Enrique Gerszten, M.D. Faculty Teaching Excellence Award

This is a sample of how students describe Margaret Grimes, M.D., M.Ed., professor of pathology and vice chair for pathology education:

“Dr. Grimes is a wonderful professor who is clear, considerate of her students and makes pathology so relevant and enjoyable.” “One of the all stars of the VCU School of Medicine.” “Bravo to her for being so patient, clear, and thorough.” “Amazing.”

This is how colleagues describe Grimes:

“I believe that Margaret is the role model that all faculty should try to emulate.” “In all aspects of her career, Dr. Grimes has been an example for others to follow.” “Dr. Grimes embodies excellence as a teacher.” “The consummate example of an outstanding medical educator.”

It will not be a surprise to hear that Grimes has received the Outstanding Teaching Award in pathology every year. “I honestly feel that the list of teaching awards understates her value to the students,” states Linda Costanzo, Ph.D., professor emerita of physiology and biophysics. “She delivers, and she delivers every single time.” Grimes has received dozens of recognitions for teaching medical students and residents, often receiving “Best Teacher” awards in multiple courses each year.

Students seek out Grimes for her expert knowledge, organized approach and ability to explain difficult concepts as well as for her exceptional patience and respect for learners. Alpha (Berry) A. Fowler, III, M.D., professor and chairman of pulmonary disease and critical care medicine, and Grimes were interns together. He says, “Knowing Dr. Grimes for these many years, I have had abundant time to observe her teaching skills. She is an amazing teacher.”

“Margaret is a tireless advocate for students and residents and is always looking for a way to make their educational experiences more rewarding,” says Betsy D. Bennett, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president, American Board of Pathology.

Over the years, we have had the benefit of Grimes’ teaching skills and educational expertise in many venues. She serves as co-director of the M2 respiratory and cardiovascular courses and directed the VCU pathology training program for 13 years, currently serving as associate director. She has served VCU on numerous committees, including two years as chair of the GME committee and three years on the VCU Faculty Senate.

On the national level, she has chaired the Residency Review Committee for Pathology for the ACGME. Grimes has participated in the Association of Pathology Chairs for many years, including service as Chair of the Program Directors section. She is a trustee of the American Board of Pathology (ABP), has served on the Committee on Examinations, Joint Policy Committees for Dermatopathology and Molecular Genetic Pathology, and the Professional Qualifications Committee. She also chairs the ABP’s Finance Committee and the Test Development and Advisory Committee for Pediatric Pathology.

“Significant in her leadership skills is her ability to listen and synthesize issues,” says C. Bruce Alexander, M.D., president of the American Society of Clinical Pathology. ” I, personally, am continually impressed by this skill.”

Grimes’ commitment to teaching is so great that despite her busy clinical and teaching commitments, she pursued and earned a M.Ed. degree in adult learning for medical educators.

“Throughout the two-year graduate education experience, Dr. Grimes was an exemplar of professional practice as an educator for everyone in the room,” states Teresa Carter, Ed.D., the program director and current associate dean for professional instruction and faculty development for the School of Medicine.

Her department chair, David S. Wilkinson, M.D., Ph.D., notes, “On a personal level, I can state without reservation that Margaret Grimes is an individual of tremendous character. She is always thoughtful and respectful. She is genuinely collegial, always seeking the counsel and input of her peers. She cares deeply about the development of our students and trainees.”

For all of these qualities, Dr. Margaret Grimes is most deserving of the School of Medicine’s highest recognition for teaching.