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June 2021 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.

June 2021 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. Paul Haskins - “Excellent attending, clearly enjoyed teaching, laid back and made learning experience fun.”
  • Dr. Nathaniel Linger - “One of the best attending that I have ever worked with. Very approachable and kind. Helpful. Brings everyone into the team. Very knowledgeable. A true asset to the Carilion EM Team.”

Family and Community Medicine

  • Dr. Brittany Hayes - “Dr. Hayes is a great faculty member and helped cultivate a positive environment for learning. She structured the rotation to allow me to work with a variety of providers and worked to make sure I completed my passport objectives without issue. She recognized my priorities and targeted the patients I would see based on my specialty preferences”
  • Dr. Karen Perkins - “Was very organized and thoughtful when working with a student - she would make sure help me choose patients from whom I could learn and make me an active part of the patient's care by challenging me with questions about their care plan. She also gave and received feedback well and wanted to make sure I made the most of my time in the office. She cared about my education and tried to do her best to help me plan my rotation.”

Internal Medicine

  • Dr. Chad Demott - “One of the best attendings I have worked with all year. Prioritized student education, immersed us in the team, gave prompt and thoughtful feedback, modeled humanistic medical care, and emphasized personal growth. Dr. Demott exemplifies the lifelong learner and dedicated teacher. Working with him definitely solidified my interest in IM.”
  • Dr. Jose Martin - “actively involved students in patient care and team discussions; consistently found useful teaching points relevant to our stage of learning; always kind and respectful to patients and the entire team.”


  • Dr. David Epstein - “Dr. Epstein was very good at having students be part of the team. He engaged students in learning and made sure to challenge student with questions. He also was an excellent role model for patient care. He was compassionate and clearly spent time critically thinking about each patient--something I would like to emulate in my future career.”
  • Dr. Jim Schmidley - “Dr. Schmidley clearly cares about medical student education. As a clerkship director, he is probably in the top 5% of making himself available to medical students to discuss cases, questions etc.”

Obstetrics & Gynecology

  • Dr. Kimberly Simcox - “I like her enthusiasm for addiction patients. She is friendly to the whole team. Would recommend to other med students.”
  • Dr. Nicole Thieken - “She was so awesome to work with. She actively involved me in patient care and deliveries. I so appreciated this. She spent time reviewing important concepts in OBGYN. Great teacher. She was friendly and welcoming. Always nice to everyone. Just amazing! I am so happy I had the chance to work with her.”


  • Dr. Hiren Patel - “I thought that Dr. Patel was a great faculty member. I thought he did a great job conveying a method of practicing in a consistent and regimented way so that elements of the patients’ nursery stay were all accounted for. I thought I learned a lot about newborn care while working with him”
  • Dr. Jacquelyn Gillman - “Dr. Gillman is a wonderful resident and a fabulous teacher. She always made sure that the students had interesting patients to follow (even on the slowest of inpatient weeks) and ensured that we felt involved in patient care. She is very respectful and kind to her patients and to everyone around her. I thoroughly enjoyed working with her.”

Psychiatry & Behavioral Medicine

  • Dr. Justin White - “Dr. White was great to work with. I appreciate how kind and open he was. I am glad that he allowed me to become involved with patients and rounding since day 1 and took the time to gently remind the resident to allow the medical student to also conduct some of the interviews. He was really knowledgeable and extremely easy to approach, and I would happily work with him again.”
  • Dr. Michael Ferguson - “Mike was a great resident to work with. He really took the time to consider what it was like learning from a student's perspective and did his best to try to explain relevant information in an understandable way. I appreciate him being down-to-earth and easy to talk to and would gladly work with him again.”


  • Dr. A Lucktong - “Dr. Lucktong is an excellent teacher and surgeon. He facilitated an engaging learning environment by building on topics we'd discussed in previous cases and encouraged me to ask questions.”
  • Dr. Sam Koenig - “Dr. Sam Koenig was the best resident I have ever worked with. Always kept me in the loop, made me feel like a part of the team, and actively sought out learning opportunities for me. Professional in every way and extremely knowledgeable. Always positive, always enthusiastic, and always energetic (somehow despite the hours she works). I experienced my second ever code/patient death with Dr. Koenig. My first one occurred during my IM rotation and was never really talked about. Dr. Koenig took the time to take the team aside after and do a debrief, specifically addressing me during this time. Also, she took the time to give me individual feedback on the rotation. As someone who was very nervous about this rotation, I truly cannot say enough good things and will be nominating her for our VTCSOM M3 resident teaching award.”