VCU/VCUHS Leadership in Graduate Medical Education “LGME” Award

“Amazing” and “integral” are two of the descriptors recurring in multiple recommendation letters for this year’s LGME Residency Program Director Award. Since 2012, Dr. Chris Kogut
has directed the Psychiatry Residency program responsible for training 44 new residents annually. His department chairman, Dr. Joel Silverman, effusively praises Kogut, describing him as “exceedingly effective” and an “outstanding leader.” During his tenure as program director, Dr. Kogut has re-designed the curriculum leading to rising exam scores and high quality competition for residency spots. Despite significant administrative duties associated with program directorship, he maintains an active presence on the psychiatry consult service and is highly rated as an attending by both residents and medical students. Numerous teaching awards and a designation as one of Richmond Magazine’s “Top Doctors” underscores Dr. Kogut’s commitment to teaching and service. In fact, writes Silverman, as “an outstanding measure of leadership, dedication and capability,” Chris was asked by the graduating School of Medicine class of 2015 to serve as commencement speaker.

Dr. James Levenson, Chairman of Consultation/Liaison Psychiatry, has known Dr. Kogut since his early days as a psychiatry resident and psychosomatic medicine fellow. From there, writes Levenson, he became a colleague whose “upbeat attitude has been infectious, inspiriting both residents and faculty.” As a fellowship director himself, Levenson is aware of the demanding nature of a program director’s role and he praises Chris’s dedication to his career, calling him “an active voice for educational innovation in all arenas of teaching.” One such innovation is evident in the individualized learning plans Chris develops for his residents; apparently, he makes remediation so much fun that even those residents who do not need additional assistance choose to attend his sessions!

Current Chief Resident, Dr. Michael Fox praises his program director in these words: “He has been a source of support and encouragement throughout my time here and has been a perpetual role model. He was even a large part of my decision to come to the program. His enthusiasm for Richmond and VCU was contagious. Since being here I have found how integral he is to that town and our institution.”

Junior Chief Resident, Dr. Avneet Madan, writes that Dr. Kogut was the determining factor in her decision to come to VCU for residency training: “He has an open door policy which made the transition from medical student to intern smooth… He always finds a way to not only offer support, but actively assists us in working through concerns. He is invested in his residents and works tirelessly to ensure that our educational experiences are maximized… He is our strongest advocate and biggest supporter…[and] has an instinctual knack for seamlessly inspiriting a diverse coherency to not only get through residency, but also enjoy it.”

A former Chief Resident and now practicing psychiatrist in the community, Dr. Kara Beatty expresses her support of Chris Kogut by writing “[f]rom the moment I met Dr. Kogut on my interview day, I knew that VCU Psychiatry was a special place… I often tell incoming residency candidates that he is the biggest selling point to our program… When I started residency, I had concerns about moving to a new state without any family or friends nearby… [h]e provided the type of comfort and reassurance that is normally reserved for life-long friendships…I can recall multiple times that I visited his office to have a quick discussion that ended up resulting in a heart-felt conversation over an espresso… I often looked to him for guidance, but found that I was also provided with a dear colleague.”