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December 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. 

December 2022 Submissions

Emergency Medicine

  • Dr. Inna Massaro - “One of the best attendings I have ever worked with-ever. She was engaged in my learning, gave me room to take initiative, created an incredible learning environment-it was fun and I learned soo much. I think she should be involved in the m1-m2 side of teaching more-shes amazing at explaining difficult concepts”
  • Dr. Lisa Uherick - “Wonderful attending; approachable and enthusiastic. Excellent at explaining clinical concepts, actively gets students involved in patient care and provides appropriate, constructive feedback. Helped me a lot with building my differentials.”

Family and Community Medicine

  • Dr. Katherine Harris - “Dr. Harris was the best doctor I have worked with. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in clinic with her and she went out of her way to make sure I saw interesting patients and procedures. She did a great job teaching after each patient and provided me with great resources to study for the final exam. She was excellent with her patients and they all spoke very highly of her. I would highly recommend working with her to other students as she was a great role model for the kind of physician I want to be.”
  • Dr. Richie Truxillo - “Thought Dr. Truxillo was very friendly and made me feel welcome in the clinic from day 1. He has a great rapport with his patients and staff. Also appreciated his candor about mental health and his ability to address mental health concerns with his patients. Would recommend this person to other students.”

Internal Medicine

  • Dr. Allen Blackwood - “He was such an amazing attending. Efficient but also so full of knowledge and great with teaching. His bedside manner was also great. I learned so much from him and he gave me so much autonomy as a medical student. I was able to work on my own patient cases and write their notes in full detail under his supervision. I am so grateful for the time I got to work with Dr. Blackwood but I am sad to see him go. Wish you all the best in your next endeavors.”
  • Dr. Christopher Schimmoeller - “He was an INCREDIBLE senior resident! He taught me so much about patient management and allowed me to take charge of my own patients. Everyone should have the chance to work with him!”


  • Dr. Thomas Kodankandath - “I really enjoyed working with Dr. K. I really appreciated his teaching style and was particularly clear when it came to his expectations while on this rotation. I learned a lot from his rapid fire questions and liked the way he included the whole group on round, it was a nice was to get everyone to participate without singling out someone on the spot. I think he did a good job of not making us feel bad if we didn't know the answer but rather making it a teaching point for everyone. I think he was also particularly helpful when it came to giving advice and feedback - he definitely perfected my neurologic exam and took the time to talk to me more about careers in neurology. I really appreciate his dedication to teaching and his patience with which he takes on each new student he teaches.”
  • Dr. Davis Sugar - “Really enjoyed working with Dr. Sugar. He was very helpful and encouraging when it came to teaching the neurologic exam and someone who I would recommend as a teacher to my peers. He also is clearly passionate and curious about neurology and we had a number of really interesting conversations about careers in the field and the latest research. He made me more interested in the field of neurology in general.”


  • Dr. David Iglesias - “Loved working with him! Great with patients, great at giving feedback, very supportive learning environment.”
  • Dr. Payden White - “Best resident I've ever worked with. Wonderful at teaching, always involved me in patient care when possible, super approachable and just a joy to be around.”


  • Dr. Leah Birdwell - “Dr. Birdwell does a great job managing a very busy floor and a large team of residents/students. She did a great job helping to keep everything organized; helped get students involved. She will make a great pediatric attending.”
  • Dr. Vydia Permashwar - “Dr. Permashwar is amazing. She gets people thinking about the children's social situation beyond any disease.”

Psychiatry & Behavioral Medicine

  • Dr. Akil Pola - “Excellent teacher, went above and beyond to welcome students and incorporate them into team, encouraged student independence with Epic notes/orders and patient interactions. Best resident I've worked with by far.”
  • Dr. Anuradha Sekhri - “Dr Sekhri at the VA was a really exceptional person to work with in my opinion. She has a lot of experience working with students, which came through very clearly. Things I appreciated was that she gives students a lot of ownership in the management of patients (entering orders, writing consults and interacting with consultants, writing notes, etc). She provides very clear, easy to follow expectations and is very supportive and engaged. She takes time out of her day to check-in and discuss educational topics each afternoon.”


  • Dr. Adam Donithan - “Very engaged and supportive of students' learning! I enjoyed all of our sessions and he provided great feedback and helped increase my confidence in my ability to read imaging.”
  • Dr. Kelley Whitmer - “His session was very engaging and he provided clear instructions and resources for our session. The questions he asked helped us consider other perspectives and deepened our knowledge of healthcare systems.”


  • Dr. Al Hagy - “Very good teacher and able to connect with patients.”
  • Dr. Sarah Lucente - “Great as chief, allowed students to help out when possible.”