Virginia Tech®home

Exceptional Teachers

We are interested in collecting your stories about faculty members, residents, nurses, or anyone else, who have impacted or influenced you in a significant way. Please tell us about what those teachers did that resulted in an exceptional educational experience and how it changed you.

This Month's Submissions

Below are the exceptional teacher recognitions shared with the Learning Environment Advocacy Committee this month. Thank you to these faculty for providing a great experience for our students. 

Emergency Medicine

  • Dr. Carol Bernier (Pre-Hospital Medicine) - “Dr. Bernier is a phenomenal EMS leader, physician and educator. Dr. Bernier went out of her way to give me an extraordinary, varied, exciting exposure to pre-hospital medicine. It is clear from watching her work and listening to what pre-hospital providers say behind her back that her pre-hospital work has been nothing short of transformative for patients in the Roanoke Valley. She has improved the education of her pre-hospital providers which professionalized their service and improved their care to patients. Whatever Dr. Bernier might need to help her at her job should be accommodated to keep her with Carilion.”
  • Dr. Stephanie Lareau (Wilderness Medicine) - “Dr. Lareau is an amazing leader and is perfect for directing the Wilderness Medicine rotation as well as the fellowship. She involves students in all aspects of decision making, providing care, and plan implementation. Would love to work with her again!”

Family and Community Medicine

  • Dr. Mary Sweet (AI in Family Medicine) - “In the time that I spent with Dr. Sweet she exemplified what it means to be a caring and compassionate physician. I will model my bedside manner on the amazing example she set.”

Internal Medicine

  • Dr. Joshua Eikenberg - “I really enjoyed working with Dr. Eikenberg. He took the time to explain difficult concepts to me and actively involved me in patient care.”
  • Dr. Amanda Gillespie-Twardy - “Wonderful to work with! Eager to teach and clearly loved by her patients.”

Neurology

  • Dr. Nicholas Yelverton - “I really appreciated Dr. Yelverton's consistent effort in getting me involved in patient care. He made sure that I was involved in useful learning experiences and taught every step of the way. He really made my Neurology elective not only a great clinical learning experience but also a joy all around. Thank you!!”

OB-GYN

  • Dr. Janet Osborne (GYN-ONC AI) - “Clearly defines expectations from the beginning. Gives valuable, constructive feedback immediately. Enjoys teaching and consistently made me feel like an important member of the team.”

Pediatrics

  • Dr. Virginia Powel - “Good attending, I felt included on her team.”
  • Dr. Christina Warwick-Hulgan (NICU) - “Did a great job involving me in medical decision-making and being supportive and available.”

Psychiatry & Behavioral Medicine

  • Dr. Anilla Del Fabbro - “Excellent mentor and physician. She is someone who I look up to and would like to emulate when I am a physician. Talks to patients very respectfully and is amazing at talk therapy.”
  • Dr. Justin White (AI in Psychiatry) - “Dr. White is a wonderful physician. I really enjoyed learning how he interviews patients, and how patient he is with everyone. He really takes the time to learn about them and their concerns.”

Radiology

  • Dr. Michael Bergen (AI in IR) - “Did a great job involving me in medical decision-making and being supportive and available.”
  • Dr. John Wessinger - “Great teacher, enthusiastic and willing to get students involved, respectful and professional, great relationship with patients and operative team.”

Surgery

  • Dr. Christine Sherman (Anesthesia) - “Clearly outlined her expectations of my involvement in patient care at the beginning of the day. Provided encouragement and immediate feedback regarding patient monitoring, intubation, and transport. Working with Dr. Sherman was a very positive experience; I learned a lot and gained valuable skills.”

December 2021 Submissions

Emergency Medicine

  • Dr. Paul Haskins - “Had a very tough shift together but he was welcoming, engaging, and a wonderful teacher who really seemed to care about the education of students.”
  • Dr. Olumide Ojeifo - “Dr. Ojeifo was a fantastic role model and teacher, he also was aware of my interests in radiology/IR and went out of way to apply EM to my future career goals.”

Family and Community Medicine

  • Dr. Mark Watts - “Despite a busy clinic, Dr. Watts goes out of his way to welcome and educate students. From day 1, his actions reinforced that learning was the emphasis of the clinical experience, and he tailored my patients to meet learning goals along the way and provide a variety of patient presentations, rehashing and clarifying relevant information as appropriate. He makes students feel like a valued member of the team and was always willing to talk through the nuance of clinical testing and therapeutic interventions with students and patients alike. He is a model physician, constantly demonstrating his compassionate and caring nature. He truly made the past 6 weeks incredible!”
  • Dr. Jessica Whiting - “Dr. Whiting is, without exception, the best attending I could have learned from over the course of this FM block. She was attentive to my learning, pushed me out of my comfort zone in a way that instilled confidence, and provided me skills I will use for the rest of my career. She helped me best understand what it meant to really be a family physician, what the extent of the work truly looked like, and how far one must go in order to truly serve as a patient's doctor. I would be honored to have Dr. Whiting ever take care of me or my loved ones and am thankful I had the chance to learn from her. I highly recommend her for further student teaching.”

Internal Medicine

  • Dr. Suzy Kraemer - “Dr. Kraemer was one of the best attendings I've worked with so far. She was incredibly welcoming to students and fostered a positive team dynamic and learning environment. I especially appreciated the extra time she took to get to know us and provide personalized feedback, as well the unique teaching points she provided from her expert patient safety and quality improvement background.”
  • Dr. Jahanzeb Saeed - “I only have positive things to say about Dr. Saeed. He included students in every part of patient care and went out of his way to teach, even in the midst of a very busy service. He was approachable and supportive and offered very appreciated wisdom and advice.”

Neurology

  • Dr. Davis Sugar - “Davis Sugar was an excellent teacher. He sat with me and walked through each case and explained how he thought through each patient and came to a differential. He would periodically question me to make sure I was understanding and really helped me to fill gaps in my knowledge.”
  • Dr. Nicholas Yelverton - “Dr. Yelverton was always willing to teach and provided opportunities to ask questions.”

OB-GYN

  • Dr. Meghan Hagedorn  -  “Meghan is the person I think of when I hear the phrase "lead by example". I'd feel blessed if I was half the resident she is when my residency career occurs. She is flawlessly professional (i.e., handled very tough and honestly, unprofessional behavior with absolute grace), extremely competent (her skills are noticeably fantastic, and she explains her clinical decision-making very well), and actively diligent (balances OR efficacy with integrated student teaching). Meghan also prioritized student education, which is something that does not always happen. She is also refreshingly relatable and approachable, and her honesty and thoughtfulness are so incredibly valued. I am grateful for having spent time with Meghan.”
  • Dr. Kurt Stockstill - “Pulled me aside my first day to welcome me to the clerkship (which included valuable tips) and give me a 5-minute mini-lesson. Set a great tone for the 6 weeks!”

Pediatrics

  • Dr. Farahaba Lakhdir - “Dr. Lakhdir was exemplary not only in her cultural sensitivity, but also in discussing why cultural sensitivity is important and relevant in providing good healthcare.”
  • Dr. Yossaman Mossadad - “Absolutely fantastic resident. Despite being busy she always was very willing to help explain and give advice to us medical students for us to do well. Personable, funny, knowledgeable.”

Psychiatry & Behavioral Medicine

  • Dr. John Draeger - “ADHD is a complicated topic and Dr. Draeger provided a helpful way to think about its workup and management from multiple perspectives. I appreciated his time and effort in doing so.”
  • Dr. Yezhe Lin - “Dr. Lin is an excellent team player and resident physician. When I had a question, she was readily available. When I had an idea about management, she challenged me to think through the why of that plan and think about alternatives based on my formulation of a given patient. She was not afraid to mention areas that she was working to improve on and how she was doing so in an effort to help me as a student. We had several late nights working and her attitude was good and professional. (Some non-identifiable patient content left out here for this report) Her care for patients is also something that is really evident. I would enthusiastically learn from and work with Dr. Lin in the future.”

Radiology

  • Dr. Ricardo Riegodedios - “Fantastic teacher. Very informative and encouraging. Fostered genuine interests and went out of his way to share insight in his work. Appreciated our lectures!”
  • Dr. Ashley Tuttle - “Encouraging and clear communicating. Very informative and inclusive.”

Surgery

  • Dr. Cody Bushman - “I really appreciate Dr. Tershak taking so much time to teach me during this block. He allowed me to actively participate in both the clinic and OR which really made an impact on my surgery rotation. I would be more than willing to work with him again in the future.”
  • Dr. Daniel Tershak - “I really appreciate Dr. Tershak taking so much time to teach me during this block. He allowed me to actively participate in both the clinic and OR which really made an impact on my surgery rotation. I would be more than willing to work with him again in the future.”

Previous recognitions