On Wednesday, Oct. 6, honorees representing seven departments and VCUarts received faculty excellence awards for their dedication to VCU School of Medicine’s mission of providing preeminent education to physicians and scientists to improve the quality of health care for humanity. The awards recognize exemplary performance across patient care, education, research and mentorship.

“This year’s recipients of our school’s Faculty Excellence Awards demonstrate an admirable commitment to our learners, colleagues, patients and school as a whole,” said Peter Buckley, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine. “We have all benefitted tremendously from the dedication, leadership and innovation they demonstrate every day.”

Teaching Excellence Awards

Enrique Gerszten, M.D. Faculty Teaching Excellence Award

As the School of Medicine’s highest recognition for teaching, this award honors faculty leaders who are role models for the highest standards of professionalism in academia. Awardees promote and inspire critical thinking, display outstanding scholarship and build respectful, interpersonal rapport with students.

J. Christian Barrett, M.D.
Professor, Department of Internal Medicine

Barry V. Kirkpatrick, M.D., FAAP
Professor, Department of Pediatrics

Irby-James Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching

Named in honor of two exceptional physician educators — W. Robert Irby, M.D. and G. Watson James, III, M.D. — this award recognizes superior teaching and professionalism in clinical medicine. It was established in 1992, and encourages excellence in an ever-changing, increasingly challenging environment.

Michelle N. Brooks, M.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine

Distinguished Mentor Award

Recipients of the Distinguished Mentor Award have made significant contributions to the career development of their colleagues through guidance, sponsorship and teaching. Mentoring relationships can be with fellow faculty members, trainees, students or other colleagues.

Amir A. Toor, M.D.
Professor, Department of Internal Medicine

Educational Innovation/Educational Research Award

This year's award recognizes the development of learning innovations in that bring together VCUarts faculty, School of Medicine faculty and community members to teach skills for observation, communication and appreciation of the humanistic context of medicine.

Megan S. Lemay, M.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine

Sara Wilson McKay, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, VCU School of the Arts

John E. Nestler, M.D., MACP
Professor, Departments of Internal MedicineOB/GYN and Pharmacology and Toxicology


Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award

Presented by The Arnold P. Gold Foundation, this award honors a graduating medical student and a faculty member for consistently demonstrating compassion and empathy while delivering patient care. Recipients are exceptionally respectful, ethical and professional, display cultural sensitivity and build trust by advocating for their patients.

Kelley M. Dodson, M.D.
Professor, Department of Otolaryngology


Women in Science, Dentistry, and Medicine Professional Achievement Award

Established in 1992, this award’s mission is to further professional goals of women physicians, dentists and scientists at VCU. As part of the Women in Medicine and Science Program, its goal is to advance opportunities for women leaders at VCU through networking, mentorship, research and collaboration.

Vanessa B. Sheppard, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair, Department of Health Behavior and Policy


MCV Physicians Distinguished Clinician Award

In recognition of clinical excellence among faculty at the VCU Medical Center, this award is sponsored by the Medical College of Virginia Physicians, or MCVP. Awardees display attributes such as compassion, clinical effectiveness, efficiency, comprehensiveness, availability and responsiveness to patients.

Todd W. Gehr, M.D.
Professor, Department of Internal Medicine


VCU/VCUHS Leadership in Graduate Medical Education (LGME) Awards

These awards acknowledge outstanding contributions to the education of residents and fellows. Honorees include program directors, fellowship directors and program coordinators of fully accredited programs who serve as role models by displaying dedication and effectiveness in educating trainees.

Fellowship Director Award
Brandon K. Wills, D.O.
Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine

Program Director Award
Kelley M. Dodson, M.D. FACS
Professor, Department of Otolaryngology

Program Coordinator Award
Allison Dubinsky, M.Ed.
Senior Residency Program Coordinator, Department of Internal Medicine