RASHIDA A. KHAKOO, MD, MACP, FIDSA, FSHEA, is the recipient of IDSA’s 2016 Clinical Teacher Award. This award honors a career dedicated to teaching clinical infectious diseases to fellows, residents, and medical students and recognizes excellence as a clinician and motivation to teach the next generation of physicians.
A master clinician, teacher, and role model over her 40 years at the West Virginia University (WVU) School of Medicine, Dr. Khakoo has exemplified the best qualities of the ID discipline: a fierce intelligence, an absolute focus on the patient, and tireless dedication in the service of her patients and students. Considered the gold standard by which her students and peers judge their own clinical skills and commitment to the art and science of medicine, she has had an incalculable impact on thousands of students, house staff, and practicing physicians who have extended her teaching throughout the state of West Virginia and beyond.
A professor in the Department of Medicine, Dr. Khakoo has held multiple leadership and committee positions at WVU, where she joined the faculty in 1976. She currently serves as chief of the Section of Infectious Diseases and assistant vice president for faculty development. In the latter role, she has developed a highly innovative education program for faculty development across her institution’s multiple schools that has become a model for other institutions.. These efforts include her development of a successful summer institute that brings faculty from around the U.S. to WVU to participate in lectures, small group discussions, and interactive sessions focused on faculty development.
With progress notes that resemble book chapters, and leaving no petri dish unobserved, no -ray not reviewed, and no body part unexamined, Dr. Khakoo’s thoughtful and thorough practice of medicine has served as a powerful and lasting example for students and colleagues alike. By challenging students to think critically and by continuously demonstrating the importance of the history and physical examination in arriving at a diagnosis, she has instilled in students her own love of medicine and motivated them to learn even more. Her influence has extended to students and faculty in all 5 schools of health sciences at WVU. With few ID specialists in West Virginia, Dr. Khakoo also fields hundreds of phone calls each year from physicians in practice seeking advice on difficult cases.
Dr. Khakoo has received numerous awards for clinical and teaching excellence at the department, school, and university level. These include the WVU School of Medicine Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award (1980-1981) and Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award (1995), the WVU Department of Medicine Outstanding Faculty Award (1989, 1991, 1992), and the WVU Foundation’s Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award (1995-1996), among others. In 2006, she was elected to mastership in the American College of Physicians, which honored her with the organization’s Laureate Award in 1994. She has received Chancellor’s Award for Mentoring in 2014. She has published more than 50 articles in peer-reviewed publications and authored multiple book chapters.
Dr. Khakoo earned her medical degree from Makerere University Medical School in Kampala, Uganda, and completed her internship and residency at George Washington University Hospital, followed by a fellowship in infectious diseases at the University of Florida, before joining the faculty at WVU, where she was one of the founding members of the infectious diseases section.
Over the course of her long career, Dr. Khakoo has maintained a laser-like focus on the needs of her patients and students, continuously teaching and creating a lasting and far-reaching legacy. IDSA is pleased to add the 2016 Clinical Teacher Award to her long list of achievements.
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