Presenting at Medicine Grand Rounds on May 1 is Faith T. Fitzgerald, MD, a UC Davis internal medicine clinician and master teacher who is widely recognized for highlighting components of the doctor-patient interaction — from curiosity to storytelling — and demonstrating their importance in medical education and medical care.

She will present on the topic, “Ceremonies of Death.”

Fitzgerald is professor of medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine at the UC Davis School of Medicine. She co-directs the UC Davis Medical Humanities Research Group.

One of her most well-known publications is a 1999 essay on curiosity in the “On Being a Doctor” column in Annals of Internal Medicine.

In it, she said, “To participate in the feelings and ideas of one’s patients—to empathize—one must be curious enough to know the patients: their characters, cultures, spiritual and physical responses, hopes, past, and social surrounds…. Both the science and the art of medicine are advanced by curiosity.”

Speaking in the “Great Teachers” series in Grand Rounds at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in 2002, Fitzgerald revealed that she had wanted to be Sherlock Holmes when she was a child. She is recognized for her genius in diagnosis today.

Fitzgerald earned her MD and trained in internal medicine at UC San Francisco and San Francisco General Hospital.

In a statement honoring her in the Department of Internal Medicine Pass the Torch Newsletter in 2009, American Board of Internal Medicine director emeritus Michael A. LaCombe, MD, called Fitzgerald “the single most sought-after visiting professor in the world.”

Recently, the UC Davis School of Medicine Class of 2013 students voted to honor her with their 2013 Outstanding Instructor Award.

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