July Teachers Spotlight

Dan Sewell, M.D.Dan Sewell, M.D., Clinical Professor

“I am delighted to have been selected for this month’s “Teacher Spotlight.” To be joining a group of such talented and dedicated teachers previously features in this column fills me with a mix of honor and humility.” < /br> "I feel very fortunate that my academic career unfolded in a way that has allowed teaching to be a major part of each work day. I feel even more fortunate to be teaching in a setting where I am surrounded by students and trainees who represent a wide spectrum of professions and disciplines and, who, with very rare exceptions, are both very bright and very motivated to learn. It seems like hardly a week goes by without me saying out loud at least once, “Great students inspire great teaching.” Teaching and mentoring occurs best when it is done in a supportive, individualized and interactive way. The student-teacher relationship is definitely best when both sides are investing equal amounts of interest, energy, enthusiasm, perspectives, view points and information. " < /br> "On a societal and community level, I am especially grateful to be teaching and mentoring in a setting where I am able to help correct some of the myths and negative stereotypes that still exist regarding what life is like for those who are older. The world needs more clinicians who are able to provide high-quality health care for the rapidly growing number of older individuals. I openly admit that two of my top goals as a teacher and mentor are: 1) to interest early career colleagues in educational and training experiences which impart state-of-the-art knowledge and skills about how to care for older patients and 2) to increase the number of early career colleagues who are committed to geriatric-focused clinical and research careers." < /br> "On a personal level, being a teacher is one of the most important ways that I am able to address what Erik Erikson identified as the major development issue of his seventh stage of human development: generativity vs. stagnation. As I grow older, I am becoming increasingly aware that my body has an expiration date. Accepting my mortality has been and continues to be facilitated by knowing that my efforts as a teacher and mentor may help my ideas, knowledge and values achieve some degree of immortality even though my body will not."