Medical Students Recognize Patients as Teachers through MU’s Legacy Teachers™ Program

School of Medicine legacy teacher and student

The University of Missouri School of Medicine celebrated the important role that patients and their families play in the education of medical students at the 13th annual Legacy Teachers™ luncheon today, April 12, in MU’s Reynolds Alumni Center.

The Legacy Teachers™ program, which culminates with a luncheon each year, offers third-year medical students the opportunity to submit essays, artwork or poetry describing a patient they recognized as one of their greatest teachers. At the 13th annual Legacy Teachers™ luncheon, 36 medical students honored 18 of these special teachers.

Rebecca Aguayo, a third-year medical student, said that her Legacy Teacher™ taught her how to truly embody patient-centered care. She met her Legacy Teacher™ while serving in Rogersville, Missouri, as part of her family medicine rotation through MU’s Springfield Clinical Campus.

“My Legacy Teacher™ taught me to always keep the patient as the priority, not the illness,” Aguayo said. “She encouraged me to find ways to remind myself why I entered the field of medicine. I will always be grateful for the time and effort she committed to my education.”

The original MU program has been adopted by other medical schools across the country, including the University of Kansas-Wichita, the University of North Carolina and Tufts University.

With the program well established at MU, representatives from other medical schools across the country visit MU to join faculty, staff, students, patients and their families at the luncheon to experience the event. Following the luncheon, representatives meet with MU’s organizers to discuss implementing the Legacy Teachers™ program at their own medical schools. This year, representatives from Penn State College of Medicine, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine, as well as representatives from the MU School of Medicine Springfield Clinical Campus, attended the luncheon.

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