OHSU honors Wopat with prestigious teaching award

May 13,2013
Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) has recognized Rick Wopat, MD, a longtime Samaritan physician in Lebanon, with the 2013 Lewis and Ruth Carpenter Teaching Award.

OHSU presents this award annually to a physician who is a volunteer faculty member of the OHSU Department of Family Medicine, and is actively engaged and committed to one-on-one teaching in the ambulatory setting. The award is based on student nominations and continuity of service to the department.

“Teaching is its own reward,” Wopat said. “Being recognized for teaching is an honor.”
Wopat, the lead provider at Samaritan Medical Home, has been with Samaritan since 1979 – most of that time as a family physician.

Since 1982, he has taught more than 130 OHSU students who have come through his practice for their rural clinical rotations.

"During the course of my four months at (Samaritan Medical Home), I learned I was Dr. Wopat’s 131st medical student preceptoree," said David Simmons, a third-year OHSU medical student who did his rural rotation under Wopat earlier this year. "Funny, it felt like I was his first. I thank him, on behalf of myself and the 130 students who came before me, for setting high standards."

In addition to his work with OHSU, Wopat has taught students from other health career programs who have rotated through his practice, ranging from high school classes to graduate-level programs. He has worked with osteopathic students from the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, physician assistant students from Pacific University, students from Oregon State University’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences, and Portland State University’s School of Community Health. He has hosted health career students from Lebanon High School, and he has taught in the classroom at OHSU, OSU and Linn-Benton Community College, among other institutions.

He currently has with him an OHSU medical student, a Psychology resident and a Public Health Policy undergraduate student from OSU.
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