For one College of Medicine leader, caring for the smallest patients and educating the next generation of physicians is a dream come true.
From a young age, Eugene Mowad, M.D., vice dean of the College of Medicine and clinical professor of pediatrics, knew his future would lead him to medicine.
After earning an M.D. from the University of Pittsburgh and completing a residency at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Dr. Mowad left Aliquippa, Pennsylvania — a small steel town along the Ohio River — for another small steel town — Youngstown, Ohio.
Dr. Mowad found familiarity in Youngstown. It was there where earned his first “real” job at the former Tod Children’s Hospital.
He then transitioned to Akron Children’s Hospital, where he’s spent the past decade as a pediatric hospitalist. Now Dr. Mowad spends 20 percent of his time as a hospitalist at Akron Children’s Hospital and the remaining 80 percent as the College of Medicine’s vice dean.
A student-centered career
From training pediatric residents at Akron Children’s Hospital to educating first- through fourth-year College of Medicine students, teaching others holds a special place in Dr. Mowad’s heart.
“The students are why I come here every day,” Dr. Mowad shares.
He notes, a large portion of his job is consumed with policies and contracts — things he refers to as the “dry stuff” — but says it is all worth it.
“It’s not the love of reading policies. It’s because I know that those policies are playing some role in making the students’ lives better and that will make them better doctors someday,” he says.
As the College of Medicine’s vice dean, Dr. Mowad says one must be a jack of all trades.
“I could be dealing with a student at one moment, be dealing with general counsel the next, then minutes later be dealing with an issue at a hospital,” he shares.
Educating the next generation
In the meantime, Dr. Mowad puts being an educator first and foremost.
He teaches first-year students about the social determinants of health, second-year students about pediatric gastroenterology, guides third-year students through pediatric clerkships, and inspires fourth-year students through electives based on novels and cooking.
Dr. Mowad’s dedication and persistence comes from his students. “They are so enthusiastic and full of hope,” he says.
“Sometimes you look at health care and the things that are happening in the country, and there’s a lot of negativity, but when I work with students and see their enthusiasm for the future; that’s what motivates me.”