Children's Hospital at Strong Professor and Chair Emeritus of Pediatrics Awarded Lifetime Achievement Award

October 23, 1998

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has awarded its prestigious 1998 Medical Education Lifetime Achievement Award to Robert A. Hoekelman, M.D., FAAP, professor and chair emeritus of the University of Rochester Department of Pediatrics and Children’s Hospital at Strong. Dr. Hoekelman received his award on October 20, at the AAP’s fall meeting in San Francisco. The AAP's first Medical Education Award was given in 1985, and was established to honor a pediatrician who has made significant contributions to pediatric medical education over the course of his/her medical career.

"Dr. Hoekelman has enjoyed a remarkable career as a practitioner, an academic leader, a scholar, and a teacher. His dedication has been inspiring and his contributions invaluable," says Elizabeth McAnarney, M.D., Pediatrician-in-Chief for Children’s Hospital at Strong.

Throughout his distinguished 48-year career as a physician, Dr. Hoekelman has dedicated himself to helping shape the future generation of practicing pediatric physicians. He has made significant contributions toward the continuing education and preparation of residents through his authorship, mentorship, and advocacy for making the residency experience significant and meaningful but not impossibly overwhelming. "I am extremely pleased to receive this award, and feel that my students deserve credit as well. Both teaching and learning are challenging and rewarding – but when you put both of them together in the right way, good things can happen," says Dr. Hoekelman.

Dr. Hoekelman received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and his medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He served as Chair of the Department of Pediatrics and as Pediatrician-in-Chief at Strong Memorial Hospital for 10 years.

Dr. Hoekelman has authored and edited several well-regarded pediatric text books that provide important information to medical and nursing students, residents, physicians, and parents including: Primary Pediatric Care, A Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking, and The Merck Manual. He has also been an editor for four pediatric journals.

Committed to impacting the quality and continuity of care provided throughout the community, Dr. Hoekelman served as primary faculty mentor for the Pediatric Links with the Community project and for 11 Ambulatory/Community Pediatric Fellows and 36 General Pediatric and Research Fellows. He was responsible for establishing the training of family medicine, emergency medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, and pediatric dentistry residents on pediatric services for Strong Memorial Hospital and Rochester General Hospital. He also founded the Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship Training Program. He extended his influence worldwide by establishing fellowship training with Children’s Hospitals in Israel, Russia, Poland, and Africa.

Dr. Hoekelman's foresight enabled the University to develop and implement measures to reduce the stress and long hours for residents even prior to the establishment of New York State regulations that addressed these issues. In an effort to improve both the quality of care provided to patients and the residents’ learning experience, he planned and moderated a conference on stress in pediatric house staff education, and implemented limits on house officer working hours in all of Rochester’s pediatric residency training programs. Dr. Hoekelman also established options in residency training to create more flexibility and to accommodate individual needs and lifestyles. In total, he has received over $9 million in grant awards for pediatric residency education. Dr. Hoekelman has also involved himself on national and international levels by holding membership on several committees for pediatric education, as well as being a visiting professor at 29 medical schools in the U.S. and abroad.

Children’s Hospital at Strong (previously Pediatric Services at Strong Memorial Hospital) is a 112-bed facility within the University of Rochester Medical Center and is the primary medical center for ill children and adolescents in the region. Patients with virtually every diagnosis are treated at Children’s Hospital – from the pediatric neonatal intensive care unit to the new Strong Children’s Heart Center.

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