December 12, 2003

Sumner receives Candle Award

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Dr. Eric Sumner

Sumner receives Candle Award

Dr. Eric Sumner, a third-year resident in internal medicine, has been chosen as a recipient of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Candle (Caring, Advocating, Nurturing, Determination, Leadership, and Empathy) Award, a monthly award given by Vanderbilt medical students to individuals who have devoted themselves to teaching and mentoring.

Recipients of the award are nominated and chosen based upon their positive impact on the lives of physicians-in-training, and are recognized by their students as examples of excellence in medical education.

A nominating student said that Sumner makes the medical students feel like they are a valuable part of patient care. “He encourages me to think independently but is there to lead me back onto the right path if I need guidance,” the student said.

“He unselfishly devotes his time to students, interns and other residents.  However, even more valuable to me than his teaching has been observing his interactions with people, from patients to other health care providers.   He is an intrinsically kind person who treats everyone with respect.  He gives whomever he speaks with his full attention and always seeks an answer to all questions that are asked of him. Patients are immediately comfortable with his gentle manner and no matter how long his day has been he takes the time to ensure that his patients have a thorough evaluation and plan,” the student said.

“He is never judgmental or thoughtless and handles difficult situations with grace.  He is a problem solver and fosters cooperation among the health care team for the benefit of the patient.  He is the doctor I aspire to become.”

Prior winners of the award have been Dr. Scott M. Rodgers, Dr. Jason Martin and Dr. James L. Netterville.