May 5-11, 2000
Back Issues
Sessions on new pay plan scheduled
Study shows internal body clocks become desynchronized under jet-lag conditions
U.Va. motion lab yields new data on muscle function

Diagnosis of doctors' teaching: infectious enthusiasm

Graduate teaching assistants honored by Seven Society
William Styron to appear at the University Bookstore

"Give Air a 'Brake" on May 10

2000 Jefferson Symposium to focus on Jefferson and slavery
Melvin Cherno to head Hereford College
Electronic archive project cancelled
Notable - awards and achievements of faculty and staff
Vinegar Hill history takes center stage
Arts & Sciences faculty face up to spiraling journal costs
Womack gains perspective on U.Va.'s international efforts
Hot Links - Health Sciences Library calendar

Diagnosis of doctors' teaching: infectious enthusiasm

These 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.

Tina Brashers

Stephanie Gross

Dr. Julia Iezzoni

Dr. Julia Iezzoni

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.

Iezzoni, 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.

Her students concur.

"It 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. ...

"Through her encouragement, she made me feel educated and intelligent, and by requiring our participation, she made me feel confident."

Iezzoni 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


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