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July 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 rotation. Thank you to these faculty for providing a great experience for our students. 

July 2023 Submissions

Emergency Medicine

  • Dr Henry Weigle - “Dr. Weigle was one of the first attendings that I worked with. He was super welcoming and funny and involved me in a bunch of things right away. He encouraged me to take the lead on my patients and follow/present any updates. He increased my confidence about how to fit into the ER setting and taught me a lot about how I have the opportunity to be helpful as a student. His feedback was very helpful and actionable.”
  • Dr David Wells- “Dave Wells for resident of the year. He made sure to integrate me into the team with a warm welcome, and let me see his patients, giving me opportunities to opt out for other opportunities. He made a really encouraging space and really challenged my clinical skills. He took the time to explain fast paced things like RSI to me after the fact, walking through his thought process and explaining why he ordered certain meds and what they did. He made a great impression on me and I would trust him taking care of my family members.”

Family and Community Medicine

  • Dr Allison Thornton - “I could give a story about EVERY doctor I worked with. But I would say Dr. Thornton took the cake for being my favorite. She is so incredibly knowledgeable and great with her patients while going out of her way to be kind to me. She would even let me sit in the chair while she would sit on the little pullout foot rest on the bed (uncomfortable). Random, but the small things are often the most meaningful.”
  • Dr Katherine Harris - “Dr. Harris consistently would walk me through her thinking process for her assessment and plan of patient and provide useful feedback for examining patients.”

Internal Medicine

  • Dr Jonas Rawlins- “Dr. Rawlins is was an excellent teacher. He took the time to explain topics, solicited input and ideas from students, and took the time to provide meaningful feedback. He is kind to students and patients, and I felt supported on his team as a learner.”
  • Dr Lauren Mazin - “Dr. Lauren Mazin went above and beyond to educate the students and her peers. She made ppts when she went home regarding topics that were relevant to our cases, brought handouts and hosted mini lecture series. Dr. Mazin took the initiative to teach and I learned a lot from her. On a side node, we were also able to discuss topics regarding women in medicine and that helped me navigate some of my person stresses.”


  • Dr Thomas Kodankandath - “Dr. Kodankandath was an amazing preceptor. Every patient encounter was turned into a teaching moment. Rounds flew by because he challenged us to think critically on every single patient. Its clear he's passionate about what he does, and really cares for his patients. He's set the bar HIGH for my future preceptors. Thank you Dr. K.”
  • Dr Nitya Karki - “Dr. Karki was fantastic to work with. She was eager to teach, patient with us as we learned, and encouraged us to think critically. Added bonus she is hilarious.”


  • Dr Ryan Bradley - “Dr. Bradley: Consistently explained his thought process and increased my curiosity. Took opportunities to create teachable moments. Allowed me to be involved in patient care and laid clear expectations. Created a very positive atmosphere with the team that made me feel as though I were a part of it.”
  • Dr Jasmine Edghill - “Went out of her way to make sure I wasn't lost and knew where I was going, especially during my first few days on the rotation. The empathy she has for her patients is inspiring. She included me in conversations with the residents/attendings and made sure I felt like I was part of the team”


  • Dr Jasmine Edghill - “Went out of her way to make sure I wasn't lost and knew where I was going, especially during my first few days on the rotation. The empathy she has for her patients is inspiring. She included me in conversations with the residents/attendings and made sure I felt like I was part of the team”
  • Dr Brooke Jensen - “Will take this opportunity to say thank you again to Dr. Jensen. Specific +'s:
    -Made a point of debriefing after each encounter so that I could ask questions, teaching points relevant to the case could be expanded upon and for feedback delivery
    -Specifically asked about topics we (the 2 med students) were unclear on, and then came back with information to help close those knowledge gaps
    -All patient encounters were professional and well executed - provided a model that I will try to follow moving forward
    -Equally as important, she was kind, welcoming and made me feel like part of the team”

Psychiatry & Behavioral Medicine

  • Dr Eric Vance - “Dr. Vance asked for my goals right away and allowed me to work towards them in an encouraging manner. He allowed me to complete multiple interviews to become more comfortable with asking tough questions. He took the extra time to teach me about anything I was curious about. “
  • Dr Akhil Pola - “Akhil Pola is a wonderful resident who took time with multiple medical students to teach important concepts about clinical assessment and the basic science underlying various mental illnesses and their treatment. He went above and beyond. I have a much stronger grasp of thought disorders and their management thanks to him!”


  • Dr Adam Donithan - “Great at walking students through chest radiography. Asked for a lot of student input and participation which was participated. Very positive and relaxed learning environment that made the students feel eager to engage.”
  • Dr Alecia Sizemore - “Really enjoyed the breast clinic session with Sizemore. She was very welcoming and supportive of students and for finding learning opportunities for them. She interacted took her time to explain and answer questions for patients and I think was a great role model for patient care.”


  • Dr Kathryn Bass - “Dr. Bass was especially positive. By chance I happened to scrub into a laparoscopic case during my night float week when there was no resident available, and again when the resident had to respond to a trauma patient arriving. I greatly appreciate the way she involved me in carrying out the operation, even if it meant just doing minor things like holding the laparoscopy camera through the entire case and being asked to retract or hold instruments in specific ways.”
  • Dr Joowon Choi - “It came as no surprise after some peripheral interactions with Joowon while she was a student at VTC that she would be an impressive resident. She was an integral part of the Surgery team that I was on with her, and it was clear that her co-residents, fellows, and attendings had a lot of respect for her and the work she did every day. She has such a positive attitude and was a really great teacher on everything from setting up Epic in a way that makes sense, to conducting an appropriate history or exam, to being and finding mentors throughout medical school and beyond. Something I really appreciated was that she encouraged medical students to take ownership in our patients in a way that others had not previously, but not without making clear that she was there to support us in order to be successful in that endeavor. There are many other moments that stand out from the short time I spent with Joowon in the hospital, especially in her care of patients, but I think overall, she was an exceptional teacher and will be an exceptional surgeon”.