University of Missouri School of Medicine MU Health School of Medicine

Recognizing the Lessons that Patients
Share with Physicians

The University of Missouri School of Medicine created its Legacy Teachers program in 2005 to recognize that patients are among the best and most memorable teachers for physicians. Each year, third-year medical students are invited to participate in the program by reflecting on patients who have had a lasting impact on their ability to provide patient-centered care. Students submit essays, artwork or poetry describing the patients' contributions to their lifelong development.

This is a way for students to thank and honor their Legacy Teacher for the powerful lessons they have taught them, lessons that will last a lifetime. Participating patients and students are recognized at an annual luncheon that attracts hundreds of supporters.

Participating patients and their families are called Legacy Teachers because they have taught important lessons to a physician in training that will last the physician's practice lifetime and positively affect future patients, creating a powerful legacy for generations to come.


The twelfth annual Legacy Teachers luncheon is held Thursday, April 13, 2017, at the MU Reynolds Alumni Center. Previous Legacy Teachers share stories about being recognized by the medical student who treated them in a video shown at the luncheon. Click here to view the video from 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

For more information and to register for the 2017 Legacy Teachers luncheon, please contact Carrie Nicholson by email or call (573) 884-2472. To support the Legacy Teachers program, click here.

Student Instructions for Submission

MU third-year medical students are invited to reflect on patients who have had a lasting impact on their learning by submitting short essays, artwork or poetry. Students might want to describe:

  • A patient who changed you and helped make you a better future physician.
  • A patient who taught you to listen deeply and to understand his or her experience.
  • A patient who showed you the crucial roles of comfort and compassion, the importance of good communication, or the vital role of family and caregivers.
  • A patient you will never ever forget; whose lessons will always be a part of who you are.
  • The patient who taught you the most about yourself as an individual and as a future physician.

Submission should be about a patient you have directly cared for as a third-year student. Essays, poems and artwork are all acceptable.


Should be two to three pages in length. Please use a pseudonym for your patient. Emphasize how the experience affected you and the lessons you were taught, using medical details only to illustrate the lessons learned. Entries will be reviewed by a faculty panel for appropriateness and quality.

Poems and Drawings

Please include a one-page description explaining what your patient taught you.


Entries will be accepted until 5 p.m. Tuesday, February 7, 2017.

More Information

2017 Student Information Brochure

Submit entries to Carrie Nicholson. For more information, call (573) 884-2472.

Permission to reproduce if source cited. “© University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine 2014”

Printer Friendly Secure      
Follow us on Twitter!   Facebook   YouTube Videos   Instagram   Pinterest  
Website created and maintained by the Office of Communications. Contact the MU School of Medicine.
Revised: June 03, 2013 - Copyright © 2014 - Curators of the University of Missouri. All rights reserved. DMCA and
other copyright information. An equal opportunity/access/affirmative action/pro-disabled and veteran employer.