Happy Holidays to Our Great Emeriti

CWRU School of Medicine Dean Pamela B. Davis, MD, PhD

It’s holiday party season and this weekend, I went to several. At one, I met a distinguished emeritus faculty member, Jim Sampliner, who has been battling cancer. The first thing he said to me was, “I finished my ninth cycle of chemo last week, so I’m ready to go back to substituting at least in the IQ groups!”  Jim has lost his hair but not his spirit.

It struck me that Jim is representative of many of our dedicated alumni and emeriti in his dedication to educating the next generation. For Jim, he’s a Cleveland product, the scion of one of the oldest families in Cleveland. He went to University School, then Yale, then Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, then did surgical residency at Mt. Sinai Hospital, MetroHealth Medical Center and the Cleveland Clinic. He has practiced independently, and ran surgical ICUs at Mt. Sinai, Hillcrest Hospital, and at the VAMC. At University School he dearly wanted to play football, but he was too small, so the school edged him into soccer – and later, after college, he became a professional player! Denied his first passion, he excelled anyway!  He has continued his relationship with University School, until very recently serving as the school physician. He’s an educator to the core, and his ties to Cleveland run broad and deep. 

Once he retired from active surgical practice, he began to participate in our curriculum as a small group facilitator . . . and like most of our emeritus professors, he is revered for his fund of knowledge, his breadth of experience, his accumulated wisdom, and his dedication to education. 

Emeriti form a strong cohort among our preclinical educators. They are patient, knowledgeable, and kind, and our students value their insight and celebrate their excellence. Last year, an emeritus professor, Dave McCoy, won the Ricanati Award for small group teaching. These faculty continue to give back long after the employment relationship with the School or its affiliates no longer exists. They add great value to our programs.

So, to Jim and all of our emeriti, thank you! We appreciate your work and the opportunity to learn from you. We appreciate your dedication. We value you greatly!

And we wish you the happiest of holidays!