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Scott Halpern Wins Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award

Scott Halpern headshot
Scott Halpern headshotCongratulations to Scott Halpern, MD, PhD, MBE, who has received the Arthur K. Asbury Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award from Penn Medicine. “Ever since I was an undergraduate, the idea of one day being a professor was attractive to me,” Dr. Halpern said. “The unimpeded search for knowledge, the free exchange of ideas, the opportunity to teach eager learners – these were the things I most looked forward to in a career, even before I knew I wanted to also be a doctor. But what I quickly learned as a graduate student at Penn was the value of excellent mentorship. Not a day goes by – even now – when I don’t think about how much I benefited by having not one, but two of the world’s greatest mentors in David Asch and Brian Strom. Among the innumerable things they taught me was how one’s social and professional impact through mentorship could – if done well – be greater than almost any other component of an academic life. In witnessing the amazing successes of my mentees, and the change for good they are producing, I’m now seeing first-hand the wisdom of this guidance. This award is truly humbling – and probably more important to me than any other I’ve received.” David Asch, MD, MBA, executive director of the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation, nominated Dr. Halpern for this award. Dr. Asch’s nominating letter praised Dr. Halpern for his breadth of mentoring commitments, the demand for his mentorship and objective measures of its quality, his improvement of and innovations in mentoring, and his commitment to mentoring women. “I think some people are just naturally good at the combination of qualities essential to effective mentorship. But I also think the truly exceptional mentors work at it, make successful mentorship a priority in their own careers, and see successful mentorship alongside successful research, teaching, or clinical skills as defining elements of their social and professional contributions,” Dr. Asch wrote. “Scott Halpern is a naturally gifted mentor, but what distinguishes him is how he pursues it actively and advances the approach.” He further described Dr. Halpern as a “generous, empathic, and caring mentor” who is distinguished by his discipline and rigor. “I have been at Penn for 35 years and until I met Scott I had never seen anyone put the same strategic thought and concentrated effort into a mentoring relationship as they put into crafting a new NIH R01,” Dr. Asch added. Dr. Halpern, who is part of CHIBE’s leadership team, is also the Founding Director of the Palliative and Advanced Illness Research Center (PAIR) as well as a Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology, Medical Ethics & Health Policy. “This award aptly recognizes Scott’s extraordinary record in mentoring trainees and junior faculty to successful careers in academic medicine and research,” said Steven Joffe, MD, MPH, Interim Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy and Chief of the Division of Medical Ethics.