For more than 80 years, Southwestern Medical Foundation has joined with community leaders to provide the resources and tools to support the medical innovators of today and tomorrow.

The Ho Din Award is the most prestigious honor a graduating UT Southwestern medical student can receive and is presented each year to an individual who embodies the qualities inherent in all great physicians – medical wisdom, human understanding, and compassion. Priyanka Gaur, M.D., M.P.H., (2020) and Natasha Houshmand, M.D., (2021) are both past Ho Din Award winners who are now physician residents at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The Ho Din Award is much more than a scholarship; it represents the rigorous and patient-centric training that UT Southwestern instills in all its students. The Award is a reminder of the type of physician that UT Southwestern’s medical students aspire to be during and after their training.

In anticipation of the announcement of the 2022 Ho Din Award recipient, Southwestern Medical Foundation re-connected with Drs. Houshmand and Gaur to get an update on where they are in their careers and how the Ho Din Award and UT Southwestern Medical School helped shape them as physicians.

Honored to Care for Her Patients and Community: Dr. Natasha Houshmand

While at UT Southwestern, Dr. Houshmand maintained an outstanding academic record, achieving a perfect GPA of 4.0, and she was selected into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society (AOA) as a junior medical student.  She was nominated by her peers and selected for membership to the Gold Humanism Honor Society, which reflected her superb interpersonal skills and compassion for others. Today, she practices the defining qualities of Ho Din while completing her residency at Johns Hopkins. Her interests are in trauma surgery and how it intersects with public health, and she is enjoying how her residency program aligns with a number of opportunities to improve the quality and safety of patients.

Read More

It has been an absolutely incredible year with a lot of growth and new experiences, and I don’t think I would have felt nearly as prepared if it weren’t for the incredible clinical experiences I had during my time at UT Southwestern and the immense support I received from Southwestern Medical Foundation.

Natasha Houshmand, M.D.

Making an Impact on Women’s Health: Dr. Priyanka Gaur

During medical school, UT Southwestern faculty and residents describe Dr. Gaur’s diagnostic and intellectual skills as exceptional, but even more impressive was her compassion for patients and her character as a truly aspirational professional. Dr. Gaur is currently an obstetrics and gynecology resident at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She continues carrying the Ho Din spirit forward in her day-to-day interactions with faculty, residents, staff, and patients. She believes her training at UT Southwestern not only sparked her interest in public health but also provided her with the humility to address different health care issues. 

Read More

The Ho Din Award…I still think about it every day. It centers me when residency gets challenging, or at the end of a long call shift. It keeps me whole. The mantras of compassion and knowledge really drive me and still motivate me in my patient interactions.

Priyanka Gaur, M.D., M.P.H., 2020 Ho Din Award recipient

Looking Ahead

Southwestern Medical Foundation is proud to support these two rising stars and continues celebrating their tremendous contributions to public health. We look forward to announcing this year’s Ho Din Award recipient in early May, who will no doubt continue this legacy of exceptional leadership and service.