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February 2023 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. 

February 2023 Submissions

Emergency Medicine

  • Dr. Kimberly Abel - “Dr. Abel was a great attending to work with on this rotation! She often went out of her way to make sure I had interesting patients to follow, let me get involved in various procedures, and made me feel a part of the clinical team at all times.”
  • Dr. Brian Meier - “Very engaging preceptor and always provided a supportive and approachable learning environment. Enjoyed working with him greatly.”

Family and Community Medicine

  • Dr. Timothy Bierne - “My favorite aspect about Dr. Beirne is that he made me feel like part of the team. He had clear objectives and goals for me and helped me achieve them. I was able to grow as 3rd year student with the help of Dr. Beirne. I feel comfortable writing a note, presenting on a patient, formulating a differential diagnosis and much more. He is a GREAT attitude with his team and patients. I have learned how to be compassionate and effective with patients by watching Dr. Beirne. He is awesome.”
  • Dr. Mark Watts - “Dr. Watts is AMAZING! He is one of the BEST attendings I have worked with in my 3rd year. Everyday I was happy and excited to work at the Vinton clinic because of him. I have learned so much as third year student. At the beginning of the clerkship he inquired about my goals and then made sure we hit those goals throughout the clerkship. He gave me ample opportunity for patient presentations, write notes, and practice procedures! Even when I wasn't working with him, he would make sure to check on me. I have learned how to talk to patients and grow as a clinician. I see why his patients are sad when he mentions his retirement. He gave me feedback at appropriate times, thus giving me the chance to readjust and improve. Then when he saw me get better, he gave me more responsibilities. Dr. Watts is awesome. VTC students are lucky to have him.”

Internal Medicine

  • Dr. Katherine Coffey-Vega - “It was a privilege to work with Dr. Coffey-Vega on IM. We had a particularly complex patient list during our time together with lots of opportunities for palliative/geriatric/ethics involvement. She brought an extremely valuable and unique viewpoint to these patients and I learned a lot just from watching her. She is so kind, proactive, and caring and you can see how much each patient means to her. She puts all of herself towards each patient, and it was clear that the patients felt that way. She is by far the most empathetic and caring attending that I've worked with.”
  • Dr. Samuel Florescu - “Dr. Florescu definitely made this rotation a great one. He went out of his way every day to teach us something new. He catered to our personal goals/learning objectives each day. He constantly provided feedback and made sure that we were doing okay/achieving what we wanted to achieve. He was really kind and welcoming from day one.”


  • Dr. Nitya Karki - “Really enjoyed working with Dr. Karki. She was a great teacher, affirming, gave constructive feedback when needed, and was kind to her patients.”
  • Dr. Nicholas Yelverton - “Great attending. Made it clear that he cared about my interests and connected with me on a personal level. Easy going and nice to work with. Also a good teacher - really helped me understand several topics related to stroke physiology that were previously a struggle for me. Because he was able to reach me on that level, I will definitely move forward more comfortably able to recognize strokes and provide my patients better care in the future.”


  • Dr. Alana Castro-Gillard - “Dr. Alana Casto-Gillard went above and beyond to teach me important skills. She also had exceptional trust and compassion with her patients which I would like to emulate in my future practice.”
  • Dr. Kimberly Simcox - “Dr. Kimberly Simcox was especially engaging during my time with her at her gyn clinic. She taught me hands on clinical skills even though I am sure it made her day longer. She taught me the importance of addressing stigma in the clinical environment to best care for patients.”


  • Dr. Kathy Amoroso - “Dr. Amoroso was an excellent teacher and kind physician, I very much enjoyed working with and learning from her.”
  • Dr. Austin Drake - “Dr. Drake is a phenomenal teacher! He was very engaging and really took an interest in creating teaching points for medical students!”

Psychiatry & Behavioral Medicine

  • Dr. Jessica Farrell - “10/10 nicest person I've ever met. Delightful to work with. Very clear about expectations and making sure I was involved in patient care as much as possible. Gave great feedback and was always available if I had questions or needed help on anything.”
  • Dr. Eric Vance - “I had a great time working with Dr. Vance. He welcomes any and all questions and shared many clinical pearls throughout the days we spent working together. I learned a tremendous amount, not just content, but also tips and tricks on how to interact with patients and coach families that I will continue to use in my practice going forward. I would welcome another opportunity to work with Dr. Vance!”


  • Dr. Bryan Collier - “Very helpful introduction to fluid and electrolyte management in the hospitalized patient, enjoyed the conversational tone and engagement of students in critical thinking exercises throughout.”
  • Dr. Maddy Denison - “Maddy Denison provided multiple opportunities to learn hands-on on our 24hr shift together, took every opportunity there was to teach and explain what was happening, facilitated a very collegial and friendly environment, demonstrated amazing empathy and compassion toward patients (especially a pediatric trauma we were called to).”