SIU Med Students Honor Area Physician as Mentor of the Year


June 17, 2013

SIU Med Students Honor Area Physician as Mentor of the Year

Obstetrics and gynecology physician Dr. Paul J. Cruz was chosen as Mentor of the Year by first-year students at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. Cruz was honored for his work as a volunteer mentor to the medical students during their first year in Carbondale.

The student nominating Cruz wrote, “Throughout the past year, Dr. Cruz has shared with me his passion for medicine and his genuine devotion to his patients. During patient encounters he verbalizes his thought process while quizzing me to keep me and the patient engaged. He also goes above and beyond to make sure I experience all aspects of obstetrics and gynecology. He has given me the opportunity to follow him into deliveries and surgeries, while teaching me along the way. He not only teaches me about many aspects of medicine, but shows interest in my success. He enjoys talking through cases with me and answering any questions I may have about the case. Overall, Dr. Cruz has taught me more than I ever imagined a mentor could with only 16 hours per unit. I highly recommend Dr. Cruz for this award and the next student to be placed with him is very lucky.”

Cruz is in practice at the REA Clinic in Herrin. He is a volunteer assistant professor at SIU School of Medicine. Cruz completed an obstetrics and gynecology residency at Catholic Medical Center of Brooklyn and Queens, N.Y. He earned his medical degree from the University of Central Dei Caribe School of Medicine in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, and his bachelor’s degree in science from the University of Puerto Rico.

SIU School of Medicine provides the clinical mentor program for its first-year students in Carbondale. The previous school year, 72 area physicians served as mentors. The freshman class of 2016 nominated six physician mentors for the honor.

Established in 1970, SIU School of Medicine is based in Carbondale and Springfield. The School’s mission is to assist the people of central and southern Illinois in meeting their health care needs through education, service, research and community service. The medical school is specifically oriented to educating new physicians prepared to practice in Illinois communities.┬áSince 1975, 2,550 physicians have earned SIU medical degrees. The school’s web site is

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.


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