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2014 Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award

Charles L. Bardes, M.D., Weill Cornell Medical College


A dedicated humanist and physician educator, Charles L. Bardes, M.D., is the most decorated teacher in the history of Weill Cornell Medical College, having received 27 teaching awards, including the college’s highest recognition, the Siegel Family Faculty Award. Students have honored him with the Elliot Hochstein Teaching Award three times. He also received the Senior List Award, voted annually by the graduating class, from 2003 through 2013.

In 1989, Dr. Bardes joined the faculty at Weill Cornell, where he now serves as professor of clinical medicine and associate dean of admissions. His exemplary career in medical education includes serving as the medicine clerkship director for more than 17 years and leading the Clinical Clerkship Committee of the Medicine Education Council. Dr. Bardes recently transitioned from clerkship director to focus his efforts on implementation of Weill Cornell’s new medical education curriculum, which centers on the themes of science, patient care, and physicianship. He serves as theme leader for physicianship, where he ensures that the concept is integrated as seamlessly as possible across all years of the curriculum. Implementation of the new curriculum at Weill Cornell Medical College began this fall with the incoming class of 2018.

Contributing to Dr. Bardes’ success as a medical educator are his thoughtfulness and keen awareness of the varied elements that comprise a whole and complete person, attest his colleagues, students, and patients. They also praise his ability to impart these insights in others.

“[Dr. Bardes] is a doctor, a man of science, speaking to us with compassionate intimacy, taking as his revolutionary premise that the truth of what happens to us is found outside the narrowed bounds of specialization, that the operations of the body are not only literal grist, subject to measurement and diagnosis, but also metaphorical, informing our imaginings, and crowded with suggestions of banished spirit,” commends Sven Bikerts, editor of the literary magazine AGNI.

Dr. Bardes has published frequently on medical education, particularly regarding its relation to the culture of medical practice. He has also published a variety of essays and poems. In 2008 he authored Pale Faces: The Masks of Anemia, an extended essay on the cultural, mythic, and biologic dimensions of a common disease construct. He is a reviewer for Academic Medicine, among other publications, and was a fellow at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in 2009.

After receiving his B.A. from Princeton University, Dr. Bardes attended University of Freiburg in Germany as a Rotary International Fellow. Upon his return to the United States, he pursued an M.D. degree at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. During his studies at Penn, he also took courses in English and writing at nearby Temple University. Dr. Bardes completed his internal medicine residency at The New York Hospital, now NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

Watch the video spotlight on Dr. Bardes here.

Learn more about Dr. Bardes

Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award

This award provides national recognition to faculty members who have distinguished themselves in medical student education.