After so many years of training, one might expect a doctor’s head to be full of nothing but high-level information. But as Lynn D. Wilson, M.P.H., M.D., knows, simpler concepts are also key to professional success.

Wilson, professor of therapeutic radiology and dermatology and recipient of the first annual David J. Leffell Prize for Clinical Excellence, is known for returning calls from patients and referring doctors within one hour of receiving them—just one aspect of his practice that has garnered him the admiration of patients, colleagues and administrators. He received the newly inaugurated prize at the first Annual Meeting of the Yale Medical Group (YMG) on June 9. The award was established with a $100,000 endowment donated this spring by David J. Leffell, M.D., deputy dean for clinical affairs and CEO of YMG, and his wife, Cindy.

Presenting the award, Dean Robert J. Alpern, M.D., said that Wilson is “an outstanding educator and clinical researcher” in addition to excelling at patient care.

Wilson directs patient care in the Department of Therapeutic Radiology and provides radiation therapy for cancer patients.

His clinical and research interests include cutaneous and non-cutaneous lymphoma, and cancers of the lung, head and neck. He serves on the editorial boards of a number of oncology journals and is the principal investigator for a phase I clinical trial using a combination of transimmunization (an immunotherapy for cancer devised by Richard L. Edelson, M.D., professor of dermatology and director of Yale Cancer Center) and external-beam radiation therapy for the treatment of late-stage non-small cell lung cancer.

Leffell, who endowed the prize to celebrate the 30th anniversary of his graduation from Yale College in 1977, says, “I’m delighted that the inaugural prize is going to Lynn. I’ve known him for many years and believe that his focus on clinical excellence is exactly what this award was designed to recognize. Lynn is a very meticulous, thoughtful and compassionate physician. He’s thoroughly committed to the values of the medical school and to the principles of the practice, which puts excellence in patient care first.”