The Wisconsin Medical Alumni Association presents annual teaching awards to individuals who are highly regarded by students for outstanding teaching efforts in these three categories:
- clinical teachers in each of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health’s teaching locations: Green Bay, La Crosse, Madison, Marshfield and Milwaukee;
- an outstanding resident; and
- a distinguished instructor in phase one of the School of Medicine and Public Health’s ForWard Curriculum
Green Bay: Riley Meyer, DO
A hospitalist at Aurora Baycare Medical Center in Green Bay and a School of Medicine and Public Health clinical adjunct associate professor, Meyer is the Forward Curriculum’s Acute Care Block leader at Aurora Baycare. He completed his medical degree at Nova Southeastern University in Florida and his internal medicine residency with Aurora Health Care in Milwaukee.
A medical student shared, “Dr. Meyer is a gifted teacher. He is approachable and has the unique ability to stretch students in their learning all while being encouraging and caring. ... I will be a better physician for it!”
La Crosse: Kyla Lee, MD ’98
Lee is an internal medicine physician at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse. She serves as the ForWard Curriculum’s Acute Care Block site director and internal medicine rotation lead for phase two. She also oversees the phase three Inpatient Acting Internships in internal medicine, cardiology and pulmonary critical care. Further, Lee is Gundersen’s co-director for the Intern Preparation Course. She earned her medical degree at the School of Medicine and Public Health and completed an internal medicine residency at Gundersen.
A medical student wrote, “To say Dr. Lee is an outstanding teacher is an understatement. Her devotion to medical students and our learning is unprecedented. Her love for medicine shines through her teaching and continues to inspire students.”
Madison: Ann O’Rourke, MD ’02, MPH ’06 (PG ’09)
O’Rourke is an associate professor in the School of Medicine and Public Health Department of Surgery and the trauma medical director at University Hospital, a level one trauma center. She is the integrated block leader for the ForWard Curriculum’s Surgical and Procedural Care Block. She earned her medical and master of public health degrees at the School of Medicine and Public Health, completed a residency at UW Health, and also completed a trauma surgery and critical care fellowship at the University of Tennessee-Memphis. A medical student shared, “I’ve had the privilege to learn from many doctors. None have had a bigger impact on me than Dr. O’Rourke.
She has been a clinical teacher for students rotating on her service, a mentor to students applying to general surgery, and a leader for all students on surgical services.… She pushes us to learn and grow, while being patient with us. She teaches us with respect and compassion.”
Marshfield: Stephen Holthaus, MD
A family medicine physician at the Marshfield Clinic Health System in Rice Lake, Wisconsin, Holthaus has a long history in medical education. He serves as the Marshfield Clinic’s director of the Wisconsin Academy for Rural Medicine, and provides oversight and planning for the program in cooperation with the Marshfield Clinic Division of Education. He greatly enjoys working with students as a preceptor for the Chronic and Preventive Care Clerkship, Acting Ambulatory Internship and family medicine electives in the School of Medicine and Public Health's ForWard Curriculum. Holthaus earned his medical degree from Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago and completed a family practice residency at the University of Minnesota.
A medical student wrote, “It has been a privilege to learn from Dr. Holthaus during my time as a rural medicine student in Marshfield. His unwavering dedication to students, patients, families and communities humbles and inspires me. He has been an invaluable mentor in my pursuit of a career in family medicine.”
Milwaukee: Ankoor Biswas, MD
An internist, Biswas provides inpatient and outpatient care at Aurora Health Care in Milwaukee. He is passionate about medical education for students and residents, and has won multiple teaching awards. Biswas earned his medical degree at the Medical University of Lublin in Poland and completed his internal medicine residency at Aurora Health Care.
A medical student shared, “Dr. Biswas’ commitment to his patients and students is illustrated by his own words. When introducing medical students to patients, he says, ‘This student doctor is in charge of the show here, and I’m here to support them.’ He treats us as valuable team members, giving us the confidence to learn and step up to care for our patients. ... He is incredibly devoted to providing the highest quality of patient care and teaching!”
Outstanding Resident Teaching Award: Annie Dunham, MD ’17
A third-year general surgery resident in the School of Medicine and Public Health Rural and Community Surgery Track, Dunham earned her medical degree from UW in the rural medicine program. She attributes her passion for medical education to the amazing teachers and mentors she worked with, and she hopes to inspire future physicians in rural medicine and surgery.
A medical student said, “Dr. Dunham is one of the most kind-hearted, genuine residents I have worked with. She is willing to go above and beyond to make sure all members of the health care team understand what is going on. She always is open to any questions and made you excited to learn.”
Distinguished Phase 1 Teaching Award: Karen Krabbenhoft, PHD ’92
A senior lecturer of anatomy in the school's Academic Affairs unit, Krabbenhoft oversees the Anatomy Teaching Group and directs the Body Donor Program. She is grateful for her long relationship with UW-Madison and the School of Medicine and Public Health, where she earned a doctorate from its former Department of Anatomy and has dedicated her career. Krabbenhoft has directed and taught courses for undergraduate, medical and physician assistant students.
A medical student wrote, “Dr. Krabbenhoft and the anatomy team have continually gone above and beyond to provide the best possible lectures, dissections and workshops. Her lectures were well organized and often funny. She was always eager to help students. It is clear that she is passionate about teaching. Her positive attitude and enthusiasm made a profound impact on my education.”