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May 2022 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.

May 2022'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. Damon Kuehl - “Dr. Kuehl is a model physician and great teacher who engages students in learning throughout the patient care process, taking the opportunity to teach whenever time permits. He allows and encourages students to take ownership of select patients while engaging students in the care of other patients for the purpose of learning or involvement in procedures.”
  • Dr. Jamie Bankson - “Jamie Bankson was endlessly encouraging and helped me to take on a wide variety of patients and cases. She helped walk me through procedures and took time to teach at both a basic and a complex level. Provided a ton of very useful perspective, and helped me take ownership of my patients.”

Family and Community Medicine

  • Dr. Richie Truxillo - “Great teacher! Had a great time with Dr. Truxillo. I really appreciate how he regularly took the time to teach. He was also very encouraging.”
  • Dr. Brianna Beach - “Great environment. Easy to work with and learn from!”

Internal Medicine

  • Dr. Yunan Wang - “Dr. Wang was incredible - a truly phenomenal physician. His ability to break down topics, diligently explain them, and even review a worksheet that he created for us was a huge and impactful learning experience on the whole. Moreover, we had several patients with truly difficult dispositions/ethics, and Dr. Wang's empathy in handling those situations and understanding the various perspectives on the involved parties was remarkable.”
  • Dr. Jennifer Peterson - “Dr. Jennifer Peterson is an IM resident that stands out to me. Jen always goes the extra mile to ensure that her patients are cared for in the most supportive ways, and her calm and encouraging demeanor is effective and well received by patients and medical team, alike. She always made an effort to ensure that myself, and my co-medical student, were involved in direct patient care. She allowed us to fully interview patients and do physical exams, stepping in when necessary but allowing us to learn and try before taking over the encounter. She always offered for us to be involved in any procedure that was going on. She checked in with us in the morning and answered any questions that we had in regards to the assessments and plans of our patients. She gave us tasks to do in the afternoon and trusted us to report back to her, allowing us to directly be involved in patient care and contribute to the team. She is a phenomenal resident and I know she will make a stellar attending - her patients are lucky to have her and I am lucky to have spent time with her on this rotation!”


  • Dr. Davis Sugar - “Learned a lot while working with Dr. Sugar. He was great at asking about and reviewing with me key aspects of a patient's condition after rounding, which helped reinforce my own knowledge. Dr. Sugar was also very proactive in giving me the opportunities to work on my procedural and physical exam techniques. Thanks!”


  • Dr. Shannon Armbruster - “Dr. Armbruster was an amazing attending to have worked with! She took time to teach and included me in discussions with the residents. She provided constructive feedback throughout our interactions. She absolutely was a role model for patient care and clearly cares deeply about her patients and providing them excellent care.”
  • Dr. Jasmine Edghill - “Jasmine was an amazing resident to work with. She was kind and included me in patient care and the team. She clearly cares about her patients and goes above and beyond for them - even when the team was busy and we were staying late. She is a model for how I hope to be as a physician and a resident.”


  • Dr. Farahaba Lakhdir - “Fantastic preceptor. Supportive and inclusive of student needs. Provided relevant teaching and actively pursued educational opportunities for me as a student to learn and see more.”
  • Dr. Leah Birdwell - “Leah Birdwell is one of the best overall residents I have worked with during my 3rd year, and certainly the best intern. She was incredibly cognizant of getting med students involved with patient care, and she took an active lead in mentoring and teaching. She always knew which student was following which patient, and she went out of her way to make sure we understood that patient's pathology and the rationales for their management. Not once did she ever leave to pre-round without us, and she encouraged us to take the lead with interviewing patients/families and communicating management plans when/where we felt comfortable. I noticed a trend throughout the rotation that my most thorough, informed, and confident presentations on rounds were consistently the ones I gave on the patients I was co-following with Leah. She genuinely made me feel like a contributing member of the team, and I am definitely a much more confident and knowledgeable student-doctor after having worked with her.”

Psychiatry & Behavioral Medicine

  • Dr. Anuradha Sekhri - “Dr. Sekhri was an incredible attending to work under. She was very focused on teaching and making sure that I integrated any feedback into my interviewing and other patient care skills. I very much enjoyed working with her and would recommend the VA to any other VTC students.”
  • Dr. Mounica Thootkur - “She warmly welcomed me into the team and made sure that I knew exactly what was expected of me. She often took time out of her busy day to go through a high yield psych topic with me.”


  • Dr. Adam Donithan - “Engaging attending who gives students adequate opportunities to practice reading cases while also provided ample supplemental teaching points.”
  • Dr. Ashley Tuttle - “Strong teacher who uses leading and/or educational questioning and on-the-job learning to relay the process of breast imaging ordering and interpretation.”


  • Dr. Daniel Lollar - “This was the best presentation that we had during my surgery rotation. Concepts were conveyed in a clear, concise manner, and Dr. Lollar seemed very enthusiastic to teach the topic.”
  • Dr. Guy Katz - “Guy Katz was an exceptional teacher. He always made an effort to sit down and explain the rationale behind why we were choosing to do a certain procedure and would walk through the pathophysiologies of various disease processes. No matter how stressed or how busy, he would always find time to work with me and expand my knowledge. He was a great role model, and I hope to one day be the same to my students when I am a resident.”