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October 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.

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. 

October 2022 Submissions

Family and Community Medicine

  • Dr. Nancy Misicko - “Dr. Misicko is an amazing teacher; she's a great listener and an exemplar clinician. She combines all the important aspects of a physician--she is very thorough while being efficient combining that with a personal rapport with the patients that all seems natural. She does this all while helping the office be a fun and welcoming place for learners. Any student, resident, or new attending can learn a wealth from her and it's no surprise that she is highly respected throughout the Carilion and VTC communities.”
  • Dr. Antonio Roman - “Dr. Roman was a very enthusiastic teacher and physician and I really appreciated the time I worked with him, I learned a lot over these few sessions.”

Internal Medicine

  • Dr. Randy England - “Dr. Randy England I also feel deserves a special comment regarding how well he integrates students into his team, delegates tasks to them, sets high expectations and really makes them feel like active, contributing members to the team.”
  • Dr. Yunan Wang - “Dr. Wang was an excellent attending to work with. He is clearly very dedicated to teaching and often took time out during rounds to explain difficult concepts to us. During procedures that he supervised, he would also take time to explain various nuances or challenges that can be encountered. He was always very accommodating and available for feedback and I was able to have several feedback sessions with him which helped in calibrating expectations and areas for improvement.”


  • Dr. Nazik Abuelgasim - “Very welcoming. Did a great job involving me in patient care (writing notes, seeing/reporting on consults) wherever possible.”
  • Dr. Thomas Kodankandath - “Dr. Kodankandath is an absolutely superb teacher. I learned a TON from the few days I had with him. Specifically:
    • During rounds, he let me practice full presentations on patients I pre-rounded on every day and gave me immediate feedback. He gave me a great template for presentations that I will carry forward onto future rotations.
    • He involved me in interpreting scans/results and asked what I would do for my assessment/plan on patients that I'd been working with.
    • On a consult that we were seeing together, he had me lead the interview/do the physical exam in front of him. He supplemented the interview/exam as needed and provided feedback on my performance immediately afterwards and explained why he asked the additional questions that he did.
    • When I reported something that I thought was abnormal on a neuro exam during prerounds, he would have me repeat that part of the physical exam during rounds in front of him (rather than immediately jumping to do it himself), observe how I was doing the exam skill, and provide feedback on what I needed to do differently/showed me the proper way to do the exam skill if I wasn't doing something right.
    • Summarized the most important general takeaways from each day - some of the more memorable lessons were to always listen to the patient and how THEY feel, even if their feelings don't necessarily show through on the physical exam, and how much of the neuro exam can be assessed by watching a person walk.
    • He was extremely approachable and friendly.
    • He asked for feedback on his performance and appeared genuinely invested in maximizing our learning experience”


  • Dr. Alana Castro-Gilliard - “Actively involves students, enthusiastic and caring.”
  • Dr. Emily Evans-Hoeker - “Great job engaging the students, despite constraints of zoom. Very helpful and effective way to end the talk "Your takeaways are X, Y, Z." Clearly knowledgeable about her field if she can simplify. Wish we saw more of her!”


  • Dr. Emily Doherty - “She is super smart and breaks down genetics really well, especially with clinical Genetics. I love how she waits for an answer, and gives us time to think.”
  • Dr. Andrew Hayes - “Dr. Hayes was fantastic! He takes the time to explain concepts and review cases.”

Psychiatry & Behavioral Medicine

  • Dr. Bush Kavuru - “Dr. Kavuru was an exceptional teacher during my time with him. He took several hours each day of his own time to teach me. Dr. Kavuru engaged me at every step of patient care and challenged me to develop my interview skills. He consistently asked me questions to develop my understanding and learning. I appreciated his insight into the field, and unique perspective/approach to psychiatry.”
  • Dr. Amin Syed - “Dr. Amin Syed was wonderful during my time on inpatient psychiatry. He was extremely supportive in my learning and always went out of his way to quiz me on certain topics of send me supplemental study materials. He gave me helpful feedback on my notes and interviewing and always involved me as a valued member of the team. I was always impressed with his ability to build rapport with his patients, taking a genuine interest in their lives and wanting to help them!”


  • Dr. Victor Mandanas - “Dr. Mandanas was an excellent faculty member to work with. During our sessions, he gave me the opportunity to interpret scans myself so that I could develop and practice my skills. Following my reads, he gave me specific feedback on what I did well and how I could improve. He explained complex concepts clearly and concisely, and was happy to answer any and all questions I had. I really appreciated how he took interest in my learning, suggesting resources that I could use to further my knowledge. I took advantage of his suggestions, which I credit to some my success this rotation. I would be happy to work with him again.”
  • Dr. Ricardo Riego de Dios - “I had a very positive experience working with Dr. Riego de Dios. He was so focused on helping me learn and develop my skills, and created such an encouraging learning environment that I looked forward to prior to our sessions. Dr. Riego de Dios pushed me to go beyond just describing what I saw in images, prompting me to build differential diagnoses and think through them to develop my clinical critical thinking skills. During our first session, he asked me what my medical interests were, and went out of his way to compile cases that were relevant to what I was interested in. He made me feel like he really cared about me from both a learning and personal standpoint, and that made a real impact on me.”


  • Dr. Al Hagy - “He welcomed students to the team and clearly set expectations from the start. He entrusted me with assisting with parts of the case, he pushed me to be more efficient in the OR, and eventually expected me to recognize reasons for a given intervention. For these reasons, I feel that I learned more in the OR with him than with any other surgeon. I rounded on many of his patients and they always seemed to be the happiest patients, likely because he is caring and truthful in his interactions. He is also an attending who is present in the OR when the patient arrives and stands by them as they fall asleep, rather than an attending who shows up when the patient is prepped. I admire these qualities of his-- He helped me realize the type of surgeon I would like to be someday, and he taught me the importance of interactions with patients and how the patient experience can influence their health and hospital course.”
  • Dr. Sarah Lucente - “She always welcomed students to the team and supported my learning. She entrusted me with a level of responsibility in the OR and trauma bay that challenged me yet helped me grow my confidence in various skills. She recognized high-stress scenarios and debriefed afterward with myself and the intern. Encouraged us to be confident decision-makers which will greatly benefit me in my career and future clinical rotations!”