VCU School of Medicine Faculty Honored for Excellence in Teaching
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine
faculty, clinicians, mentors, educators and researchers who are
inspiring future generations of health professionals and researchers
were celebrated for their achievements and excellence in teaching during
the 12th annual Faculty Excellence Awards on Sept. 22.
Alan Dow, M.D., M.S.H.A, associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine,
received the Enrique Gerszten, M.D., Faculty Teaching Excellence Award –
the school’s highest teaching recognition that honors extraordinary
accomplishment in all aspects of education. The award is given to a
faculty member who is an outstanding teacher with a compelling record of
contributions to education.
Dow has been described by
colleagues as a “superstar” and a “stand out” as a teacher and leader in
medical education – “boundless in ideas, innovations and energy,” and
deeply committed to the well-being of the students he teaches and
In just the past six years, Dow has created several unique programs
that have significantly enhanced the learning experience of medical
school students and residents. One program created by Dow provides
residents a learning opportunity in early patient assessment and
intervention in the emergency department. He also developed a
simulation-based intern orientation program and a theater-medicine
curriculum that uses the technique of theater pedagogy to teach
communication skills to healthcare workers.
This year’s Irby-James Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching was awarded to Barry V. Kirkpatrick, M.D.,
professor in the Department of Pediatrics, in recognition of superior
teaching and professionalism in clinical medicine taught in the last two
years of medical school and residency training.
Kirkpatrick has profoundly influenced the training of countless
students. One recent student commented, “I not only learned a tremendous
amount of medical knowledge from this man … but also life and ethical
lessons of pediatrics.”
Richard M. Costanzo, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, and Paul H. Ratz, Ph.D., professor in the Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Pediatrics,
are the recipients of the Distinguished Mentor Award, which recognizes
significant contributions to the career development of others, including
colleagues, residents, fellows and students.
Costanzo has more
than 30 years of funding from the National Institutes of Health, served
on nearly 40 graduate student thesis committees and is the recipient of
a number of teaching awards and recognitions. He is known for his
ability to develop a personal connection with students and support them
as they grow into a higher level of professional performance and
Ratz has been committed to teaching,
professional leadership and service activities inside and outside VCU,
while maintaining continuous grant funding since 1987 and publishing
more than 100 research papers and abstracts. His mentees and colleagues
describe Ratz as generous, honest and passionate about helping his
students achieve their goals - his influence stays with his mentees long
after they have moved on.
The Educational Innovation Award is given to an individual faculty
member, group, program or an academic unit for significant educational
innovation or educational research. The award was presented to a
team: the Molecular Diagnostics Practicum Academic Unit in the Department of Pathology. The academic unit included Catherine I. Dumur, Ph.D., an associate professor; Carleton T. Garrett, M.D., Ph.D., professor emeritus; and Andrea Ferreira-Gonzalez, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Pathology.
The Practicum, which began as a one-week seminar series for the College
of American Pathologists to teach faculty members about the field of
molecular medicine, has transformed into an intensive two-week program
offered once a month at the VCU Medical Center. The program was
originally developed by Garrett and Ferreira-Gonzalez. It is now
co-directed by Ferreira-Gonzalez and Dumur, and has become a requirement
as part of the training for residents of the pathology program.
Mark H. Ryan, M.D., from the VCU Department of Family Medicine
and family physician with the Hayes E. Willis Health Center, received
the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award presented by the Arnold Gold Foundation. This award underscores the value of humanism in the delivery of care to patients and their families.
Ryan’s countless activities include setting up free health screening
events at locations around Richmond with large Latino populations and
encouraging students at all levels to provide clinical and medical
outreach in the Dominican Republic.
The Women in Science, Dentistry & Medicine Professional
Achievement Award, which recognizes strong role models and mentors for
women, was presented to Joann N. Bodurtha, M.D., M.P.H, professor in the Department of Human and Molecular Genetics.
According to colleagues and mentees, Bodurtha “challenges her students
to develop their own core values and sense of commitment to patients and
their families.” As a dedicated clinician, she has a gift for
connecting with patients, as observed by many of the students she
teaches. Bodurtha is active on the research front and has been
responsible for VCU grant funding totaling $15 million.
The MCV Physicians Distinguished Clinician Award, which recognizes clinical excellence among faculty, was presented to Peter A. Boling, M.D., professor in the Department of Internal Medicine.
Boling has dedicated his career to creating and championing
high-quality, compassionate and cost-effective care to older adults. He
has been engaged in enhancing geriatric clinical services and geriatric
education for medical students, residents, faculty and other health care
team members at VCUHS and the community.
Through the VCU House Calls program, Boling has been instrumental in
reaching more than 5,000 people. The program provides an evidence-based
setting for teaching 300 learners per year, including all VCU medical
The VCU/VCUHS Leadership in Graduate Medical Education Awards
recognize outstanding contributions to medical education by residency
and fellowship directors. These include awards for program director and
Diane M. Biskobing, M.D., associate
professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, received the LGME
Fellowship Director Award for her innovative efforts and dedication to
the endocrinology and metabolism fellowship program. Biskobing has
developed a highly regarded core-competency-based curriculum combining
didactic learning and clinical experience.
Samuel M. Jones, M.D.,
clinical professor in the Department of Family Medicine, received the
LGME Program Director Award for his strong leadership of the
Fairfax Family Medicine Residency program at the VCU School of Medicine
Inova Campus. Jones has served as a role model for the well-rounded
clinician for the next generation of family medicine practitioners.
Evan R. Reiter, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Otolaryngology,
received the LGME Program Director Award for a model competency-based
training program in Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery. Reiter founded
and continues to organize the annual VCUHS Resident Research Day, an
event that showcases research efforts and provides an opportunity for
the residents to network and generate new ideas with colleagues at an
earlier stage of training.
The School of Medicine also
recognized faculty members for Outstanding Departmental Teacher Awards
in health sciences education and undergraduate medical education’s
Best Teacher and High Evaluation in the Course/Clerkship awards.