Springfield Clinical Campus Celebrates Inaugural Legacy Teachers™ Luncheon

The University of Missouri School of Medicine Springfield Clinical Campus celebrated the important role that patients and their families play in the education of medical students at their Legacy Teachers™ luncheon on April 18 in Springfield, Missouri.
The Legacy Teachers™ program honors the role patients play in the education of University of Missouri medical students.

The University of Missouri School of Medicine celebrated a new milestone on Thursday, April 18, with the inaugural Legacy Teachers™ luncheon for the Springfield Clinical Campus. Now in its 14th year at the medical school campus in Columbia, the program has been extended to students and patients of southwest Missouri.

Medical students and administrators gathered at the University Plaza Hotel in Springfield to celebrate the important role that patients and their families play in the education of medical students.

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 — their Legacy Teacher.

At the first annual Legacy Teachers™ luncheon for the Springfield Clinical Campus, six medical students each honored their special teachers.

Melanie Pancoast, a third-year medical student, met her Legacy Teacher during her outpatient pediatrics rotation in Nixa. Pancoast’s Legacy Teacher was only three months old when she cared for him. She was able to build a relationship of trust and understanding with the parents of her young patient.

“As a future primary care provider, long-term patient relationships are what give me joy in medicine,” Pancoast said. “This has been a critical realization in my time as a medical student. My Legacy Teacher taught me that medicine goes beyond diagnosing and treating. I was able to listen to their concerns, answer their questions as I was able and offer them a hug for comfort. These are just as critical to patient care as prescribing medications.”

At the 14th annual Legacy Teachers™ luncheon in Columbia, held April 11, 35 Legacy Teachers were honored by their medical students.

Third-year medical student Katherine Meidl met her Legacy Teacher while serving as part of her family medicine rotation in rural Missouri. Her Legacy Teacher lived with a chronic illness, which taught Meidl how to understand the challenges, fears, and resilience that many patients face.

“My teacher challenged me to treat patients, not just diagnoses,” Meidl said. “Hearing my patient’s story taught me how important it is to individualize treatment plans to better care for those in my future practice.”

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. The Legacy Teachers program touches the first three years at MU, and annually 35 to 40% of the third-year class participates in this voluntary program.

Photos and video: Click here to download broadcast-quality video and high-resolution photos from the Legacy Teachers luncheons held in Columbia and Springfield.