March 5, 2004

Four new faculty members added to Master Clinical Teachers program

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Dr. Adrian A. Jarquin-Valdivia

Four new faculty members added to Master Clinical Teachers program

Dr. Kimberly D. Lomis

Dr. Kimberly D. Lomis

Dr. Scott Rodgers

Dr. Scott Rodgers

Dr. Charles B. Rush

Dr. Charles B. Rush

Four new faculty members have been named Master Clinical Teachers for the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, a program designed to enhance medical education for the school’s third- and fourth-year students. The program also protects the faculty member’s time for teaching and improves the teaching skills of VUSM faculty members.

The four new Master Clinical Teachers are:

•Dr. Adrian A. Jarquin-Valdivia, assistant professor of Neurology

•Dr. Scott Rodgers, assistant professor of Psychiatry

•Dr. Kimberly D. Lomis, assistant professor of Surgery

•Dr. Charles B. Rush, assistant professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology

They join seven named in 2002:

•Dr. G. Waldon Garriss III, assistant professor of Medicine and Pediatrics

•Dr. Joseph Gigante, assistant professor of Pediatrics

•Dr. R. Michael Rodriguez, associate professor of Medicine

•Dr. Corey M. Slovis, professor and Chair of Emergency Medicine

•Dr. Anderson Spickard III, assistant professor of Medicine

•Dr. John L. Tarpley, professor of Surgery

•Dr. John A. Zic, assistant professor of Medicine

One of the key elements of the medical school’s Academic Strategic Plan is to implement a program to reward excellence in teaching. The Master Clinical Teacher Program is designed to promote the advancement of medical education by funding the teaching and related scholarly activities of the school’s best clinician educators.

“From my discussions with students and clerkship directors, my review of the course evaluations, and my own personal interactions, I believe the first year of the Master Clinical Teacher program was a great success,” said Dr. Steven G. Gabbe, dean of the School of Medicine. “We heard from our students that they appreciated the added time that the Master Clinical Teachers had to give them, and heard from the faculty that they felt they were able to devote one-on-one time to teaching in a clinical setting, that they’ve also been able to enhance their own teaching skills, and share them with their colleagues.”

One new element of the Master Clinical Teacher program is that they are now charged with supporting the School of Medicine’s program to enhance the education of medical students in carrying out the clinical transaction — the ability to take a comprehensive and accurate clinical history; to perform a thorough, accurate and nuanced physical examination; and to engage in sequential clinical reasoning using all relevant clinical and laboratory data.

Gabbe said he is pleased with the selection of the four new Master Clinical Teachers.

“These four faculty members, like their predecessors in the program, bring their own creativity and energy to this very successful program,” he said.

Jarquin-Valdivia said the designation gives him a great opportunity to assist in and continue the perpetuation of Vanderbilt’s tradition as a center for high quality clinical education.

“Teaching is a two-way street,” he said. Our students are some of the smartest and most driven. For the academic clinical exercise to be successful both the teacher and student have to learn from each other. A reciprocal sense of admiration and respect has to prevail,” he said. “Students are our academic children. We care for them as such. Without doubt, their success is our success.”

Gabbe said with pressures on the faculty, time for teaching, which has traditionally been poorly rewarded, is even more threatened. Master Clinical Teachers receive salary support of $50,000 per year for three years and, in addition to their teaching duties, are required to attend a monthly presentation and discussion group for the enhancement of their teaching skills.

Lomis, who completed her surgical residency at Vanderbilt, and returned here two years ago from private practice, said her primary role, in addition to patient care, is teaching.

“I spend a great deal of my time either directly teaching, or thinking about how we can better educate our students and residents,” she said. “Being named a Master Clinical Teacher justifies to me that this is time well spent. However, I do find the designation of ‘master’ a little intimidating since I feel I still have a great deal to learn about the process of education. That is one of the features of this program that excites me; I will have the opportunity to learn from the other ‘masters’ and we can continue to improve our innate skills through the faculty development program associated with this designation.”

Rodgers said the program allows him more freedom to be creative and innovative with the psychiatry curriculum. “It demonstrates our school’s commitment to providing students with a top-notch educational experience,” he said. “I want to take our educational program in psychiatry to a higher level by focusing on newer, more modern approaches to understanding mental illness and its treatment. I also want to give students a deep appreciation for the value of excellent doctor-patient relationships as well as the skills for fostering improved alliances with their patients.”

Rush said he looks at the Master Clinical Teacher designation as an opportunity to pursue his “passion” for teaching and trying to infect others with the same passion.

“I hope to be able to use some of the time to strengthen and enhance the third-year clerkship in Ob/Gyn,” he said. “I would also like to focus on strengthening the quality of teaching throughout the Ob/Gyn clerkship.”

The accomplishments of the Master Clinical Teachers will be reviewed annually and funding continued if their performance is satisfactory. A Master Clinical Teacher may be re-nominated for the award at the end of the three-year period.

Future plans call for developing programs to support the school’s most outstanding basic science educators as well as faculty who contribute significantly to teaching house officers and clinical fellows.