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Teaching Awards

Photo by Anthony DeCarlo

The Center for Medical Education oversees the Bohmfalk Prizes, the Tow Humanism Awards, and the Feinstein Award, which are presented at the Yale School of Medicine (YSM) MD Commencement. Each of these awards and additional details about the nomination and selection process are described in more detail below.

Teaching Awards

Charles W. Bohmfalk Prizes for Teaching in Basic Sciences and Clinical Sciences

Established in 1989 under the terms of the Alice Bohmfalk Charitable Trust. Prestigious teaching prizes will be awarded annually to individuals who have made out¬standing contributions to the teaching program, one in the basic sciences and one in the clinical sciences.

Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award

Presented by The Arnold P. Gold Foundation. Established in 1998, by the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey and the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, to honor the faculty member and graduating medical student who demonstrates the highest standard of compassion and sensitivity in their interactions with patients.

Alvan R. Feinstein Award

Established in 2005 by Dr. Feinstein’s widow, Lili Sentz Feinstein. Presented to a Yale University School of Medicine faculty member chosen as the outstanding teacher of the year of clinical skills, who has been nominated by their department chair and selected by a committee of faculty, staff, and students.


Eligible to make a nomination:

  • Those eligible to make a nomination for the Bohmfalk Prizes and Tow Awards are current Yale MD and MD-PhD students and faculty members described as Lecturer, Instructor, Associate Research Scientist, Research Scientist, Senior Research Scientist, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor.
  • Nominations for the Feinstein Award come only from YSM clinical department chairs.

Eligible to be nominated:

  • The Bohmfalk Prizes recognizes one faculty member who teaches in the basic sciences and one faculty member who teaches in the clinical sciences.
  • The Tow Awards recognizes one faculty member and one graduating medical student for their demonstrated compassion and sensitivity in interacting with patients as observed by medical students and faculty colleagues.
  • The Feinstein Award recognizes a faculty from a clinical department who demonstrates outstanding teaching of clinical skills to medical students.

Selection Committee

The Teaching Awards Selection Committee is chaired by the Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning and is comprised of YSM staff and faculty, previous award/prize winners, and at least one student representative from each MD class as well as MD-PhD students.

Selection Process

The Center for Medical Education keeps all nomination materials confidential throughout the process and prepares a report of the nominations for all awards/prizes. The Selection Committee reviews the nomination report and deliberates at their meeting selecting a winner for each award/prize. The winners are notified and invited to the YSM MD Commencement and they are requested to keep their award confidential until presentation at the ceremony.

General Timeline

Late January or February Nominations are open for all awards
March or Early April Selection Committee meets to select winners of each award
April Notification sent to award winners inviting them to YSM MD Commencement
May Award winners are announced at YSM MD Commencement
June or July Letters for nominees not selected as award winners are prepared and distributed

Winner Recognition

There is a monetary prize associated with each award. The Bohmfalk Prizes and Tow Award also include the addition of the winner’s name to a plaque recognizing all prior award/prize winners housed in the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library.

Faculty Nominee Recognition

Each year we have a total of four faculty award/prize winners selected from a tremendous number of nominations. It is a significant honor to be nominated and we recognize and value each of the outstanding faculty members who were nominated but not selected. Once the winners are announced at YSM MD Commencement, the Center for Medical Education sends a personalized letter to those nominees who were not selected stating the award(s) they were nominated for as well as the nomination comment(s) that were written about them. These letters are shared with the YSM dean, medical education leadership and the nominee’s department.

Past Recipients

Past recipients for each award/prize are listed on the Office of Academic & Professional Development website.
Note: This list includes other faculty awards that are not overseen by the Center for Medical Education.