This award celebrates clinicians who demonstrate exceptional commitment and effectiveness as a mentor to health care providers. Recipients are recognized not only for their clinical excellence, but also for their willingness to share time and expertise as they guide, nurture, and mentor medical students, residents, clinical staff, or other providers and colleagues.

The 2018 Winners:

Jeff McKinney, M.D., Ph.D.

Pediatrics – Infectious Disease
Vice Chair for Education, Department of Pediatrics

As the Pediatric Residency Training Program Director and Pediatric Department Vice Chair for Education at UTSW and Director of Medical Education at Children’s Health, Dr. McKinney is praised by colleagues for his devotion to developing physicians with an individualized approach and providing an unprecedented level of counseling and guidance. Dr. McKinney is actively involved in the Graduate Medical Education Committee (GMEC) and works with multiple initiatives supporting the personal growth, well-being, and career development of physicians. His enthusiasm, curiosity, and awe of scientific discovery are contagious, and his ability to make each mentee feel appreciated and important makes him an outstanding leader and mentor. 

A former Rhodes Scholar and a graduate of the University of Iowa College of Medicine, Dr. McKinney received his residency and fellowship training at Yale and joined UT Southwestern Medical Center in 2009. He holds the Harry W. Bass, Jr. Professorship in Pediatric Education.

In his words: “I’ve been fortunate to work with so many colleagues here who are truly committed to UT Southwestern’s mission of generational cultivation. My job is a pleasure and this award is an honor.”

Larissa Velez, M.D.

Emergency Medicine – General Emergency Medicine
Program Director, Emergency Medicine Training Program

As a leader of the UTSW Emergency Medicine Residency Program since 2002, Dr. Velez has established a foundational building block to the success of medical students, residents, fellows, and faculty. Colleagues praise Dr. Velez for her ability to see young clinicians as people first and professionals in training second. She demonstrates a genuine interest in helping others achieve their goals, and her endless dedication to the residents and junior faculty in the Emergency Medicine Department has earned her the Department’s Teaching Excellence Award not just once, but three times. An excellent mentor and role model, Dr. Velez was also included in D Magazine’s Best Doctors list in Emergency Medicine in 2017 and 2018. 

She attended the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine and completed her internship and residency programs in emergency medicine at Puerto Rico Medical Center. She moved to Dallas in 1999 to train in toxicology. She holds the Michael Wainscott, M.D. Professorship in Emergency Medicine.

In her words: “Every day I am honored to work alongside incredibly talented and dedicated students, residents, and faculty colleagues. When I joined UTSW 19 years ago, I could not have dreamed of such a fulfilling career. The new Emergency Medicine Residency Program had many challenges, but also a tremendous amount of energy and the drive to improve every single day. Today, I see an extremely successful program filled with people that give their 100 percent every day. I am proud to be part of the program and a member of the UTSW community.”