Mindy Fain, MD, professor of medicine, was one of six faculty members named as a 2020 Faculty Mentoring Award winner at the May General Faculty Meeting of the College of Medicine – Tucson. Dr. Fain is the Anne & Alden Hart Professor of Medicine, the division chief of Geriatrics, General Internal Medicine and Palliative Medicine, and the co-director of the UArizona Center on Aging.
“Dr. Fain is able to see the details sharply, while also viewing things clearly from a big-picture perspective. Even after several decades in academic medicine, I have learned new techniques and am re-inspired watching Dr. Fain in action,” said Julia B. Jernberg, MD, clinical assistant professor of medicine. “I have regularly seen Dr. Fain meet with medical students, listening to them with undivided attention to thoughtfully help them plan their future careers. I have followed Dr. Fain into patient rooms as she introduces herself and graciously guides the new intern into a highly effective dyadic discussion with the patient. Dr. Fain is my teacher, my advocate, my heroine, my confidante and my friend.”
For nominees to be considered for the award, now in its sixth year, mentees were asked to submit letters of nomination to the Dean’s Council on Faculty Affairs indicating the types of mentoring they received and how their mentor has contributed to their success. The annual awards honor faculty members who demonstrate outstanding commitment to mentorship and recognize the importance of mentorship for the success of faculty.
“The Faculty Mentoring Awards were established to recognize the selfless faculty who are committed to empowering their fellow colleagues,” said Alice Min, MD, assistant dean of faculty development. “For junior faculty in academic medicine, mentorship is crucial. Finding someone who will support you, coach you through challenges, and help you build networks and find the right opportunities is essential.”
Dr. Fain is a widely recognized leader in geriatrics, with a lifelong mission to advance health care for older adults. Her main research interest is frailty, which has been recognized as a syndrome for only two decades. Dr. Fain says frailty can be thought of as the flip side of resiliency, characterized by an inability to “bounce back.” This restricted ability to respond to stress is the strongest predictor of poor health, and is associated with morbidity, institutionalization and death. Her other passion is the expansion of home-based medical care. Home-limited patients with chronic conditions and functional impairments often receive fragmented, poor care, but their quality of life can be improved, and overall costs can be reduced, if they are able to receive care at home rather than in an institution.
The other 2020 Faculty Mentoring Award winners are:
- C. Kent Kwoh, MD; professor, Department of Medicine
- Helen Amerongen, PhD; professor, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
- Lawrence Mandarino, PhD; professor, Department of Medicine
- John A. Szivek, PhD; professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
- Unni K. Udayasankar, MD; associate professor, Department of Medical Imaging