Rachel M. Pearson, MD, PhD
Department of Pediatrics, Division of Inpatient Pediatrics
Dr. Rachel Pearson is the kind of transformative teacher and mentor who changes your life, who shifts the way you see yourself, your profession, and the world. I took her Medicine and Literature class last year, and I witnessed her giving each student the space to develop new perspectives and to see medicine through more than simply the lens of science. Personally, she has expanded the way that I see my role as a future physician and given me the confidence to advocate for my patients and always prioritize the human aspects of medical care, even as I am just beginning my clinical years in medical school.
I met Dr. Pearson my first semester in medical school. That was the beginning of a mentorship that has changed the trajectory of my career. She treats every student she meets as a colleague, as someone capable of anything they put their minds to. When we worked together to write a National Endowment of the Humanities grant, she listened carefully and respectfully to each of my ideas and gave me free rein to consult outside experts and draft the grant. When the grant was funded by the NEH, she made sure to include me on every email, in every meeting, to make it clear that I wasn’t “just a student” but a valued colleague on the team.
Like every faculty member, Dr. Pearson juggles multiple responsibilities: teaching, research, volunteering, writing, clinical duties, and no doubt many more I am unaware of. But she has never hesitated to carve out time for her students, to listen, encourage, advise, and answer questions and requests as if we were her first and only priority. Perhaps most importantly, she continually models the kind of physician, educator, leader, and human being I hope to be.