Faculty and Student Receive Humanism, Teaching Awards


June 21, 2013


Faculty and Student Receive Humanism, Teaching Awards

Several honors have been announced this spring at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield. 

A faculty member and graduating senior were named recipients of the 2013 Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award presented during commencement ceremonies May 18. Dr. John Mellinger, professor of surgery, and Dr. Brittany Obert, a 2013 graduate of SIU School of Medicine from Springfield, were recognized as individuals who demonstrate compassion, respect for patients and families, and clinical excellence. The award is sponsored by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation.

A student who nominated Mellinger for the award said, “He is an excellent role model of the kind of physician I want to be. He is genuinely a good man who shows true concern for everyone whom he comes into contact with. He is wonderful to talk to because you know that he is truly listening to you and will give you excellent feedback. ... His outstanding communication skills are especially evident when observing him with patients. He is extremely respectful in all aspects of patient care and truly wants to work with patients to decide what would be the best process for them.”

Mellinger is chair of the Division of General Surgery and the J. Roland Folse, M.D., Endowed Chair for surgery. He served a fellowship in surgical endoscopy at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Cleveland (1990) and completed his general surgery residency at Blodgett Memorial Medical Center/St. Mary’s Hospital/MSU in Grand Rapids, Mich. (1989). Mellinger earned his medical degree and his bachelor’s summa cum laude from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio (1984, 1980). He served four years in the U.S. Air Force. He is board certified in general surgery by the American Board of Surgery. He has co-authored more than 65 research publications and book chapters.

The classmates who nominated Obert said, “Brittany is the most selfless and involved medical student that I know. She is always first to volunteer to be on a committee when needed. She is an outstanding mentor and is always the organizer of community activities. She is hard-working, respectful, trustworthy, and is going to be a fantastic physician.”

While in medical school, Obert has been involved in various activities. She served as class representative to the Student Assembly, as Student Ambassador, giving tours to prospective medical students, and a member of the Community Service Committee. She volunteered as a mentor for a local disadvantaged grade school child, and helped organize and staff a health care clinic for homeless and low income individuals.
Obert will begin an obstetrics and gynecology residency at ­­Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis in July. She is the daughter of John and Michelle Obert of Quincy. She is a graduate of Quincy Notre Dame High School (2005) and Marquette University in Milwaukee, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering (2009).

Dr. Susan Thompson Hingle, professor of internal medicine, received the Golden Apple Award for outstanding teaching from the graduating class. She is internal medicine clerkship director and is very active in medical education, physician-patient relationship and women’s health issues. Hingle helped create a section of the curriculum for undergraduates and residents in internal medicine focusing on communication skills. She has served as chair of the Board of Governors of the American College of Physicians (ACP) and Governor of the Illinois Southern Chapter of ACP. She received the ACP’s Walter J. McDonald Young Physician’s Award and Illinois Laureate Award.  

Hingle completed an internal medicine residency at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C. (1997). She earned her medical degree at Rush Medical College in Chicago (1993) and her bachelor’s at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio (1989). She is board certified in internal medicine.

The class previously honored Nancy Henry, D.V.M., instructor of anatomy as the Carbondale Teacher of the Year for her efforts during their first year.

The graduates also honored two faculty members with roles during the commencement ceremony.  Dr. Jarrod Wall, assistant professor of surgery, read the Hippocratic Oath. Dr. Gary Rull, associate professor of internal medicine, hooded the graduates.

Phone 217-545-8000
P.O. Box 19620
Springfield, IL 62794-9620
The mission of SIU School of Medicine is to assist the citizens of central and southern Illinois in meeting their health-care needs through education, patient care, research and service to the community.


Connect on FacebookMore About SIU SOM on YouTubeSIU Blogtwitter