Enrique Gerszten, M.D. Faculty Teaching Excellence Award

Diane M. Biskobing, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, and Interim Assistant Dean for Medical Education, is described over and over again as an “teacher’s teacher.” A teacher with the highest standards who consistently asks for feedback from her learners. Willing to both serve as a leader in adopting new teaching approaches and to stand beside those learning these approaches to help them succeed, as well.

Dr. Biskobing “possesses an understated but incredibly efficient teaching style, and she is universally regarded as one of the most beloved and effective members of the Division,” declares Francesco Saverio Celi, M.D., M.H.Sc., Professor and Division Chair, Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Dr. Biskobing’s understated demeanor belies her many accomplishments. A key leader in creating our new medical school curriculum, she has helped other faculty create new learning experiences, including Team-Based Learning and Process-Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) sessions and other approaches to actively engage students. As Fellowship Director, she introduced training in motivational interviewing for fellows to help them better partner with patients to support positive behavior changes. She developed an innovative Diabetes Immersion Experience with Dr. John Clore and Linda Thurby-Hay, RN, in which endocrinology fellow volunteers spend a week checking their own blood sugars, counting carbohydrates, giving saline “insulin” injections, and wearing insulin pumps or glucose sensors. “This valuable hands-on experience with current diabetes technology completely changed myperspective on what a truly patient-centered approach should involve,” says Trang N. Le, M.D., Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Dr. Biskobing has served as Endocrinology Fellowship Program Director from 2003-2015, Chair, Internal Medicine Competency Committee from 2008-2013, Assistant Dean for Preclinical Education from 2005-2008, and Course Director for the medical student Endocrine Course since 1999. She now serves as Course Master for the new integrated Glands and Guts course, integrating basic science, pathophysiology, pharmacology, and clinical problem-solving “into a comprehensive and interactive curriculum that combines endocrinology and metabolism, nutrition, gastroenterology, and human reproduction,” describes colleague Edward P. Wickham III, M.D., M.P.H., Associate Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism. Medical students appreciate the many hours she devotes to creating her organized, creative, thorough approach. “Students feel validated and supported by the fact that Dr. Biskobing takes their education as seriously as they do,” state Diamone Gathers, Curriculum Representative, and Michelle Wagner Merrion, Medicine 2018 students.

In 2010 Dr. Biskobing received the VCU/VCUHS Leadership in GME Fellowship Director Award. Among her teaching recognitions are over a dozen School of Medicine “Best Teacher” and “High Evaluation” teaching awards.

Dr. Biskobing has also achieved national recognition for her expertise, serving as a member of the USMLE Writing Committee since 2006 and participating in the national Association of Program Directors in Endocrinology and Metabolism to develop national training competencies in endocrinology. Dr. Biskobing has authored or co-authored 23 peer-reviewed publications, 17 abstracts, and three book chapters; her record of scholarship includes topics in both medical education and endocrinology. She completed the Executive Fellowship in Physician Leadership through the VCU Williamson Institute for Healthcare Leadership in 2008.

“Aside from her expert clinical acumen, her easy approachability and efficient, commonsense approach to problem solving has made her an invaluable resource to learners of all kinds,” says Dr. Le. “In fact, many of her former trainees will describe that she identifi ed their talents early on – even as medical students – and helped them to develop into fullfledged physicians.”

For her outstanding contributions, including the development of the next generation of “teacher’s teachers,” we recognize Dr. Diane Biskobing today.