The American Psychiatric Association (APA) and its Council on Medical Education and Lifelong Learning named Fernando Rodriguez-Villa, MD, as a recipient of the 2020‐2021 Nancy C.A. Roeske, MD, Certificate of Recognition for Excellence in Medical Student Education. Awarded each year, the certificate is given to “APA members who have made outstanding and sustaining contributions to medical student education.”
Rodriguez-Villa serves as medical director for McLean’s Short Term Unit North. He is also an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a faculty member at the MGH-McLean Adult Psychiatry Residency Training Program.
“There was tremendous enthusiasm regarding Fernando’s nomination for this award, and we are all gratified that the APA had the wisdom to bestow it upon him,” said Scott L. Rauch, MD, president and psychiatrist in chief at McLean. “His contributions to McLean, Harvard Medical School, and the broader community have been stellar for decades, and his leadership, humility, and mission commitment have never been more apparent than during this pandemic.”
“It’s nice to be appreciated,” Rodriguez-Villa said on receiving the honor. “I feel very fortunate to do this work, and it’s exciting to be able to continue doing it. I hope this recognition will encourage more folks to take on the education mission.”
For Rodriguez-Villa, the “education mission” involves balancing his clinical work at McLean with his role in teaching first- and second-year medical students at Harvard Medical School.
“I’ve been at McLean for 20-plus years, and it’s been a wonderful place to work, especially because education is very much valued here,” he said. “I’m grateful for the support I’ve received from McLean, allowing me to continue my teaching work.”
Rodriguez-Villa teaches medical students who are training in psychiatry as well as students who are heading into other specialties.
“It’s very gratifying to see how people become interested in the field of psychiatry and develop,” he said. “But I also enjoy teaching non-psychiatrists. I think we have something important to offer students heading into other fields, particularly in terms of the doctor-patient relationship.”
The APA announced Rodriguez-Villa’s award in January. The formal presentation will take place during the APA’s Annual Meeting, which will be held online from May 1 through May 3.
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