Enrique Gerszten, M.D. Faculty Teaching Excellence Award

Stephanie Call, M.D., M.S.P.H., Professor and Associate Chair for Education, Department of Internal Medicine, and Program Director for the VCUHS Internal Medicine Residency Training Program is a renowned teacher of students and residents, as well as “teacher of teachers”, supporting continuing learning by colleagues. Dr. Call’s teaching skills are routinely described as “phenomenal,” “effective,” “motivational,” “enthusiastic,” and “a calling.”

Dr. Call is also known for getting to know her students and for pausing during busy work days for meaningful conversations. Timothy Johnson, M.D., Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, VCU, recalls meeting with Dr. Call as a 3rd year medical student choosing a specialty. “After months of deliberation I was ready for someone to give me an answer. Instead…she sat with me and showed a true desire to know more about my past and what motivated me to become a doctor. She asked the questions that provoked me to think about what matters to me…she guided and facilitated my decision without ever making it for me.”

In addition to striving for excellence in her own day-to-day teaching practice, Dr. Call is a leader in mastering and disseminating improved teaching approaches. Since 2005, Dr. Call has directed an annual Internal Medicine Faculty Teaching Retreat and she is a trained facilitator for the internationally-recognized Stanford Faculty Development Program. She was a leader in integrating Team-Based Learning (TBL) into our M3 curriculum. She has taken her experiences directing the American College of Physicians (ACP) Waxman Clinical Skills Standardized Patient Center and co-directing a comparative physiology course sponsored by Harvard Medical School/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and implemented what she has learned here at VCU. Dr. Call has developed an innovative reflective learning experience, digital story-telling, to help, trainees build perspective on their professional and personal lives.

Dr. Call has contributed to 30 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, and 8 peer-reviewed teaching models published in the Association of American Medical College (AAMC) MedEdPORTAL. She has given over 150 presentations disseminating her work. Dr. Call led the effort resulting in VCU’s selection for the 2017 ACGME and Arnold P. Gold Foundation Baldwin Award. VCU was one of only three institutions chosen for this honor. A key criterion for the award is demonstrating support for the personal and professional development of learners at all levels.

Recognition of Dr. Call’s accomplishments led to her service as one of twelve national experts authoring the AAMC Drafting Panel for “(Learning) Milestones for Entering Residents.” This competency-based framework is a set of “core entrustable professional activities” or EPAs medical students need to master before residency training. VCU SOM is one of only ten pilot schools selected from over 70 applicants and Dr. Call’s leadership in this process was key to VCU’s selection as an early adopter of this national educational initiative.

Dr. Call’s work has been honored with the prestigious national 2012 ACGME Parker Palmer “Courage to Lead” Award. In 2009, she received the SOM GME Leadership Award and in 2007 Dr. Call received the SOM Irby-James Clinical Teaching Excellence Award. This year, she has been awarded the American College of Physicians (ACP), Virginia Chapter Laureate Award and the 2018 VCU Distinguished Teaching Award.

Colleague Bennett Lee, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, observes, “Perhaps what I admire most about Stephanie is that she also challenges herself. She is always striving to learn more and go beyond her own comfort zone. She is the consummate student. She has a burning desire to increase her own knowledge so that she can become a better teacher for her trainees. As she has said, the “true” goal of any teacher/learner interaction should be growth and she applies this to herself as much as to her learners.”