Faculty Educator of the Month: August 2010

Steven G. Waguespack, M.D.

Steven G. Waguespack, M.D., Deputy Chair of the Department of Endocrine Neoplasia and Hormonal Disorders and Associate Professor in both the Department of Endocrine Neoplasia and Hormonal Disorders and Department of Pediatrics, has been named the August 2010 Faculty Educator of the Month.
Dr. Waguespack received his M.D. degree with honors from The University of Texas Medical School at Houston in 1994. He then moved on to the Indiana University School of Medicine, completing an internship and residency in Internal Medicine/Pediatrics in 1998 (serving as medicine/pediatrics chief resident the final year) and a fellowship in Adult and Pediatric Endocrinology in 2002. Upon completing his fellowship training, Dr. Waguespack was awarded the Richard B. Schnute Award in recognition of outstanding compassion, professionalism, and clinical care.
In 2002, Dr. Waguespack returned to Houston when he was named Assistant Professor in the Department of Endocrine Neoplasia and Hormonal Disorders and Department of Pediatrics at MD Anderson. He was promoted to his current position of Associate Professor in 2007 and named Deputy Chair of the Department of Endocrine Neoplasia and Hormonal Disorders this year. Over the course of his career, he has been an active researcher and collaborator, authoring more than 25 articles published in peer-reviewed journals, 8 book chapters, 4 invited articles, 2 editorials, and a long list of abstracts. Dr. Waguespack has been recognized as a “Top Doctor for Cancer,” a “Best Doctor in America,” and one of “America’s Top Pediatricians.”
Dr. Waguespack has played an important role in the education of trainees at all stages of their careers. Upon arriving at MD Anderson, he immediately became involved in the Baylor College of Medicine/MD Anderson Joint Fellowship Program in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. Ultimately, he served as the MD Anderson rotation program coordinator for this program from 2005-2008, a position in which he supervised all aspects of the MD Anderson component of the joint fellowship program.
Didactic teaching has always been an important part of Dr. Waguespack’s duties. He has regularly given lectures to the endocrinology fellows on various aspects of pituitary disorders, metabolic bone disease, and pediatric endocrine disease. During his tenure as rotation program coordinator, he formalized a core curriculum lecture series for the fellowship program, and he also developed an in-service examination that was used to test endocrine knowledge and assess trainees’ progress through the fellowship. Outside of the endocrinology fellowship program, Dr. Waguespack has shared his endocrine knowledge with trainees in other training programs at MD Anderson and at other Texas Medical Center institutions, such as Texas Children’s Hospital and The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, where he currently lectures about pituitary disease to second-year medical students. Outside of Houston, Dr. Waguespack has lectured on thyroid cancer, pituitary disease, and pediatric endocrine neoplasia at multiple regional, national, and international conferences.
The education of patients has also been an important aspect of Dr. Waguespack’s career. He has helped to develop education handouts for patients seen at MD Anderson. He has been involved in community outreach activities and has routinely lectured at patient-oriented conferences focusing on von Hippel-Lindau disease, multiple endocrine neoplasia, and thyroid cancer. Dr. Waguespack serves as a member of the medical advisory council for ThyCa, an organization of patients with thyroid cancer and their family members, and he regularly donates his time to lectures at ThyCa’s annual meetings.
Dr. Waguespack has served as a clinical mentor for trainees rotating through MD Anderson. In his outpatient clinics, Dr. Waguespack has taught and directly supervised more than 30 fellows from the joint program with Baylor College of Medicine and The University of Texas Medical School at Houston adult and pediatric fellowship programs. Dr. Waguespack continues to have a formal relationship with the pediatric endocrinology fellowship program at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston. The pediatric endocrinology fellows regularly attend his clinics, where they are exposed to a high volume of children with endocrine tumors and endocrine sequelae of cancer therapies. Informally, Dr. Waguespack also routinely interacts with fellows performing their inpatient clinical rotations at MD Anderson. In 2005, Dr. Waguespack was chosen as “Teacher of the Year” by the graduating endocrinology fellows, a reward that he cherishes to this day.
In the research arena, Dr. Waguespack has been a formal mentor to several fellows, and he has informally mentored multiple other fellows regarding their research projects and career development. Thus far, Dr. Waguespack has worked with two medical students as part of the MD Anderson summer research program. These students worked closely with him on a research project and were introduced to clinical medicine by accompanying Dr. Waguespack to his clinics and occasionally on rounds in the hospital.