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Denver Physician Receives National Honor for Teaching Excellence from the American Academy of Family Physicians
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 28, 2006
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237 Ext. 5204
Illige, assistant professor at the Rose Family Medicine Residency Center at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center since 1997, was one of four family physicians who received Exemplary Teaching Awards, which recognize AAFP members who have excellent teaching skills and who have implemented outstanding programs or developed innovative teaching models. The awards are given in three categories: full-time, part-time and volunteer. Illige received the Exemplary Teaching Award in the category of part-time faculty member.
Illige was instrumental in the development of Colorado Personalized Education for Physicians (CPEP), a nationally recognized nonprofit organization that provides personalized physician evaluation, assessment and education. She served as CPEP’s medical director until 2005 and now acts as a senior consultant. In the more than ten years she has been working with the organization, Illige has used her understanding of resident education approaches to help design and enhance programs targeting the specific needs of practicing physician. Under her leadership, the organization has achieved both national and international recognition.
A natural extension of her work in physician evaluation, Illige helped refine the educational prescription plans used at Rose Family Medicine Residency, championing an innovative and personalized way of evaluating residents’ progress. As part of the program, she is actively involved in the ongoing scheduled evaluation of every resident, providing individualized “teaching plans” and customizing the program goals and objectives to their specific learning styles and patterns. Illige’s structured, personalized approach to assessment helps identify strengths and needs, and provides residents an opportunity for self-reflection and insight.
“Martha is able to communicate growth and development to residents better than anyone I have ever worked with,” said Colleen Conry, M.D., professor and vice-chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.
In addition to her role in overseeing CPEP’s assessment and education process, Illige has also had the opportunity to leverage her expertise to educate medical boards and hospital leaders around the country about physician performance. She also developed and co-taught a successful national seminar, The Problem Physician, which was offered in conjunction with The Greeley Company, a respected educational resource for hospital physician leaders.
Perhaps more important than any of her accomplishments is Illige’s dedication to mentoring students, residents and young physicians. Prior to joining the Rose Family Medicine Residency as core faculty in 1997, she worked for many years with the program’s resident support groups, earning a reputation as a valued teacher and mentor. She has since also earned the distinction of most requested advisor. Her expertise in the areas of women’s health, comprehensive family care, natural childbirth and alternative therapy make her well-respected among faculty and residents.
Illige has been a role model for many attempting to find balance and harmony in the demanding and often stressful life of a physician. In 1992, she co-founded the Balance Conference, a continuing medical education course aimed at helping women in medicine by addressing body-mind-spirit concepts. The course, which has been offered for nearly a decade, is attended annually by more than 100 women physicians from across the country. The 16th annual Balance Conference on Healing, Gender and Diversity was held just last month.
In addition to her work as an educator and consultant, Illige concurrently maintains an active practice within the residency clinic, seeing patients most mornings. She is highly involved with her patients – caring for them in the clinic, in their homes and in the hospital.
Brian S. Bacak, M.D., medical director of the Rose Family Medicine Center, wrote of Illige, “Martha exudes a love for being a family physician that encompasses everything she does. She is not afraid to share her personal emotions, offer forth suggestions that others may discount, or humanize the clinic and residency environment when, at times, it might be easier to hide in anonymity. These traits make her a trusted and respected mentor and colleague.”
Illige earned her undergraduate degree from Pomona College, Claremont, Calif., and her medical degree from the University of California San Diego. She graduated from the Rose Family Medicine Residency in 1980. She is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine.
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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 110,600 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.
Approximately one in four of all office visits are made to family physicians. That is 240 million office visits each year — nearly 87 million more than the next largest medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.
To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.FamilyDoctor.org.
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