of doctors' teaching: infectious enthusiasm
two winners of the Alumni Association's All-University Outstanding
Teaching Awards are physicians who uphold and demonstrate the
highest standards of their profession in terms of knowledge and
compassion, inspiring their students. The testimonials of students
and colleagues show that the professors' belief in their students'
capabilities leads the students to believe in themselves.
To me, the specialty of pathology
is the best-kept secret of medicine, and I use this enthusiasm
to particular advantage," says award-winning pathologist
Dr. Julia Iezzoni, in a statement about teaching how to diagnose
diseases of the body's tissues.
associate professor of pathology
and associate professor of clinical otolaryngology, tells students
in her second-year pathology course: "The information in
this lecture will be relevant to you regardless of which specialty
you choose. After all, as a surgeon, you will resect [remove]
cancers; as a family medicine practitioner, you will be the first
to detect an early cancer; and even in psychiatry ... understanding
the principles of cancer is necessary, for you will treat patients
with clinical depression in response to a diagnosis of cancer.
"At this point, my enthusiasm is no longer necessary to bolster
their interest in the topic; they have begun to appreciate the
relevancy of the material to their own careers, and as such, want
to learn more for themselves," Iezzoni wrote.
was the second week of second year, and we were easing back into
our Medical School routine," recalls second-year medical
student Amalie Derdeyn. "On the screen before us was a pathological
slide of a liver biopsy. Pointing to a portal triad, Dr. Iezzoni
asked us to identify it. We all stared blankly, not quite ready
to think after such a relaxing summer. Dr. Iezzoni, however, did
not let us get away with this. ...
her encouragement, she made me feel educated and intelligent,
and by requiring our participation, she made me feel confident."
also teaches residents, or housestaff, on the surgical pathology
rotation, which consists of discussing biopsy and resection specimens.
Everyone has to work "under the considerable pressure of
maintaining high standards of diagnostic accuracy within tight
time constraints," said Dr. Thomas Tillack, chair of the
pathology department. "Even when performing under these conditions,
Dr. Iezzoni is consistently described by the housestaff as an
enthusiastic, highly available and involved instructor, who genuinely
enjoys teaching. ... She is highly praised for her ability to
adjust to various levels of resident skill and her adeptness in
providing criticism in a constructive manner."
By Anne Bromley