Students Honor Faculty with Aesculapian Awards

By April Wilkerson
Writer, OU College of Medicine

According to Greek and Roman history, Aesculapius epitomized the ideal physician. For centuries, physicians were described as followers of Aesculapius, who was one of the individuals given respect in the original Hippocratic Oath.

Today, students at the OU College of Medicine present their faculty members with Aesculapian Awards to honor their dedication to teaching the profession of medicine.

Ryan Brown, M.D., a faculty member in the Department of Pediatrics, receives an Aesculapian Award from the Class of 2016.

Faculty members and residents from the Oklahoma City campus receiving Aesculapian Awards were:

  • Sanjay Bidichandani, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., Department of Pediatrics: Class of 2019 Preclinical Faculty Award
  • Steve Blevins, M.D., Department of Medicine: Class of 2018 Preclinical Faculty Award
  • Alexander Raines, M.D., Department of Surgery: Class of 2017 Resident Award
  • A.J. Vaughn, M.D., Department of Neurology: Class of 2017 Faculty Award
  • Ryan Brown, M.D., Department of Pediatrics: Class of 2016 Faculty Award

Students also honored their peers with Podalirian Awards, named for Podalirius, a son of Aesculapius who also became a physician. The awards honor those students who especially exemplify excellence and compassion.

Ann Louise Olson, Ph.D., a faculty member in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, receives the Edgar W. Young Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2016 Aesculapian Awards.


Podalirian Awards on the Oklahoma City campus were presented to:

  • Conor McBride, Class of 2019
  • Jillian Lundie, Class of 2018
  • Jordan Stivers, Class of 2017
  • Alexandra Regens, Class of 2016

Students also presented the Edgar W. Young Lifetime Achievement Award to Ann Louise Olson, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Olson teaches several courses in the medical school curriculum and serves as co-director of the M.D./Ph.D. program, a partnership with the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation that educates students to become clinician-scientists.

Olson acknowledged her colleagues and former students who helped her grow from a novice educator to an experienced faculty member, as well as resources within the College of Medicine that foster teachers.

“Believe me, my first few years of teaching were truly a crisis,” Olson said during the banquet. “But opportunities for growth and change are everywhere; it just depends on your approach to crisis. Being honored with this award is amazing.”