Massachusetts Medical Society: Dr. Stephen Wittenberg of Stockbridge is honored by the Massachusetts Medical Society with its Senior Volunteer Physician of the Year Award

Dr. Stephen Wittenberg of Stockbridge is honored by the Massachusetts Medical Society with its Senior Volunteer Physician of the Year Award

Stephen Wittenberg

WALTHAM – Dr. Stephen Wittenberg of Stockbridge has been honored by the Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) as the 2022 recipient of its Senior Volunteer Physician of the Year Award, which recognizes a senior member of the society who has shown a dedicated commitment to direct patient care volunteerism in Massachusetts and to sharing medical experience and expertise.

Dr. Wittenberg has been a volunteer at the Volunteers In Medicine (VIM) Berkshires in Great Barrington since 2011. He has seen more than 1,000 patients during his time with VIM.

His dedication to serving patients in need was not halted during the throes of COVID-19, as he swiftly moved to telehealth visits to ensure his patients received continuous care.

One story encapsulates Dr. Wittenberg’s compassionate and personalized approach with every patient encounter.

Dr. Wittenberg’s patient “Martha” is a 47-year-old woman with a history of untreated and uncontrolled diabetes who was first seen at VIM about six months before her first interaction with Dr. Wittenberg.

She had been started on a regimen to control her condition but, despite ongoing staff review of her diet and ensuring that she was taking her medication correctly, her numbers failed to improve. The reasons for this were unclear. In her first visit with Dr. Wittenberg, his kind and open manner enabled him to go deeper. He listened; he did not judge. He took a deeper dive, he took time, he asked the right questions. Armed with a huge amount of information, he came out of the exam room to discuss the case. As primarily a cardiologist for over 40 years, he wasn't sure how to adjust the diabetic medication in this situation. Despite a half-century of experience, he is humble. After review, he returned to the patient with a revised treatment plan. That night, on his own time, Dr. Wittenberg took a continuing medical education course to make sure he was up to date with current treatment protocol. Two weeks later, in his follow up appointment with Martha, her numbers were already improving, and he knew exactly how to manage her treatment plan.

In addition to his volunteering at VIM, until the onset of COVID-19, Dr. Wittenberg continued in his position as a clinical professor of medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine and as an attending cardiologist at Baystate Medical Center, where he has also been instrumental in recruiting at least two additional colleagues to volunteer at VIM and has helped obtain pro bono surgical and other hospital services for our patients.

Dr. Wittenberg was the recipient of the Outstanding Teaching Award from Baystate Medical Center, past president of the Medical Staff and member of the Board of Trustees and attending cardiologist at Baystate Medical Center, past president of the Heart Association of Western Massachusetts and an author of nearly two dozen scholarly articles in various medical journals.

He is a graduate of the New York University School of Medicine and board-certified in internal medicine and cardiovascular disease. He has been a member of the Massachusetts Medical Society for 46 years.

The Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) is the statewide professional association for physicians and medical students, supporting 25,000 members. We are dedicated to educating and advocating for the physicians of Massachusetts and patients locally and nationally. A leadership voice in health care, the MMS contributes physician and patient perspectives to influence health-related legislation at the state and federal levels, works in support of public health, provides expert advice on physician practice management, and addresses issues of physician well-being. Under the auspices of the NEJM Group, the MMS extends our mission globally by advancing medical knowledge from research to patient care through the New England Journal of Medicine, NEJM Catalyst, and the NEJM Journal Watch family of specialty publications, and through our education products for health care professionals: NEJM Knowledge+, NEJM Resident 360, and our accredited and comprehensive continuing medical education programs.

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