Gregory M. Polites, MD, associate professor of emergency medicine, is being honored for his skill and dedication in medical student education.
Polites earned his bachelor’s degree from Washington University in 1988, then completed his medical degree at the University of Illinois in 1996. After two-years of postgraduate training in diagnostic radiology at Saint Louis University, he came to Washington University for his emergency medicine residency and then joined the faculty in 2002.
He quickly became involved in medical education, first by revamping a fledgling undergraduate pre-medical program, now called MedPrep, and increasing its enrollment 10-fold to a current level of roughly 350 students per semester. He has led the program since 2005.
As course master of the Practice of Medicine I and III medical student courses since 2010, Polites has instituted broad changes to increase students’ time with patients and provide more personalized training and feedback. He has received the Course Master of the Year Award from the first year medical student class for the past three out of four years since serving in this role and last year received the Samuel R. Goldstein Leadership in Medical Education award, one of the most prestigious teaching awards in the School of Medicine. This year he was inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society as the chapter advisor for the School of Medicine. He has twice been nominated for both faculty induction into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society and for Humanism in Medicine Award. Considered an outstanding role model, he regularly mentors as many as 20 medical students each year through the Lowry-Moore Academic Society, serving as their four-year advisor.
As an assistant director of the emergency medicine residency from 2005 to 2010, he led preparation for the oral board exam and mentored residents to a 100 percent pass rate. In his division he has been awarded the Golden Stethoscope Award for Outstanding Clinical Teaching.
Internationally, Polites has advised Bulgaria’s Varna Medical University in establishing medical simulation training and is working with Washington University’s McDonnell International Scholars Academy and Office of Overseas Programs to help direct the Global MedPrep Scholars Program that gives premedical students the unique opportunity of spending their fall semester at the prestigious Fudan University in Shanghai, China.