Distinguished Mentor Award

In the words of his Chair, Dr. Tony Kuzel, “Mentoring is not something Steve ‘does,’ rather, it is truly who he ‘is’.” Steven H. Crossman, M.D. is Associate Professor and Vice Chair, Clinical Operations and Family Medicine Education, Department of Family Medicine and Population Health. A VCU SOM graduate (M’95) Dr. Crossman is highly regarded for his clinical care and teaching, but what is truly remarkable are the impactful and lasting relationships he forms with his mentees. As Director of Medical Education for Family Medicine, Dr. Crossman provides leadership and mentoring to a team of clinicians and non- clinicians at various stages of their careers. He has served as a formal advisor to hundreds of students, residents, and others through Project HEART, fmSTAT, I2CRP, HOMBRE, Entrustable Professional Activity (EPA) coaching, and his clinical practice at VCU and CrossOver Healthcare Ministry.

Dr. Crossman is recognized for his work in global health, cultural competency, interprofessionalism, and addressing health disparities in underserved groups including the LGBTQ community. He has been honored with the Medical Society of Virginia Foundation Salute to Service Award - Service on Behalf of the International Community (2013), the VCU Presidential Award for Community Multicultural Enrichment (PACME) Faculty Award (2014), and the VCU SOM Leonard Tow Faculty Humanism Award (2014). He was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society in 1995. Dr. Crossman is an expert practitioner of the Balint group process supporting development of insight, ethical practice, and strong doctor-patient relationships in residents and other caregivers.

“Steve Crossman is the epitome of a mentor. He is always available, takes time to listen to (student) concerns, and guides them to make well-informed career decisions that incorporate their personal values, interests, and skills in the context of their academic record. And he does so with compassion,” observes Christopher M. Woleben, M.D., M’97, SOM Associate Dean for Student Affairs, Associate Professor, Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics.

Molly Favour, M’20, describes her experience. “During the three years that I have known him as my HEART group leader and advisor, Dr. Crossman has shown time and again that his commitment to fostering the next generation of physicians goes beyond classroom knowledge - he cares about cultivating physicians who are whole people, with good hearts and minds. Dr. Crossman's approach to mentorship has changed the way that I view success and given me important lessons that I will carry with me throughout my career and life.”

Dr. Crossman’s impact on his students continues as they move into their own practices. As Kelly Lacy Smith, M.D., Assistant Professor, UNC Family Medicine, explains, “I was accepted to VCU SOM and quickly found a home in Family Medicine. . . . I graduated in 2013; however, Dr. Crossman and I remain in close contact. He works and supports me as a junior faculty member to discuss my future career goals. On numerous occasions, we have had phone meetings or emails to discuss projects that I am hoping to implement. . . .”

“When I returned to VCU and wished to get my foot into teaching, he eagerly guided me towards work with the American Balint Society. Under his mentorship, I have been able to initiate Balint groups, organized group discussion of challenging physician-patient relationships . . . and am working towards my national certification as a Balint Leader. He has made himself available and volunteered his time to mentor me through this process,” attests Megan Lemay, M.D., Assistant Professor of General Internal Medicine, VCU.

Wendy Dryden, M.D., M’13, now a Family Medicine practitioner in Washington state, sums up Dr. Crossman’s example and lasting impact: “More than anyone else I worked with at VCU, Dr. Crossman was the mentor who showed me how to become the kind of doctor that I always wanted to be.”