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Daniel Clarke-Pearson, MD, Robert A. Ross Distinguished Professor and Chair of the UNC Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, has been honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award in Medical Education from the Academy of Educators at the UNC School of Medicine.

This School confers this award annually on an exceptional member of the faculty who has demonstrated sustained excellence in teaching and mentoring medical students over 10 years or more.

Clarke-Pearson has been the chair at UNC OB-GYN for 13 years, and the rankings in the department’s training programs have continued to rise steadily in his tenure. For the past three years, the OB-GYN residency at UNC has been ranked in the top three in the nation, according to the Doximity Residency Navigator. He has also been a dedicated advocate for racial equity in education and committed to actively recruiting underrepresented minority physicians to UNC OB-GYN’s residency program.

Clarke-Pearson says around 10 percent of UNC’s medical students apply for residencies in obstetrics and gynecology, which is twice the national average. He says that statistic is evidence of the department’s ability to inspire students through medical education.

“As a medical student, I appreciated the knowledge passed down to me from residents and attending physician faculty,” says Dr. Clarke-Pearson. “I have enjoyed paying it forward to teach the next generation of students, residents and fellows. What an honor to contribute to their growth as physicians dedicated to women’s health care.”

Clarke-Pearson will step down from his position as chair this summer and will remain on faculty practicing in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology and teaching medical students, residents and fellows.

Excerpts from award nominations:

He is constantly looking for opportunities to promote the educators in our department. He personally meets with all students trying to match into an ob/gyn residency and writes those letters himself. Many years, we have had more than 15 students applying! When I have struggled with complex decisions related to our educational mission, he has always taken the time to listen and offer solutions. He has never made the clinical mission, or the research mission, seem more important than the educational mission.”

Dr. Clarke-Pearson is an enthusiastic educator and consistently promotes medical education in our department. He nominated me for a course on improving medical education, and through that course my role in the education of medical students has evolved to include more and more responsibility- and I love it! I continue to be grateful for his support and encouragement.”

Dr. Clarke-Pearson’s support of all of our educational programming – our fellowships, our residency program, and our student programs ­– has been outstanding. His active engagement in, insight about and strong advocacy for our undergraduate and graduate medical education programs have steadily directed us forward through daily challenges that our teaching and training face in today’s busy health care environment.”

He took a chance on me and hired me from private practice into his esteemed department, and I have felt his solid support behind me every step of my journey as an educator and a clinician. I know I always have the tacit permission and flexibility to accept every educational opportunity that comes my way; I never have to wonder whether I will have his support.”

Over the past nearly four years of my residency I have been regularly impressed by his commitment to resident education. He advocates for us 100% of the time. He knows all of us well from the details of our families to our professional passions. We battle each other for time with him in the OR because of how much we learn each time we scrub. He is a true role model of excellence in patient care, education, and leadership.”

He has been actively involved in the education of medical students, residents, fellows and postgraduate physicians about as long as I’ve known him, since I was a fellow at Duke.”

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