Dr. Rodriquez 

In recognition of his outstanding conduct, Rafael A. Rodriguez received the UC Davis School of Medicine 2008 Clinical Fellow Professionalism Award. A surgical pathology fellow, Rodriguez has been described as respectful, courteous, knowledgeable, extremely personal, caring, humble, enthusiastic, practical, and kind-hearted.

Rodriguez stands out among the many highly qualified fellows that pass through the lab rotation, say his colleagues.

"Dr. Rodriguez is an exceptional clinician, both in his knowledge of his field of expertise and his obvious compassion for patients and respect for people in general," says Brian Poirier, a resident in the Department of Pathology. "He's also an outstanding teacher and mentor."

Indeed, according to Helen Jenks, a cytogenetic technologist, Rodriguez has made it a point to share interesting cases with his colleagues in the lab. "As a result," she says, "we have all learned something from one another and developed a strong bond."

Rodriguez has been shaped by a decade of training at UC Davis. After earning his medical degree in 2002, he remained at the medical center to become a resident in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology for one year, and then in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology for four years. Last year, he was chosen to be Chief Resident. In 2001 he was a community service scholar, honored with a national medical fellowship.

Rodriguez, a native Californian, will move out of the state for the first time this summer to begin a fellowship in gastrointestinal pathology at Emory University in Atlanta. After that, he hopes to return to California and possibly teach at an academic medical center, he says.

"It's quite an honor to be selected for this award," says Rodriguez. "It's recognition from the people I work with – or their way of saying thanks."