OU College of Medicine Presents Master Teacher Award

OU College of Medicine Presents Master Teacher Award

Published: Monday, July 24, 2023

Hanna Abdallah Saadah, M.D., an emeritus professor of medicine at the OU College of Medicine, has been honored with the 2023 Stanton L. Young Master Teacher Award.

The honor, awarded since 1983, recognizes OU College of Medicine faculty members for excellence in teaching. It was established through an endowment made by the late Oklahoma City businessman Stanton L. Young. The award comes with a $15,000 cash prize, one of the largest in the nation for medical teaching excellence.

“Dr. Saadah has had a distinguished career in medicine, and he continues giving back to his profession by sharing his knowledge and experience with medical students,” said John P. Zubialde, M.D., executive dean of the OU College of Medicine. “Dr. Saadah is passionate about medical education and medical humanities, and he is widely respected by our students and faculty.”

Saadah is active as a volunteer faculty member, teaching medical students on the geriatrics selective rotation and leading preclinical ethics and humanities courses. In a nomination letter for the Stanton L. Young Master Teacher Award, a student wrote: “Dr. Saadah is the true definition of a master teacher. One of the things that makes him such a great teacher is his dedication to being a student himself. He has made it his mission to share as much knowledge as possible with his students, and it is beyond evident in his interactions with them.”

Another student said: “Dr. Saadah is still teaching and working with extremely high levels of efficiency at an age 15-plus years after other physicians choose to retire. He embodies everything a master teacher should be. If there were a picture next to the dictionary definition of ‘master teacher,’ it would without a doubt be Dr. Saadah. I hope to be half the physician and teacher he is one day.”

Saadah earned his medical degree from the American University of Beirut and completed his residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in infectious diseases at the OU Health Sciences Center. He initiated the Adolescent Medicine Program at the OU Health Sciences Center in 1975 and directed it until 1977. During his career, his practice also has focused on internal medicine, headaches, psychopharmacology, infectious diseases, and sleep medicine. He continues to serve in an emeritus role at the OU Health Sciences Center and at the VA Medical Center.

He has made several medical discoveries during his career, including developing the occipital nerve block procedure for the treatment of headaches. He has published 31 scientific articles, 77 lay medical articles and more than 100 humanities articles. He also has published five poetry books, four novels and two books of short stories.

He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and a member of the American Medical Association, American Society of Microbiology, Oklahoma County Medical Society, Oklahoma State Medical Association, American Pain Society and the Infectious Disease Society of America, among others. He has been honored with numerous awards, including the 2019 Rhinehart Medical Service Award from the Oklahoma County Medical Society; the Aesculapian Award from the OU College of Medicine Class of 2019 for excellence in volunteer teaching; and the 2020 Friend of Medicine Award from the OU College of Medicine Alumni Association.