-American to receive a doctor of medical science degree from P&S. Watch the video.

Charles Drew, blood bank pioneer

Karen Hein, P&S'70

Karen Hein, P&S'70

I think P&S prepared me for a life of caring about others by enabling me to have experiences with others right from the beginning. Watch the video.

Karen Hein on P&S's 250th Anniversary

Craig Granowitz, P&S'90

Craig Granowitz, P&S'90

I'm proud to be a part of and aspire to stand on the shoulders of those who have done so much for medicine before me. Congratulations P&S to 250 years, may there be 250 more! Watch the video.

Craig Granowitz on P&S's 250th Anniversary

P&S Alumni Council Dinner

P&S Alumni Council Dinner

On January 18, 2017, the P&S Alumni Council marked the 250th Anniversary at their annual dean’s dinner in the new Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center. Dean Goldman delivered an exciting update on campus revitalization and welcomed all alumni to join in the 250th Anniversary year festivities. The P&S Alumni Association Leadership proudly presented Dean Goldman with a $50,000 donation to support scholarship efforts.

Cake-Off Event Kicks Off a Year of Anniversaries

CUMC Cake-Off collage

Making a sweet start to the year, CUMC held a “cake off” to kick off the various anniversary celebrations happening across campus in 2017. Neighborhood bakeries made a special cake for each school, and a panel of judges as well as CUMC faculty and staff were invited to vote for their favorite in terms of appearance, taste, and representation of the school’s anniversary or mission. The winners are revealed here. The cakes were highlighted as the "Photo of the Week" by CU168.

Bard Hall Roof End-of-Year Gathering

Bard Hall rooftop gathering

Just about every medical student who has gone to P&S remembers Bard Hall, whether they went for social gatherings, musical performances, or lived there during the first year of medical school. One very special place for me is actually at the top of Bard Hall, on the roof overlooking everything including the George Washington Bridge just to the north, the Hudson River with some of the most beautiful sunsets to the west, and the picturesque New York City skyline to the south. This was also always a great place for friends to get together and celebrate medical school milestones. I remember one instance in particular where our entire class gathered on Bard roof after the end of our first year of medical school, having worked hard all year in the classroom. It was hard to believe how much we had learned in one year together, and even more incredible to consider what was to come in the years ahead. But by no means did I do it alone. As I look back, it’s times like these where I remember how important my classmates have been to my time here at P&S.

P&S Outdoor Orientation Program

P&S Outdoor Orientation Program

Making friends at P&S started even before I stepped into the classroom. The Physicians and Surgeons Outdoor Orientation Program (P-SOOP) is a chance for incoming first year medical students at Columbia to spend some time hiking and camping together in the Catskill Mountains just before school started in August. It was an incredible opportunity to meet and interact with other incoming students as well as current P&S students who led the program. On my own P-SOOP trip, I remember learning that the weather was predicted to be miserable, but that didn’t stop us. My new friends and I had a blast. Because of the continuous rain, we had to work even harder together each day to set up camp, cook meals, and hike up rocky terrain that was now transformed into a continuous series of mini-waterfalls at every turn. Looking back, the fact that the conditions were so tough was one of the reasons we had bonded so well and become such great friends to this day. Perhaps the same can be said for medical school in general: while the experience was often rigorous, if I were to do it all over again, I’d choose P&S in a heartbeat for the chance to have these amazing men and women by my side throughout the journey.

Joseph Bennett, P&S'48

Joseph Bennett P&S '48

Nearly seventy years ago I graduated P&S and began my journey in clinical medicine and doing my share to treat and care for patients. With the benefit of P&S’s comprehensive education, and the many inspiring practitioners, including Drs. Loeb, Wipple, Blakemore, Humphreys, and Atchley my life’s work was set in motion. I came to appreciate that the practice of clinical medicine was both science and art, and from the theoretical to the practical, I learned that medicine was necessarily open to further refinement and advancements.

I recall early on when I was chief resident at Lincoln Hospital (NYC) a conversation I had with Dr. Amendola, then chief of surgery at Lincoln and Roosevelt Hospital.  I innocently inquired about how he spent his commuting time between hospitals, as well as, his downtime. His answer was unexpected and had a lasting impact. He emphasized that he would think about his patients and focus on how he could improve all aspects of their care whether pre or post-operative, and how surgical procedures could be bettered.

After all these years, I can confirm that stopping to consider and taking time to reflect on how to improve patient care and health care delivery has been vital in my general surgical practice. It led me to more effective treatments and methods.

Read the full essay in the PDF below.