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A Mentor for Generations: Celebrating the Legacy of Stuart Levin, MD

Department of Medicine residency program director leadershipIn 1986 Richard Abrams, MD, associate program director of Internal Medicine Residency at Rush, was on the brink of his residency training. He asked his father — a Chicago surgeon — who he thought were the best doctors in the city to work with: Stuart Levin, MD, was at the top of the list.

A leader at Rush for more than 45 years, Levin (pictured at right with the current Department of Medicine residency program director leadership) was appointed the first-ever director of the Section of Infectious Diseases in 1969 and later chaired the Department of Internal Medicine from 1991 until his retirement in 2012. A nationally renowned physician and teacher, Levin was appointed the first James R. Lowenstein Professor of Medicine in 1986 and named to the Ralph C. Brown Chair of Internal Medicine in 1995.

Recently awarded the 2016 Trustee Medal, Rush’s highest honor, Levin has been recognized for his longtime support of the Medical Center’s mission and dedication to Chicago and beyond.

“Dr. Levin is my professional father,” Abrams said. “When I think about his influence, his kindness and knowledge, I hope that everyone has a Dr. Levin in their lives — someone who teaches you how to genuinely treat and care for people.”

Enhancing the past, present and future student experience

The legacy he built at Rush, including the countless medical students and colleagues he mentored, was honored in 2008 when these same mentees — many of whom are current leaders at Rush — helped establish the Stuart Levin, MD, Presidential Chair of Rush University. Providing financial support to Rush Medical College students, the scholarship fund recently helped alleviate tuition costs for 14 medical students.

As one of the only chairs funded primarily by contributions from faculty and colleagues for scholarship support, the fund’s unique origin continues to enhance the student experience at Rush, much as Levin’s legacy has done.

Scott Hasler, MD, program director of Internal Medicine Residency at Rush, recalls Levin — late in his career — actively mentoring him as a junior faculty member; something Levin said he often wished he’d been better at over the years. Given the number of individuals for whom he was a role model, Levin’s self-identified inadequacy surprised Hasler. “He was always so unassuming and generous of his time, and I knew how truly special that opportunity was to spend meaningful time with a physician and Medical Center executive of his caliber.”

“He had the ability to really bring out the best in people,” Abrams said. “Back then, Rush had no I CARE values yet — just Dr. Levin and the strength of his substance and character, helping fashion the Medical Center into what it is today.”

Join the Rush family in carrying forward Levin’s legacy through donations to the Stuart Levin, MD, Presidential Chair of Rush University.

Check out more photos from the Department of Internal Medicine’s end-of-the-year Awards Grand Rounds, held on May 18, including Levin and his many past mentees.