Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award

Steve Crossman has been recognized for his willingness to connect with and advocate for others since he attended medical school here at VCU (M’95). Dr. Crossman has been an Associate Professor and member of the Department of Family Medicine and Population Health Medical Student Education team for 7 years. Dr. Crossman’s career, and his life, exemplify a true and enduring commitment to humanism in education, clinical care and service. His numerous accomplishments illustrate the value he places on his students, his patients and his community, both at home and abroad.

Dr. Crossman is an exceptional teacher. Students are drawn to his open-minded and accepting manner, his professionalism and his commitment to excellence. A prime example of his innovative teaching is his development of the enhanced teaching practice (ETP) model, which allows for inter-professional (medicine and pharmacy) student education while enhancing medical care for patients in two Richmond-area free clinics. Dr. Crossman serves as a lead preceptor to medical students and devotes countless hours to make this program a success. He has an impressive ability to engage students and sustain insightful dialogue by listening and asking the right questions. Leading by example, he teaches his students to be culturally sensitive and comfortable working with diverse patient groups.

Dr. Crossman holds multiple leadership roles within the School of Medicine, including serving as a HEART group leader for two groups each academic year. Dr. Crossman has inspired countless students, providing positive and meaningful mentoring and advising throughout their education, and after they graduate.

In the words of his students:
“Mentors like Dr. Crossman are few and far between.” “Dr. Crossman has the incredible ability to push students to the edge of their comfort zone and thus allow them to discover things about themselves only he could see.” “ I have become the student I am today in part because of Dr. Crossman’s leadership, guidance, and passion.”

Dr. Crossman’s approach to patient care has been described as “holistic, empathetic, and inspiring.” He recognizes each patient is an individual. He is attentive to stated and unstated needs, focusing on the life circumstances of patients and families when assessing problems and developing treatment plans. His patients trust him to provide the best possible care, never making them feel rushed or unheard. Dr. Crossman was recently honored as one of the top five family medicine doctors in Richmond Magazine. He holds himself to the highest of professional and humanitarian standards in teaching and patient care, actively seeking feedback from students and colleagues on his performance. He considers himself to be on a journey of discovery as both a teacher and a learner. He is currently earning his Master in Health Professions Education (MPHE) degree from the University of Illinois.

Dr. Crossman is dedicated to improving the health of underserved people. As Medical Director of Global Health Programs for his Department, he successfully leads medical student brigades to Honduras, providing direct clinical care to hundreds of community members in poor rural areas and life-changing, hands-on learning experiences for students. Dr. Crossman has a genuine connection with the people in this mountain community, and has earned their trust and loyalty through his persistence in negotiating the logistical and professional challenges of providing ongoing (between-brigade) care in remote, resource-poor areas of a foreign country. Dr. Crossman has also served as the Medical Director for the International/Inner City/Rural Preceptorship (I2CRP) Program, which is designed to increase the number of primary care physicians prepared to provide effective, high quality, compassionate care in underserved areas.

Dr. Crossman is a physician, a mentor, and a friend to many. His impressive accomplishments belie his humble and hardworking nature. His unwavering focus on encouraging medical students to become compassionate and effective physicians and to improving the lives of those less fortunate are rivaled only by his dedication to making meaningful change in the health care system to meet the needs of diverse patients and students. Dr. Crossman’s dedication and life of service make him the epitome of humanism in medicine.