Rainbow Award

The Rainbow Award was established in 1998-1999 by the Medical Student Assembly in conjunction with the Dean of the School of Medicine to honor our heroes in medicine. This prestigious award acknowledges the KUMC physicians and community preceptors who display outstanding attributes of professionalism and excellence in medicine, while imparting these characteristics to their students.

Each year, medical students nominate those physicians who have impacted their educational experience and given them a solid example of excellence in the field of medicine. Rainbow Award nominees are specifically recognized for possessing the following qualities and attributes:

  • altruism
  • accountability
  • excellence
  • duty and service
  • honor and integrity
  • respect for patients, staff and students

The distinguished Rainbow Award honors those individuals who exemplify the attributes of professionalism in medicine and share those qualities with the students whom they mentor. The Rainbow Award recipient is nominated and selected by the students and represents those characteristics that future physicians hope to possess one day. Students nominate five finalists and then vote for the ultimate award recipient. The award is presented at the annual "Grande Affair" in the spring. As Barbara Atkinson, MD, executive vice chancellor, KU Medical Center, and executive dean, School of Medicine, stated in honor of the School of Medicine's 100th anniversary in her welcome message to attendees, "This is a special evening celebrating the best of teaching and mentoring at the University Of Kansas School Of Medicine. The evening shines a spotlight on our medical students' enthusiasm, energy and passion for their chosen profession, while they honor their teachers for their dedication to excellence in mentoring the science and art of medicine."


  • Member of KU SOM physicians and community preceptors

Nomination Materials required (per instructions from the Student Voice Committee)

  • Students recommend the faculty names with a statement justifying why.


  • Student selection committee evaluates nominees and their personal questionnaire and CV.
  • Five finalists are selected by student committee.
  • Five finalists are required to complete a Rainbow Award Finalist questionnaire and invited to submit CV.
  • Winner is selected from the list of five finalists by student body vote.
  • All are announced at A Grande Affair.

Award and Presentation:

  • A certificate.
  • A short video highlighting the recipient's achievements.
  • One finalist will be awarded the Rainbow Award trophy.
  • Finalists receive two complimentary tickets to A Grande Affair.
  • Past year recipient presents to new winner.

Nominations, all materials and questions should be sent to:

The Student Voice Committee Chair

Previous awardees

Joseph LeMaster, MD

Jana Zaudke, MD

Michael Kennedy, MD

Sarah Taylor, MD

Gary Doolittle, MD

Deborah Clements, MD


Garold Minns, MD

Mark Meyer, MD

David Robbins, MD

Mary Duff, MD



Daniel Dickerson, MD

Vance R. Burns, MD

Steven Simpson, MD

Belinda A. Vail, MD



LeAnn Detar-Newbert, MD

Debra Smith, MD

Michael Moncure, MD

Linda Campbell, MD

Last modified: Jul 28, 2016