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Professor of the Year Award

The Professor of the Year Award has been awarded each year since 1931 by the graduating class of The Ohio State University College of Medicine to a faculty member who has demonstrated excellence and commitment to teaching and in mentoring and serving as a role model to the class. This once-in-a-lifetime award is the highest honor that a faculty member can earn from the graduating class. Portraits of all the past winners are displayed in the west lobby of Meiling Hall.
 The Mary Beth Fontana, MD — Gary Wise, MD Endowment was established in July 2005
by Dr. Mary Beth Fontana to provide an annual award to the faculty member selected as the Professor of the Year by the graduating medical student class.

Professor of the Year 2018

José A. Bazán, DO

John Davis POY 2014.jpg

Each year, The Ohio State University College of Medicine gives its graduating students the opportunity to nominate a member of the faculty who has significantly impacted their training. The Professor of the Year Award is the highest teaching award given within the College of Medicine and marks a career of excellence in medical education.

This year’s Professor of the Year Award recipient is Dr. José A. Bazán.

Dr. Bazán is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Division of Infectious Disease of the Department of Internal Medicine at The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. To medical students, he is revered for being the leader of the “Host Defense” block–the last and arguably most challenging preclinical block held at the end of the second year of medical school. 

Dr. Bazán’s path to medical education began in his hometown of San Juan, Puerto Rico, where his mother was a dedicated fourth-grade teacher for more than forty years and instilled in him a passion for curiosity and learning an early age. While the transition from student to teacher seemed natural, his interest in teaching was sparked while he was a medical student at Ohio University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine. After Dr. Bazán was unable to describe the different types of renal tubular acidosis as a third-year medical student on rounds, a fourth-year medical student on the service patiently spent two hours teaching him the concept. The only compensation the fourth-year student expected was that Dr. Bazán would pay it forward to the next generation of medical students. The then third-year medical student Bazán promised he would and carried this promise with him as an Internal Medicine Resident at Akron City Hospital, an Infectious Disease Fellow at The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, and now, as an Assistant Professor at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. 

Dr. Bazán has lived up to that promise and deserves this award for his outstanding dedication to medical education. As the Host Defense block leader, his enthusiasm and passion for teaching was palpable in each lecture and team-based learning exercise. As he walked the stairs of the lecture halls in Meiling, medical students watched his every move–captivated by his charismatic teaching style. Dr. Bazán strikes the rare combination of being a skilled, compassionate, and invested educator. In a nomination statement, a student of the Class of 2018 highlighted Dr. Bazán’s “incessant desire to share his passion and understanding of infectious disease” which “made one of the most challenging units in the medical school curriculum engaging and rewarding.” As a further testament to his passion and character, Dr. Bazán says he takes pride not only in having the tremendous opportunity to teach medical students but also the ability to learn from medical students how to become a better teacher with each passing year.

Outside of the hospital, Dr. Bazán enjoys spending time with his wife Sara and children, 11-year-old Diego and 8-year-old Carolina. He takes pride in being the loudest parent cheering in the stands for Diego’s basketball and Carolina’s soccer games. 

Thank you, Dr. Bazán, for your commitment and passion to medical education. We are privileged to have had you as our professor. On behalf of The Ohio State University College of Medicine Class of 2018, we are honored to present Dr. Bazán with the 2018 Professor of the Year Award. 

Taylor Lynn Koenig
Class of 2018 President, Student Council