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Dedicated doctor and educator receives President’s Public Service Award

November 29, 2010

November 29, 2010
by Sandra Gray 
© UMass Medical School Communications

Primary care physician Lucy M. Candib, MD, professor of family medicine & community health, has been named a recipient of the 2010 University of Massachusetts President’s Public Service Award for her compassion as a clinician and commitment as a teacher. Given annually to individuals from each of the five University of Massachusetts campuses, the award from the President’s Office recognizes exemplary public service to the commonwealth. Dr. Candib accepted her award at a ceremony held today in Boston. 

“It is very gratifying to be recognized by the University and the Medical School as a community health center physician and community-based faculty member,” said Candib, who has been providing primary care to patients at the federally funded Family Health Center of Worcester (FHCW) since she began her own residency there in 1974. A graduate of Harvard Medical School, she added the training of primary care physicians to her responsibilities at FHCW, one of three sites for the Department of Family Medicine & Community Health’s Worcester Medicine Residency program, upon being named a UMMS faculty member in 1976. “I feel part of a long stream of committed family physicians," Candib said of her teaching legacy. “Many are now teachers, program directors and faculty themselves, many practicing in underserved settings as they learned to do in training.” 

The President’s Public Service Award is just the latest of numerous honors that Candib has received. Among them are the F. Marian Bishop Award from the Society for Teachers of Family Medicine for her sustained, long-term commitment to family medicine in an academic setting; recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance and the American Diabetes Association for her program of medical care, patient education, group support, nutrition and exercise for diabetic patients at FHCW; and the 2006 A. Jane Fitzpatrick Community Service Award from the Worcester District Medical Society. The author of the book Medicine and the Family: A Feminist Perspective, one of several she has published, Candib was one of 300 American women physicians featured in the National Library of Medicine’s “Changing the Face of Medicine” project in 2005. 

While she appreciates the recognition, Candib noted, “Most gratifying has been the continuity and longevity I have enjoyed with many of my patients in Worcester, where I have cared for three to four generations of a single family.” She recounted that, on several occasions, she was honored to deliver babies of mothers whose own births she attended; her favorite story is of the time she learned that she had delivered both the baby’s mother and father. 

Having encouraged her physician trainees and colleagues in family medicine to be aware of the factors in their own lives and in patients' lives that affect health and well-being, she will truly have come full circle—as a woman, daughter and mother as well as a teacher and a physician—when she finishes writing her own family history, a lifelong goal that she is pleased to have begun in earnest.