Algattas Receives First Aequanimitas Award

Pittsburgh, June 14, 2021 -- PGY-5 resident Hanna Algattas, MD, has received the first Aequanimitas Award presented by the University of Pittsburgh Department of Neurological Surgery for humility, compassion and excellent care of patients.

The award—endowed by University of Pittsburgh Heindl Scholar Joseph Maroon, MD—is awarded to a department resident that personally and professionally exhibits the humanistic qualities of empathy, caring, kindness, imperturbability, and collegiality...complemented by availability, affability and ability. The award includes a $2,000 traveling fellowship grant for the awardee to visit other centers of excellence.

“Aequanimitas” was one of Sir William Osler’s most famous essays, delivered as a valedictory address to medical students at the University of Pennsylvania more than a century ago. In the essay, Osler—one of four physician founders of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine—said, "The good physician treats the disease; the great physician treats the patient who has the disease.”

Aequanimitas, Osler stated, refers to imperturbability-coolness and presence of mind under all circumstances, calmness amid storm, and clearness of judgment in moments of grave peril. It is acquired through experience and a thorough knowledge of medicine. 

Even when challenged by the most difficult medical and administrative circumstances in the daily care of patients, the accomplished neuroscientist/neurosurgeon physician Is one whose heart has not been hardened or injured by these exigencies of practice. It is one who exemplifies tolerance and a non-judgmental attitude. 

Joseph Maroon with Hanna Algattas