Dr. Robert Richard earns TCOM’s first outstanding preceptor award

By Alex Branch

Richard Web
 
Robert Richard, DO, told UNT Health Science Center medical student Sarah Hmaidan exactly what she should expect from him as her preceptor.

“He told me if he wasn’t inspiring me to be the best doctor I could be or challenging me to see the whole patient, then he wasn’t doing his job right,” said Hmaidan, a member of the 2020 class.

Dr. Richard always does his job right.  That’s why medical students nominated him for the first Outstanding Preceptor Award from the UNTHSC Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. The award was presented to Dr. Richard, a TCOM alumnus, in December at the JPS Health Network Polytechnic Clinic.

Medical preceptors serve as mentors and teachers to medical students. They offer personal instruction, training and supervision and allow students to shadow them in clinical settings.

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“Dr. Richard is always patient and took his time explaining concepts or working through patient plans with me, even if this meant staying hours past our last patient of the day,” Hmaidan said. “He also kept a large file cabinet full of handouts. He challenged me to incorporate patient education into each appointment.

“I would often do so by grabbing one of his handouts and working through it with the patient as I explained their disease processes or ailment.”

Dr. Richard also invites every TCOM student on family medicine rotations to his clinic for a three-hour lecture on changing topics. But the lectures are more like discussions, Hmaidan said.

“He is personable, energetic, and quickly became a favorite teacher among students,” Hmaidan said.

The Outstanding Preceptor Award was created to honor physicians who embody the attributes of an outstanding physician educator, said Katy Kemp, MEd, TCOM Executive Director of Clinical Education. TCOM will present the award each semester and include preceptors at clinics outside of Fort Worth and those involved in the Rural Osteopathic Medical Education program.

“This award shines a light on the importance of investing in the future of medicine,” Kemp said.

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