2006 Mentor-of-the-Year Award Winner, Abass Alavi, MD

At the recent ACNP Annual Meeting in Ft. Lauderdale, Abass Alavi, MD, was nominated as the Best Mentor of the Year by one of his previous nuclear medicine residents, J. Q. Michael Yu, MD, director of nuclear medicine at the Fox Chase Cancer Center.

Nomination Letter from J. Q. Michael Yu, MD

First, I would like to say that it is a great idea to have a mentorship award for the recognition of outstanding mentors in the field of nuclear medicine. If I may, I would like to take this opportunity to nominate Dr. Abass Alavi as the first recipient of the award.

Dr. Alavi is well recognized in the field of nuclear medicine. I have been one of the many people under his instruction and supervision for the past three years. I went to see Dr. Alavi in the fall of 2002 when my previous program was closing. He showed me his training program and talked to me about the expectations for an individual in my position. I was very impressed with the high level of the program. My respect for his work has continued to escalate as I have worked with him at the Hospital of University of Pennsylvania.

The nuclear medicine program at Hospital of University of Pennsylvania (HUP) is the biggest nuclear medicine program in the United States. When I began my residency, there were seven trainees. Since that time, the number of trainees has grown. There is a continual rotation of radiology residents in the program. In addition, there are international scholars who do research and collaborate on different projects. Presently there are ten scholars from various parts of the world who are participating in the department. This is not counting the numerous medical students who are involved as well.

Dr. Alavi is an outstanding mentor. In this program, the quality of clinical training brings opportunities to learn about many procedures; the research opportunities, publications, and teaching opportunities give each person a chance to grasp many aspects of the field of nuclear medicine; furthermore, there are many interdepartmental and intradepartmental collaborations in which one may participate. In brief, a dull moment where Dr. Alavi does not help his trainees to have a joyful learning experience is nonexistent. The amount of time he spends with his residents, fellows, and research scholars is remarkable. He is always there, rain or shine, holidays, weekends, and late evening hours. My personal experience is that superior learning is gained by repetition and practice. I have enjoyed my rotations and gained enormous experience in all aspects of nuclear medicine.

Along with the heavy focus Dr. Alavi puts on clinical studies, he also places a high emphasis on research. Each and every trainee has his or her own projects and has the opportunity to collaborate with other departments. Dr. Alavi encourages new ideas and is determined to follow through on the ideas so that they may come to fruition. He has been the biggest contributor to the SNM annual meetings for the past several years. My involvement in various research projects has resulted in the reception of several awards and publication in a number of peer-reviewed journals.

The effects of his guidance on my career and personal life are multifaceted. Due to his superior training methods, I was able to land an outstanding career opportunity. Also, Dr. Alavi has helped me become a better person, as I have developed better medical habits. Furthermore, he has allowed me to set higher goals for achievement in my professional career. For that, I am forever grateful to Dr. Alavi. Abass Alavi, MD