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Alumna wins award for compassionate care

A version of this story originally ran in Inside View, an electronic newsletter of West Virginia University’s Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center.

The seventh winner of the Patricia “Pat” Fedeles Award for Compassion in Physical Diagnosis recently was presented to Samantha Smith (B.S. 2011 – Chemistry, Biochemistry). This award is given annually to a second-year WVU School of Medicine student who portrays ongoing compassion, friendliness and an overall caring attitude toward patients, peers, faculty and staff.

Fedeles served as coordinator for the School of Medicine’s Introduction to Clinical Medicine and Physical Diagnosis courses from 1992 until 2006 when she retired while battling cancer. She passed away in January 2007. She always treated people fairly and with a caring attitude and truly enjoyed working with the students, striving to make each one feel special and confident in achieving his or her goals. Fedeles stressed the importance of proper “bedside manner” during patient care. She emphasized that each patient should be treated as a human being and not just a number, and that is exactly how Fedeles treated her students: with unconditional compassion and understanding.

Smith portrays all of the above characteristics and was nominated by her peers. She received a certificate and a WVU Bookstore gift certificate.