During the UT Southwestern Medical School Commencement on June 4th Southwestern Medical Foundation presented the 2017 Ho Din Award, its most highly esteemed student honor, to Dr. Lauren Elizabeth Kolski.
“Southwestern Medical Foundation is honored to award this year’s Ho Din to Dr. Lauren Elizabeth Kolski,” said Kathleen Gibson, President and CEO of Southwestern Medical Foundation. “Lauren’s academic achievements—combined with the esteem she has earned from faculty and peers for her humble, impactful service—serve as an example for others. This award represents the qualities inherent in all great physicians, and Lauren epitomizes these qualities.”
The award was presented to Dr. Kolski by award-winning journalist and Southwestern Medical Foundation Trustee, Rena M. Pederson. Along with the Ho Din medal, Pederson presented Dr. Kolski with a commemorative certificate and a $10,000 scholarship.
“Lauren’s academic achievements – combined with the esteem she has earned from faculty and peers for her humble, impactful service – serve as an example for others. This award represents the qualities inherent in all great physicians, and Lauren epitomizes these qualities.”
Kathleen Gibson, President and CEO of Southwestern Medical Foundation
For more than 70 years, the prestigious Ho Din Award has been the foremost honor bestowed on UT Southwestern’s most outstanding senior or, in special circumstances, to a faculty member. The Ho Din Award was established in honor of Dr. Edward H. Cary to distinguish those who exemplified a deep concern for the welfare of others and a boundless commitment to alleviate suffering. Dr. Cary had a vision to advance medical education and “inspire a great citizenship to greater deeds.” The Ho Din Award distinguishes those who combine medical wisdom with human understanding at the highest level.
Since its formation, UT Southwestern has largely earned its prestigious reputation from its faculty's accomplishments and the success of its graduates. Ho Din Award recipients continue to personify the distinction that the founders of the award encouraged and anticipated. Several recipients have gone on to achieve high levels of distinction and success in their fields. One most notable recipient was Dr. Joseph L. Goldstein, the 1966 Ho Din Award winner who later became a recipient of the 1985 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine – and the first UTSW graduate to win a Nobel.
“There are no words for how honored and humbled I am to receive this award considering its rich legacy,” said Dr. Lauren Elizabeth Kolski. “In my class, there are so many people who have accomplished such unbelievable feats in community service, public health, and research – to be chosen to represent such an inspirational group is an incredible honor.”
It is important to note that the selection process for this award has always been a stringent one, with only 68 of more than 7,000 graduating seniors having been selected from 1944 to 1998. The first recipients of the Ho Din Award were eight physicians designated as the “Founders.” This group included Dr. Cary, who was noteworthy for leaving an indelible mark on the medical profession in Dallas and medical education in the state of Texas, as well as Dr. G.T. Caldwell, whose exceptional abilities were in part responsible for the institution’s early reputation as a medical school graced with noteworthy faculty.
“There are no words for how honored and humbled I am to receive this award considering its rich legacy.”
Dr. Lauren Kolski
Dr. Lauren Elizabeth Kolski is considered by many of her peers as a gifted and distinguished student with extraordinary clinical skills and acumen, and a deeply caring person. Having graduated magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University with a B.A. in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Spanish in 2012, Kolski was awarded with numerous honors, including National Merit Scholar and National AP Scholar – and was part of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.
Since matriculation, Dr. Kolski maintained an outstanding academic record while distinguishing herself through an unwavering commitment to the underserved community, as well as her leadership, teaching, and research activities. She served as a manager and regular volunteer at the Office of Global Health Agape Clinic and was instrumental in the expansion of clinic services. Dr. Kolski founded the Agape Women’s Clinic, which provides free well-woman exams to the community. As a member of the Gold Humanism Honor Society, she spearheaded a patient outreach program, Humans of Parkland, to allow pre-clinical students to learn more about patients and their life stories beyond their diseases.
“The most exciting part of UTSW by far has been my clinical experience at Parkland, and being able to care for and learn from the very diverse patient population there.”
Dr. Lauren Kolski
“The most exciting part of UTSW by far has been my clinical experience at Parkland, and being able to care for and learn from the very diverse patient population there,” said Dr. Kolski. “They taught me about the importance of empathy and communication, and cultural competence in establishing a working Doctor/Patient relationship, and I’m forever grateful to them.”
Dr. Kolski will soon begin a Transitional Year at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth before returning to UT Southwestern to complete a residency in Diagnostic Radiology.
"Lauren was one of those exceptional medical students who operated on the level of a very functional resident, even as an early third-year medical student,” said Dr. Richard Graham, a Dallas pediatrician who served as her attending physician. “She was instrumental in expanding our differential to discover a condition that was missed by the medical system for years. She had an excellent bedside manner, and she is poised to become an excellent physician.”
The rich tradition of the Ho Din Award serves to inspire and remind the next generation of physicians of the ideals esteemed by Southwestern Medical Foundation and its Founders. The Foundation’s growth is fueled by a commitment to excellence, a dedication to discovery, and a devotion to service which improves the health of our community.
Dr. Kolski on Winning the Ho Din Award
Dr. Kolski on Founding the Agape Women's Clinic
Dr. Kolski on What Attracted Her to Medicine
To watch Dr. Kolski first learn that she had won the 2017 Ho Din Award click here.
To listen to Dr. Kolski interviewed by Nick Carissimi on CBSDFW click here and scroll to the interview dated Sunday, May 28th.
To learn more about the Ho Din Award click here.