A member of the Department of Anesthesiology has received the University of Florida College of Medicine Hippocratic Award for excellence in teaching and mentorship for the first time in its 50-year history.
Dr. Christopher Giordano, associate professor of anesthesiology and director of the Anesthesiology/Critical Care Clerkship, received the honor at a ceremony in Wilmot Gardens on Wednesday, May 1, 2019.
The award, given annually by each graduating class, was established by the class of 1969 to recognize a faculty member who is an outstanding teacher as well as an excellent clinician, mentor, and role model. Thirty-three college of medicine faculty members have received it.
“This is not just an award about being able to teach exquisitely well; it’s also about the lasting relationships and the lasting impact that you have on people everywhere,” said Dr. Adrian Tyndall, interim dean of the College of Medicine.
The award’s namesake, the Greek father of modern medicine Hippocrates, is revered for his teaching as well as his practice of medicine. The image of him teaching students under a tree is a symbol of Hippocratic medicine.
In 1969, the Greek minister of agriculture gave the College of Medicine a sycamore tree that was said to be a cutting from the original Hippocratic tree. The tree was originally planted in front of UF Health Shands Hospital. Several years ago, the College of Medicine permanently moved the Hippocratic Award ceremony to Wilmot Gardens, where a cutting from the original tree was transplanted. Today, the garden features the sapling and a plaque with each recipient’s name.
Giordano’s commitment to mentoring students “extends beyond the walls of the class and operating rooms,” said Gabriel Daniels, academic chair of the fourth-year class, who presented the award. “He has taken it upon himself to coach students not only on being thoughtful and knowledgeable clinicians but also on being good team members, respectable leaders, and better people.”
Daniels said Giordano’s selection was also notable because he is a fourth-year clerkship director.
“For one month you get exposure to his class and somehow he still comes out on top,” Daniels said, calling his selection a testament to Giordano’s impact.
Giordano expressed gratitude to the students, faculty, and staff who make his profession feel worthwhile.
“I need to thank you for giving me that purpose,” he said as he accepted the award.