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Pearson receives Shovel Award from VUSM students

Apr. 27, 2020, 11:18 AM


by Kathy Whitney

Each year, the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine graduating fourth-year class honors one faculty member with the Shovel Award in recognition of the exceptionally meaningful impact he or she has had on their medical education.

Scott Pearson, MD

The class typically presents the award in person at the Cadaver Ball, but this year, due to social distancing measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Class of 2020 coordinated with Amy Fleming, MD, associate dean of Medical Student Affairs, and Cathy Pettepher, PhD, assistant dean for Assessment, to surprise Scott Pearson, MD, with the award during an anatomy faculty Zoom meeting.

“It was really meaningful to me,” Pearson said. “I felt very honored by the students.”

A professor of Surgery, Pearson interacts with medical students throughout all four years of their time at VUSM and most especially during the upper-level anatomy courses that he leads.

Pearson joined Vanderbilt in the Department of Surgery in 1999 as a general surgeon and surgical oncologist. Within VUSM, he serves as a small group facilitator for case-based learning and teaches foundational and advanced clinical anatomy and is faculty in the gross anatomy laboratory. He is the Gabbe College director for the Research I (CASE) course and is a portfolio coach for medical students throughout all four years.

“For me, the fun of teaching — and what I enjoy so much — is watching these students develop from first year, when they’re just finding out the basic medical information, to seeing them on the plaza and asking them what specialty they’re interested in, and then seeing them in the fourth year when they match,” Pearson said.

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