Dr. Kevin Moynahan Receives National Golden Apple Award from AMSA


Kevin Moynahan, MD, FACP, University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson Professor of Medicine and Associate Dean for Education, received the 2022 National Golden Apple Award for Teaching Excellence from the American Medical Student Association (AMSA). The association places great importance on medical education as a means of equipping medical students and future physicians with the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to enter the dynamic arena of health care and make a substantial difference in the lives of their patients.

“The ability to make a positive difference in a learner’s medical education, and also to learn from them, is a privilege that I cherish every day,” said Dr. Moynahan. “During my career at the College of Medicine – Tucson, I have had many different responsibilities and titles, but teaching has always been a big part of what I do. This recognition from the American Medical Student Association, after being nominated by one of my own students, is a singular honor that encapsulates my passion for medical education and patient care.

AMSA is a national, student-run organization and is the oldest and largest independent association of physicians-in-training in the United States. The association has more than 30,000 members worldwide. “We exist to prepare, train and encourage medical students to become leaders,” the AMSA website states.

Dr. Moynahan was nominated by Andres F. Diaz, UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson medical student and member of AMSA. “Dr. Moynahan’s educational approach is greatly influenced by the way he practices medicine and cares for patients,” Diaz wrote in the letter of appointment. Dr. Moynahan strives to understand a patient’s unique needs, life circumstances, and pathophysiology.Through an authentic history and masterful physical examinations, Dr. Moynahan is able to connect intellectually, emotionally, and professionally with all his various patients.

Dr. Moynahan said his inspiration for medical education comes from the experiences he had as a medical student and resident. “I still remember those educators who made a positive difference in my career,” he explained. “Medical education requires humility, curiosity and continuous learning given the rapid expansion of medical knowledge. This knowledge must be integrated into the art of medicine, that of relating to and caring for another human being – and this must also be taught and modelled.

Dr. Moynahan first came to the College of Medicine – Tucson as a medical student in 1989. He graduated in 1993 and remained at the college for his residency in internal medicine where he was later chosen as Chief Resident. He joined the faculty in 1997. “I feel gratitude to UArizona and the College of Medicine – Tucson both for my education and for allowing me to achieve my academic and clinical career goals here without changing of institution. Arizona Health Sciences and college has been a wonderful home for me.

First formed in 1950 as the Student American Medical Association (SAMA) under the American Medical Association (AMA), SAMA announced its split from the AMA in 1968, citing philosophical differences and declaring its financial independence . “The organization has begun to take a stand on more socio-medical issues, such as civil rights, universal health care, and Vietnam,” the AMSA website notes. They officially changed their name from SAMA to AMSA in 1975.

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