Ascension St. John Physician Named Michigan Family Medicine Educator of the Year

July 24, 2021Mark Paschall, MD, a family physician who has made outstanding contributions to family medicine education in Michigan, was recognized with the 2021 Michigan Family Medicine Educator of the Year Award by Michigan Academy of Family Physicians’ during its annual awards celebration, live-streamed on July 24.

Michigan Academy of Family Physicians—the largest medical specialty organization in the state representing and led by family physicians—presents this distinguished award to academic physicians in recognition of outstanding contributions to family medicine undergraduate, graduate, and/or continuing education.

Since 2004 until July 2021, Dr. Paschall served as program director of Ascension St. John Hospital Family Medicine Residency in Saint Clair Shores, Michigan. During this time he remained active in his own clinical practice, while also teaching at Ascension St. John Family Medical Center and on inpatient service at Ascension St. John Hospital.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Paschall was a source of leadership and comfort, helping to rapidly implement telemedicine visits at the medical center and residency program, and serving as a sounding board for residents’ concerns and a shoulder they could lean on.

"While this pandemic has exposed many of our weaknesses and areas for improvement, it has also highlighted our resilience, innovation, and the primary role that family medicine must play in our healthcare, both here and abroad," he said.

In addition to his influential role as an educator and mentor of resident physicians, Dr. Paschall is also a role model of academic excellence for third- and fourth-year students—both in the clinic and at the hospital—encouraging them to look beyond medical issues to pay attention to social determinants of health.

Students often comment on Dr. Paschall’s calm demeaner, engaging attitude, and encouraging conversations.

“He is a quiet force, a humble person who leads by example,” said Jenese Reynolds-Gibbs, MD, FAAFP, who served as associate program director under Dr. Paschall.

With the mantra, “It is a human’s job to go forth and give of yourself and your time to the community,” Dr. Paschall extends his community service globally. He has a background in tropical medicine training and takes several residents to Kenya each year where they work in a medical clinic, seeing thousands of patients over a two-week period. He has also repeatedly raised funds for the Hope Water Project to place wells in the same Kenyan community where he volunteers.

Upon retiring from his residency program director position this summer, Dr. Paschall is continuing as a faculty member at Ascension St. John Hospital Family Medicine Residency.

"I realize that longevity plays a major role in my receiving this award, and that is only possible with an outstanding sponsoring institution, engaged faculty, and great support from both American Academy of Family Physicians and Michigan Academy of Family Physicians," he said.

Dr. Paschall earned his medical degree from University of Michigan Medical School in 1983 and completed residency at Washington Health System Family Medicine Residency in 1986.