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UC Neurosurgeon Honored with Gratitude Award
The University of Cincinnati College of Medicine awarded Charles J. Prestigiacomo, Professor of Neurosurgery, with a Gratitude Award. “That was totally unexpected and very much appreciated,” Dr. Prestigiacomo says.
Dr. Prestigiacomo received the award after being nominated by Diana Le, a 4th year medical student. Her nomination said:
In a specialty that is not known for being warm and approachable, Dr. Prestigiacomo stands out for abolishing this stereotype. One case stands out to me, not due to its uniqueness but for its recency. It was a relatively routine surgery (carotid endarterectomy) where he went out of his way to teach the medical students and challenge the residents, but also invited the surgical staff. He explained the rationale for the surgery and called over each individual, pointing out the relevant anatomy and explaining why the surgery was important for the patient and how each person could help by providing certain instruments at different times, placing the bone wax in certain ways, etc. Speaking with the circulating nurses and scrub techs afterward, it was obvious that this was not an isolated event. The scrub tech mentioned how she always looks forward to surgeries with him because she gets to learn about what they are doing and feels like she is making a difference in someone's life. She recalled him teaching the entire room the week before about cerebral aneurysms -- development, clinical course, and treatments.
Dr. Prestigiacomo says he was delighted by her remarks, “It’s wonderful to see students who are actually very interested in learning and see the benefit of education that goes beyond just the things they have to know.”
Dr. Prestigiacomo says he likes to teach people by putting facts into context. He says, “Because I love history so much, I always try to pepper things with a little bit of history or a little bit of trivia that adds more color to the sometimes-bland facts.” Dr. Prestigiacomo believes this leads to higher recall of the information.He says he likes to think that his position puts him in a place to not just teach medical students and residents, but everyone in the room. He states simply, “Everybody likes to know stuff; that’s the bottom line.”
The College of Medicine awarded more than 80 staff members with a Gratitude Award in 2020. The College’s website describes the award as “an opportunity to spotlight those who go beyond their duties to contribute to UC’s quality and excellence, to foster a diverse inclusive workplace and campus and help lift the culture around us.”
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