On August 4th, W. Fred Miser, MD, MA, FAAFP, received the 2012 Family Educator of the Year Award from the Ohio Academy of Family Medicine (OAFM). Dr. Miser currently serves as a professor of family medicine and is the director of the OSU College of Medicine’s Family Medicine Residency Program. The OAFP annually presents this award to a family medicine educator who meets and exceeds the criteria of being a capable teacher of family medicine, successful administrator/practitioner, productive researcher/scholar, and inspiring leader. Candidates must also have 10 years post-residency (or equivalent) experience, be actively caring for patients, and be a member of OAFP.
The groundwork for this award was laid over the course of Dr. Miser’s 26-year career practicing family medicine and researching diabetes, health literacy, and cardiovascular disease prevention. After receiving an MD from OSU College of Medicine, Dr. Miser – a 15 year veteran of the U.S. Army who retired as a Lieutenant Colonel – spent his residency at Eisenhower Army Medical Center in Fort Gordon, GA. As part of his residency program, he served two years in a faculty development fellowship at the Madigan Army Medical Center in Fort Lewis, WA.
“The Army shaped my life as a teacher and, during the fellowship, I learned how to teach, administer, lead and research,” said Dr. Miser. He added, “I have a passion for teaching, and clinical teaching in particular, and the Army offered a lot of opportunities for teaching positions.” One of those opportunities presented itself to Dr. Miser in the capacity of director of residency for a medical center in Hawaii, a role that he would eventually fill again for the College.
While Dr. Miser’s passion for teaching and his residents extend back to his days in the Army, it has only grown deeper and more refined during his thirteen years at the OSU College of Medicine. In 2009, he was named director of the College’s Family Medicine Residency Program, assuming leadership of a treasured program that has proved a perfect fit for his twin passions of teaching and family medicine. “We have a great program at Ohio State. When you look at our program, we have an academic medical center and all the resources that come with that, and then we also have University Hospital East, a community hospital where residents can practice their skills and provide care to the community. It is the best of both worlds, and it makes us unique among residency programs,” said Dr. Miser.
The impact of this award is not at all lost on Dr. Miser, as it has given him time to consider not only the students he has previously mentored and educated, but also the teachers that helped shape and drive his passion for family medicine and education. He accepts this award with pride, humility, and the dignity to be expected from a man who has devoted his life to mentoring students so that they, too, can provide top flight care in the arena of family medicine.
Dr. Miser, in pondering the award, gave a nod to his colleagues, both at the College and in other family medicine programs, noting that there many great teachers in his field who share his passion. And that seems a fitting thought, as it is his passion that surfaces as the most significant and obvious trait of Dr. Miser’s approach to his residents. Notably, when asked a final thought on what this award means to him personally, he said, “I’m touched by the award. It’s an honor to be recognized for efforts over the years, and I feel fortunate to be honored for a passion of mine -- teaching.”