Lewis Landsberg Society: Providing Camaraderie and Support for All Medicine Residents, Fellows, and Alumni
This story was published in the April 2023 issue of The Philanthropist, a newsletter for supporters and friends of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Read the whole issue here.
Pictured Above: At the 2017 Landsberg Society Weekend Update, from left to right: John Pandolfino, MD, '97, '01 GME, chief of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in the Department of Medicine and the Hans Popper Professor; Douglas E. Vaughan, MD, chair of the Department of Medicine and the Irving S. Cutter Professor of Medicine; the late Dr. Lewis Landsberg; Angelo Costas, MD, '97 GME, assistant professor of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics.
The late Lewis Landsberg, MD, former dean of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, made medical education his life’s passion during his 30 years at Northwestern. As the Irving S. Cutter Professor and chair of the Department of Medicine before becoming dean, Dr. Landsberg treasured sharing his clinical knowledge with students and residents. Traditional morning reports—when trainees present patient cases— with Dr. Landsberg were legendary.
“His signature expression was: ‘This can only be one thing,’” recalls James Flaherty, MD, ’02, ’05, ’06 GME, who is an associate professor of Medicine (Cardiology). “Meaning that he had heard enough information to quickly come to a diagnosis, while the rest of us were still far from figuring it out!”
Alumna Candice Tung, MD, ’99 GME, also marveled at Dr. Landsberg’s command of every medical topic. “His mastery of clinical medicine was incredible, and his pearls of medicine still help me in my practice today—more than 20 years later.”
In 2016, Dr. Landsberg’s remarkable contributions to the Department of Medicine prompted several of his former trainees to establish the Lewis Landsberg Society to support Northwestern residents and fellows and the residency and fellowship training programs. The society welcomes to its membership all former, current, and future medicine residents and fellows. Among several goals, the society aims to strengthen ties to internal medicine trainee alumni through continuing medical education (CME) and social events. At the same time, it also supports current trainees in ways that go beyond the curriculum, from funding research grants and covering travel expenses to professional meetings. Additionally, funding goes toward providing innovative tools to improve current training.
“It was a no brainer for us to honor Dr. Landsberg for all he did for the department and residency program,” said John Pandolfino, MD, ’97, ’01 GME, chief of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in the Department of Medicine and the Hans Popper Professor. Dr. Pandolfino joined forces with alumni Angelo Costas, MD, ’97 GME, assistant professor of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, and Micah Eimer, ’98 MD, ’03, ’06 GME, a health system clinician of Medicine (Cardiology), to form the society. “He inspired us to be the best physicians we could be,” said Dr. Pandolfino. “To many of us who trained under him, he was the epitome of what makes Northwestern special.”
During the academic year, the Landsberg Society hosts regular educational events and get-togethers for current residents and fellows. Every other year, the group strives to hold one large CME event to attract both local and out-of-town resident alumni. The society hosted several “Late Night Morning Report” dinners with Dr. Landsberg before he passed away in 2021, bringing back the fond memories that his many former residents still hold dear.
“The Landsberg Society events have provided me with social reconnection, networking, and academic enrichment,” said Dr. Tung, an internal medicine specialist in Las Vegas who supports the Landsberg Society through her generosity. “My training experience was truly stellar, and the friendships I made remain strong to this day. I left Northwestern with the experience necessary to go out in the world and practice medicine as a confident young physician.”
The Landsberg Society’s philanthropic efforts all go toward bringing value to the residency program. In 2023, the group hopes to raise enough funds to purchase portable point of care ultrasound (POCUS) devices to enhance the resident training experience. POCUS allows healthcare providers to immediately perform ultrasound exams at the bedside, decreasing the time from diagnosis to treatment for patients.
“In the hospital our internal medicine trainees are at the frontlines, caring for patients at all hours of the night. We need to provide them with the best tools to be the best physicians they can be,” said Dr. Pandolfino. “POCUS is ushering in a new era of medicine that we would like to introduce to the residency program. Lew Landsberg embraced new technology and, in many ways, this gift from all of us who support the Landsberg Society will be a fitting tribute to him.”
For more information about supporting the Lewis Landsberg Society in the Department of Medicine, please contact MaryPat Mauro at 312-503-1090 or email@example.com.