Recognizing Teaching Excellence

Learners in the Carver College of Medicine are invited to provide examples of effective teaching at the end of each rotation. Read what our trainees recently had to say about Internal Medicine educators below. Read previous submissions.

John Rieth, MD, Third Year Resident
Submitted by Zehra Khan

I had the privilege of working with and learning from John both on my inpatient internal medicine experience as my team’s senior as well as on outpatient internal medicine teaching sessions. He was always warm and welcoming towards students and set expectations clearly from day one. The most important aspect in having an effective teacher I think is that you can tell he genuinely enjoyed teaching and having us there. I know that might seem irrelevant but it truly makes a difference to the student and does not make us feel like we are a burden with our presence and in that way we feel more comfortable asking questions. He would hold teaching sessions periodically during downtime about concepts we found difficult (such as heart failure, anemia, etc). he would also quiz us in little ways on cases that were rare or exciting and you could tell he enjoyed that and found it exciting. It never felt like he was “pimping” us which I really appreciated since I get really nervous and uncomfortable in those settings. You gathered the sense that he genuinely wanted us to learn as much as we could while we were there. In outpatient internal medicine, he conducted the resident teaching sessions and did a fantastic job. I can say that it is a true talent to be able to identify points of confusion while learning difficult concepts. Not only that, he had a true knack for explaining these challenging concepts in a simple, non-confusing way and sounded very confident in the process. In particular, he did a really great job with the heart failure and back pain sessions. Many students had questions (not because they were confused because they were curious) and he had great answers for everything. He encouraged questions and curiosity. I would say John Rieth is very deserving of this award overall and I had a pleasure working with him. Thanks for everything!


Adil Hassan, MD, Second Year Resident
Submitted by Joseph Mueller

Clearly has a passion for teaching, but never let it come in the way of patient care. He gave me chances to prepare talks on cardiac physiology and cardiac amyloidosis, jumping in to help out after my presentation was done. He would also find individuals with interesting physical exam findings or imaging then walk through the specifics of the case. Further, he gave almost daily 20-30 minute talks on specific topics when we weren’t too busy.


Christina Charis-Donelson, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine
Submitted by Eric Solis

Always happy to run through new skills in between patient cases. Encouraged active thinking when constructing a systems based differential diagnosis. Encouraged preparing for patient interviews by considering a focused history and physical exam.


Jack Stapleton, MD, Professor of Internal Medicine
Submitted by Dake Huang

He took the time to carefully run through medical and clinical scenarios with me.

He emailed me feedback for my notes.

He showed me up-to-date articles and encouraged me to learn from them after seeing patients that have unique disease.

He provided feedback at the end of the four weeks and give me tips on how to do better!


Sean Pickthorn, MD, Second Year Residenct
Submitted by Camilla Koczara

Set time aside to teach what interested me. Stayed longer into the evening to help me write notes. Allowed the space for trial and error to really grasp the material on rounds and during presentations.


Justin Smock, MD, Clinical Associate Professor of Internal Medicine
Submitted by Matt McIlrath

  • Facilitated discussion regarding patient treatment plans by asking the student what they think should be done and following that up with feedback. Oftentimes there doesn’t seem to be time for this sort of thing, so allowing students to exercise their decision making abilities was very beneficial and a great way to learn.
  • Often set time aside for education discussions
  • Created a very welcoming and enjoyable work environment which greatly facilitated learning. It was easy to ask questions that may not have otherwise been asked because Dr. Smock creates an accepting and enjoyable setting

Brittany Bettendorf, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine
Submitted by Brian Fu

Dr. Bettendorf has clear expectations for medical students, and she actively helps them meet those expectations. She encourages students to think critically about a patient’s presenting symptoms and ask questions to guide them toward making the right diagnosis. She also gives constructive criticism on students’ clinic notes with instructions and advice on how to improve in the future. Lastly, she is friendly and respectful to medical students and patients; she is a great mentor and role model.

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