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    2015 Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award

    Gurpreet Dhaliwal, MD, San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center

    Gurpreet Dhaliwal, MD, has been lauded by The New York Times as “one of the most skillful clinical diagnosticians in practice today.” His students attest that he is equally skillful at imparting such talent to them. 

    Dr. Dhaliwal, professor of clinical medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), sees patients and teaches medical students and residents in the emergency department, inpatient wards, and outpatient clinic at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, where he is the site director for internal medicine student clerkships. 

    With his learners, Dr. Dhaliwal practices a form of translational clinical education akin to that used in the popular radio show Car Talk. “His truest gift lies in his ability to deconstruct the complex process of context-specific clinical reasoning and problem solving into a set of tools that early learners can apply effectively,” says Bruce Wintroub, MD, interim dean of UCSF School of Medicine.

    Dr. Dhaliwal is also praised for his thoughtful advice as a medical student career advisor, carefully considering each student’s unique strengths. He is equally masterful in challenging the most advanced students in their development and assisting those who struggle. 

    Dr. Dhaliwal also publishes extensively on clinical problem-solving and medical reasoning. He has been a visiting professor at multiple universities across the United States, China, and Japan and currently writes for the Wall Street Journal’s The Experts: Health Care blog.

    Both students and peers have formally recognized Dr. Dhaliwal for his skill as an educator many times over, beginning with his nomination for a medical student teaching award while he was still a resident. Since then, Dr. Dhaliwal has received the Floyd C. Rector Jr. Housestaff Teaching Award, the Henry J. Kaiser Award for Excellence in Inpatient Teaching, the UCSF Academic Senate Distinction in Teaching Award, the Calvin L. Chou Prime Teaching Award, and multiple Excellence in Teaching Awards. In 2005, he was inducted into the Haile T. Debas UCSF Academy of Medical Educators, and in 2013, he was inducted into the UCSF Department of Medicine Council of Master Clinicians. In 2014, he joined the ranks of the small group of UCSF faculty who have been selected by graduating seniors to deliver the School of Medicine Commencement Address.

    As health care continues to work toward better quality and safer care, Dr. Dhaliwal emphasizes diagnostic reasoning as a critical foundation. “Because in medicine, thinking is our most important procedure,” he says.

    Dr. Dhaliwal received his BA in economics and his MD from Northwestern University. He completed his residency in internal medicine at UCSF, where he also served as chief resident.