Jeanne O. Hayes, M.D., MPH, Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the OU-TU School of Community Medicine in Tulsa, has been honored with the 2021 Stanton L. Young Master Teacher Award.
The award, now in its 38th year, recognizes University of Oklahoma College of Medicine faculty members for excellence in teaching. It was established through an endowment made by the late Oklahoma City businessman Stanton L. Young. The award comes with a $15,000 cash prize, one of the largest in the nation for medical teaching excellence. (story continues below)
“We are grateful to have a faculty member like Dr. Hayes who embodies excellence in the mission of academic medicine,” said John P. Zubialde, M.D., Executive Dean of the OU College of Medicine. “She is universally admired by students, and her commitment to community medicine is evident in her everyday interactions with students and patients.”
Hayes was born and raised in a suburb of Chicago. Her father’s change of jobs moved the family to Texas, where Hayes earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Texas at Austin. She then began medical school at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, completing two years. When her future husband matched for his residency in Oklahoma City, she requested a transfer to the OU College of Medicine, where she earned her medical degree. She then completed her residency in pediatrics on the Oklahoma City campus and, later, earned a master of public health degree from the Hudson College of Public Health at the OU Health Sciences Center.
Hayes spent the first 15 years of her career in private practice settings in Tulsa while also volunteering as the pediatric provider at an area free clinic. A re-examination of her career goals after the unexpected loss of her husband to leukemia resulted in her pursuit of an academic career, specifically for the opportunity it provided to be involved in the education of students.
Hayes is known as a dedicated educator and mentor for medical and physician assistant (PA) students at the OU-TU School of Community Medicine. During her first eight years as faculty, she served as pediatric clerkship director, overseeing the clinical education of all medical and PA students in pediatrics. While in this role, she received two Crimson Apple awards and two Aesculapian awards, honors bestowed by students for teaching excellence to the faculty members who, in part, stir their thirst for scientific knowledge and passion for helping others. In addition, she was chosen by the Academy of Teaching Scholars to receive the Dewayne Andrews, M.D. Excellence in Teaching Award.
In her current role as associate dean, she oversees the functions of the Tulsa Student Services office, which includes admissions to the SCM track, and she has developed programming that helps students reach their potential as future physicians. The majority of her time is dedicated to providing academic and career advising throughout all four years of medical school, and mentoring students as they choose a career and go through the residency match process.
“In Student Services, the main goal is to support our students in any way we can to help them be successful in whatever career path they choose to take. I prioritize making myself available for when students need me,” she said. “I enjoy talking to the students and finding out who they are, what their dreams are and where they might want to end up one day. Having these conversations with students is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job.”
Hayes continues to play a role in teaching and curriculum development at the OU-TU School of Community Medicine. She teaches clinical reasoning and communication skills as part of the Introduction to Clinical Medicine I and II courses and, along with Michael Weisz, M.D., co-directs the Clinical Transitions course, which prepares second-year medical students to shift from their first two years of preclinical education and into the hospital wards and clinics of their third and fourth years.
In a nomination letter for the Stanton L. Young Master Teacher Award, a student wrote:
“Any professor can effectively teach information, but only a select few are able to also establish the kind of relationship and rapport with students that she has. … She has worked tirelessly to maintain the quality of our education and experience. She has consistently worked for the students’ best interests, advocating for our clinical experiences while always ensuring our safety in clinical settings. … All of this she has done while continuing clinical and teaching duties. Since day one at SCM, I have thought she is superwoman, and this year has convinced me of that fact.”
Hayes is board-certified in general pediatrics and sees young patients in the General Pediatrics Clinic two half-days a week. She also provides clinical teaching for residents in the same clinic. She leverages her public health degree continually in her work, she said, as the principles of pediatric preventive medicine go hand in hand with the public health goal of maximizing the health potential of communities through the primary prevention of disease.