University of Pittsburgh

AME in the News

People of the Times

The School of Medicine has announced new members of its Academy of Master Educators. The academy recognizes and rewards excellence in education, strives to advance education through innovation and professional development of faculty, as well as supports and promotes educational scholarship.

During the application process, potential members submit an educational portfolio to the Academy of Master Educators membership committee for review.

The new academy members are:

• Department of Anesthesiology: Shawn T. Beaman; Manuel C. Vallejo Jr.

• Department of Emergency Medicine: Michele L. Dorfsman; Stephanie M. Gonzalez.

• Department of Family Medicine: Donald B. Middleton.

• Department of Medicine: Eric J. Anish; Gregory M. Bump; William P. Follansbee; Rachel J. Givelber; Alda Maria R. Gonzaga; Peggy B. Hasley; Harish Jasti; Michael A. Mathier; R. Harsha Rao; Carla L. Spagnoletti.

• Department of Neurobiology: A. Paula Monaghan-Nichols.

• Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences: Gabriella Gray Gosman; Gary Sutkin.

• Department of Ophthalmology: Paul (Kip) R. Kinchington; Evan “Jake” L. Waxman.

• Department of Pathology: Trevor A. Macpherson.

• Department of Pediatrics: Sanjay Lambore; Kishore Vellody.

• Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology: Donald B. DeFranco.

• Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Brad Dicianno.

• Department of Psychiatry: Michael J. Travis.

• Department of Surgery: Giselle G. Hamad.

University Times Volume-45-Issue-6


Innovation Award Winners

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) announces the winners of the AAMC Award for Innovations in Research Training and Education. The major goal of this inaugural award is to identify bright spots in research training and education. A total of five winners were selected by a panel of leaders in biomedical research, education and training from AAMC member institutions as well as AAMC senior staff. Entries were judged by the extent to which they advance creative, collaborative partnerships and their impact on institutional practices. Winners were announced at the GREAT Group and GRAND Joint Annual Meeting in Nashville on Sept. 21, 2012.


University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute-Hampton University Education and Training Partnership
Richard Steinman, M.D., Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Despite a greater burden of cancer in the minority community, there is a paucity of minority biomedical and physician scientists actively involved in cancer research. Beginning in 2002, we established a formal cross-institutional partnership to bolster faculty and student interactions between Hampton University, an HBCU in Virginia focused on didactic teaching and the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) 400 miles away. Goals included the development of a cooperative curriculum, building of faculty competencies in teaching undergraduate cancer biology and undertaking cancer-related projects, building student skills to enable postbaccalaureate success in graduate and professional school. High level institutional support and cross-institutional Advisory committees enhanced the partnership process. Key components of the partnership involved the establishment of a molecular biology laboratory at Hampton and four undergraduate Cancer Biology courses jointly taught by Hampton and Pittsburgh faculty. Select Hampton undergraduates enrolled in a multi-year longitudinal "Cancer Fellow" curriculum undertook research rotations at the UPCI and accrued teaching responsibilities in the curriculum. Of the 19 students who participated in this track, 17 matriculated in graduate or professional school. Currently, 10 students are in medical school or residency, 2 in private practice, 2 conducting public health research, 1 completing her PhD and 1 in postdoctoral training.


Innovation Award Winners PDF


People of the Times

The School of Medicine recently announced new members of its Academy of Master Educators, which recognizes excellence in education and strives to advance education through innovation and professional development of faculty, as well as supports and promotes educational scholarship.

During the application process, potential members submit an educational portfolio to the Academy of Master Educators membership committee for review.

New members are: Steven Orebaugh, anesthesiology; Paul E. Phrampus, emergency medicine; Christine Milcarek, immunology; Diemthuy Bui, Peter D. Bulova, Hollis D. Day, Mark S. Roberts, Gary H. Tabas, Philip Troen, Asher A. Tulsky, Peter J. Veldkamp, and Ora A. Weisz, medicine; Debra Bogen and Evelyn C. Reis, pediatrics; Joan M. Lakoski, pharmacology and chemical biology; Antoine Douaihy, psychiatry, and Kenneth Lee and James D. Luketich, surgery.

University Times Volume-41-Issue-22


Learning to Educate

The latest crop of residents sat watching the video. It showed a peer delivering a presentation regarding a patient. The content was fine, medically speaking, but some of the terms the young doc employed could be considered pejorative and judgmental. “We use this video to show the types of scenarios commonly seen in medical education,” says Jamie Johnston, MD professor of medicine in the renal-electrolyte division in the School of Medicine. A postvideo conversation reinforced ideas of professionalism and communication skills in the entering residents of 2008. The video is one project of Pitt’s Academy of Master Educators, which was formed in 2006 and recently announced its new class of 18 faculty members. The academy not only recognizes teaching excellence, Johnston says, it concentrates the teaching experience of faculty members and shares dos and don’ts with the medical school at large through programs like faculty development seminars, mentoring programs, and the new resident orientation mentioned above. “When I network with my colleagues at other institutions, they’re very jealous of what we have,” Johnston says. The newest members of the academy can be found at —JM

PITTMED Summer 2009 issue, page 5


FEB. 13, 1946–FEB. 6, 2009

In July 1990, William Cohen (Res ’78, Fel ’80) became the director of what was then the new Down Syndrome Center at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. The developmental-behavioral pediatrician, a professor of both pediatrics and psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, once recalled some nervousness on starting the position. At that point, he had seen only a handful of patients with Down syndrome. By the time he died unexpectedly in February, thousands of children with Down syndrome had come to see “Dr. Bill,” and the National Down Syndrome Society described him as a “national leader in the Down syndrome movement” and a “dear friend.” He coauthored the seminal guidelines for care for children and adolescents with the condition and helped found the Down Syndrome Medical Interest Group.

Cohen died Feb. 6 of a heart attack in Miami Beach while pursuing one of his passions—inline skating. On July 4 this year, he and his partner, Donald Arnheim, were planning to exchange vows at a commitment ceremony. Colleagues describe Cohen as a great listener, teacher, patient advocate, and a man who gave hugs easily. A charter member of Pitt’s Academy of Master Educators, he was known for his teaching interests in family counseling, hypnotherapy, adapting families to chronic conditions, and doctor/patient communication. He taught med students how to interview patients. “He gave so much of himself. He really loved our families and our kids,” says Sheila Cannon, program coordinator for the center and one of its founding parents. She recalls that Cohen enjoyed entertaining children by talking like the gravelly voiced Sesame Street character Grover. Cohen was buried with his stethoscope and a Grover doll that he wore with it. —Erica Lloyd

PITTMED Summer 2009 issue, page 38


The Way We Are -- Class of 79'

The fabled Nephron Art Contest has been democratized, says Pitt professor of medicine Jamie Johnston (MD ’79). One student this year was inspired to build a papier mâché dragon in the shape of the basic kidney unit, but the number of entries has dropped through the years. So Johnston now provides each student with a fill-in-the-blanks nephron. And he went retro: Drawing on the chalkboard, he talked kidney physiology.

Then, he worked through scenarios such as dehydration, high salt, and low salt—“running the nephron,” as he calls it. Johnston is a past winner of a National Golden Apple. High attendance and enthusiasm seem to be the norm among his students. Despite the old-fashioned chalk talk, he’s been an early adopter of new technologies in the classroom. He notes that all of Pitt’s first- and second-year lectures are available as online videos and podcasts. In 2008, Johnston was elected the director of Pitt’s new Academy of Master Educators—a collective that he describes as “very solid evidence on the part of the administration that they support the development of medical educators.” “I’d be surprised if there are five or six medical schools in the country that have anything like this,” he adds.

PTTMED Spring 2009 issue, page 37


Class Notes -- 80's

Last year, Susan Dunmire (MD ’85, Emergency Medicine Resident ’88) made more than 60 attempts on the patient simulator SimMan’s life. She shot him, stabbed him, and ran over his foot with a lawn mower; for this she received the 2008 Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award. Dunmire, an associate professor of emergency medicine at Pitt, is continually praised by students for the creativity and enthusiasm she brings to teaching—and the breakfast she serves on exam days. “I think students like me because I bake for them,” Dunmire says, wryly. “They’re easily bought.” But accolades from Pitt’s Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg and her appointment to the School of Medicine’s Academy of Master Educators suggest Dunmire has more going for her than baked goods. “Get Ready for Residency”—her crash course in worst-case scenarios that mixes lectures with patient simulations, urgent phone calls, and confounding interruptions—prepares students for the chaos of life as an intern. With days like this, it’s a good thing they’re eating breakfast.

PITTMED Fall 2008 issue, page 36


Membership nominations are in for the School of Medicine’s new Academy of Master Educators

A rigorous peer-review process continues this fall, after which the School of Medicine will announce the inaugural members. About 50 of the 800 faculty members who teach students in the School of Medicine will receive the honor.

The program recognizes those who have contributed to the medical program in innovative ways as teachers, mentors, researchers, and leaders. The names of those honored will be made available at — Joe Miksch

PITTMED November 2005 issue, page 4