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December 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. 

December 2023 Submissions

Emergency Medicine

  • Brian Meier, MD – “Awesome clerkship director! Felt welcomed into the EM team!”

Family and Community Medicine

  • Wayne Brackenrich, DO – “Greatly enjoyed working with Dr. Brackenrich. I suspect in a few months when 3rd year is over I will look back and say he was the best provider I worked with. Felt there was the perfect balance of training, letting me be independent, and career/life guidance. Was eager to teach and shared a lot of pearls that you can only learn through experience. Excellent bedside manner, learned a lot from watching him interact with patients. Truly got the feeling he genuinely cared about every patient who walked through the door. There was one day the provider I was scheduled to work with was out, and without hesitation Dr. Brackenrich let me join up with him. Wish we had more time together, but very thankful for the time I did have. Thank you Dr. Brackenrich - very much appreciate everything you did for me.”
  • Linsey Clarke, DO -- “Greatly enjoyed working with Dr. Clarke. I was able to see the patients on my own, and afterwards he would let me present and give feedback. He gave very valuable input on my plans, and also went into detail on some of the pertinent HPI information to pick up on so that a full differential could be created. He had excellent rapport with all his patients, and I learned so much just by watching him interact with them. Was equally impressed with his ability to jump between in-depth discussion on different medications and at-home approaches for various problems. Certainly someone I will look to when trying to develop my own "style." All around wonderful person and excellent doctor. Thank you Dr. Clarke! Very much appreciate all you did for me.”

Internal Medicine

  • Chad DeMott, MD – “Dr. DeMott took a genuine interest in my learning and challenged me to read up on topics he thought would be valuable for teaching. Made rounds much more enjoyable”
  • Jonathan Rozenberg, DO – “Dr. Rozenberg was a really helpful member of our team and often trying to provide advice or useful tools for us as medical students, which I really appreciated.”


  • Isaac Yao, MD – “Thank you Dr. Yao, enjoyed working with you! Appreciate the helpful feedback on presentations/management and your review of eliciting reflexes on PE.”
  • Thomas Kodankandath, MD – “Dr. Kodankandath was an excellent attending to be with for neurology. He is a role model for patient care by spending extra time with patients/families that need it and answering questions. He also spends the extra time to teach as he is able while running a busy service.”


  • Lauren Hennis, MD – “Dr. Hennis was so great to work with! I appreciated her emphasis on teaching and student involvement. She was also very approachable, kept the learning environment supportive, and great at keeping students involved and actively participating.”
  • Jessica Sosa-Stanley, MD – “Working with Dr. Sosa-Stanley was great. She is a great teacher and allowed me to participate in the OR. I learned a lot working with her and felt at ease because she was patient and kind to me. Thank you Dr. Sosa-Stanley”


  • Alyson Hartkopf, MD – “Dr. Hartkopf tried her best to make sure I was involved, even on the hard difficult cases in the developmental clinic. She always asked for questions after the visit, and allowed me to observe her while she completed testing with the patient and coming up with a plan.”
  • Erica Reynolds, MD – “Dr. Reynolds was a wonderful attending and teacher! She was thoughtful and compassionate towards her patients and their families. She is very bright and knowledgeable in her specialty field. She encourages students to ask clinical questions and provides opportunities for students to practice assessments and plans while integrating real-time feedback.”

Psychiatry & Behavioral Medicine

  • Azziza (Kemi) Bankole, MBBS – “Dr. Bankole was an excellent teacher, gave me plenty of opportunity to interview patients, and provided constructive feedback.”
  • Ramon Pineyro, MD – “Dr. Pineyro is an enthusiastic teacher and cares about our learning. I think it would be beneficial to have a more firm end time for the day (or time we should have our notes done by) to make sure things are done efficiently. It would also be helpful to know early on how to best present patients to him.”


  • Kelley Whitmer, MD – “Very engaging as a teacher and really encouraged our participation. He took time to answer our questions and really made the session very useful for learning. Dr. Whitmer also gave great advice on finding a specialty and shared his journey to radiology, which I appreciated.
  • Gary Aragon, MD – “Dr. Aragon is very passionate about his job and about student mentorship. I had a great morning watching procedures and learning about breast imaging as a whole. I would recommend Dr. Aragon as a teacher to any VTC student.”


  • Ashley Gerrish, MD – “Dr. Gerrish was very kind and encouraging. She was wonderful to work with! I enjoyed watching her teach the residents in the OR. Her ability to convey information and instruction in an encouraging way was outstanding - something I hope to emulate in my future career! Her approach to patient care was both straightforward and kind. She had a great ability to give patients the information they needed without being overwhelming or condescending. Additionally, she went above and beyond trying to find students opportunities to get involved, learn and scrub into cases when there were slow points in the day. Loved learning from her!”
  • Tananchai “A” Lucktong, MD – “Dr. Lucktong was enthusiastic and included me in patient care. I was able to participate more in his operations than in any other faculty member's and tried skills I was not given the opportunity to elsewhere. He actively sought to ask me questions and explain concepts to me. He was approachable and kind.”