Andrew Olson, MD, FACP, FAAP, an associate professor in the Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota Medical School, has been awarded The Herbert S. Waxman Award for Outstanding Medical Student Educator by the American College of Physicians (ACP) for his dedication to the advancement of education. 

The award was established in 2003 in honor of the late Herbert S. Waxman, the former ACP senior vice president for Medical Knowledge and Education. The Herbert S. Waxman Award recognizes ACP members who have demonstrated a similar calling to education.

“Regarding what this means to me, I am incredibly grateful to do this job that I love every day, and to be recognized in this way is truly humbling,” Dr. Olson said. “As I reflect on my journey, there were teachers along the way that inspired and challenged me to always strive to learn and be better, all while loving what I do.”

Dr. Olson has dedicated much of his career to the advancement of methods for teaching about the diagnostic process and diagnostic reasoning in clinical care. He is the senior director of the Aquifer Diagnostic Excellence course, which is working to create a virtual learning experience for medical students to learn about diagnosis and diagnostic errors. He also is involved in multiple national and international projects to better understand and improve the diagnostic process. 

Dr. Olson shared that he would like to dedicate this award to the late Dr. Wesley Miller. Dr. Miller was the head of the Department of Medicine at the U of M Medical School during the time of Dr. Olson’s residency and chief residency, which he completed in 2012.

“He was the best doctor I have ever known,” Dr. Olson said. “Dr. Miller taught me to cross-country ski, approach anemia, present a case at a conference and how to teach about heart murmurs. Dr. Miller had a quiet brilliance that made us all better. Although his well-deserved retirement was cut short by cancer, in my visits with him during his last months, he told me that he was proud of me, and those are words I will treasure and strive to live up to for the rest of my career.”

Dr. Olson stated that although there is typically an in-person ceremony at the national ACP meeting, this year, he plans to be celebrating by teaching on the wards at the M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Medical Center. 

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