Medical Center Master Educator Award for Graduate Medical Education 2017

November 16, 2017 by   |   Leave a Comment

The Master Educator Award for Graduate Medical Education is the Medical Center’s top award—recognizing excellence in graduate medical education.

Winners of the award for 2017 are the following:
– Leigh A. Cantrell, MD, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
– Richard L. Merkel, Jr., MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences

Congratulations, Dr. Cantrell and Dr. Merkel!

“What truly sets her practice apart is her utter and complete dedication to the education of the next generation of physicians. Dr. Cantrell is the epitome of a role model for all of our trainees.” – Colleague

“Whether in clinic or in the operating room, she finds ways to challenge us. She challenges us because she wants to make us better physicians, which can only be done if we know our strengths and weaknesses.” – Resident

“It is immediately evident to anyone who spends a day working with Dr. Cantrell that she is a skilled and dedicated clinician who always prioritizes the education of medical students, residents, and fellows.” – Fellow

“In her short time on faculty, Dr. Cantrell has been the driving force in developing the robotic program: she has made patient safety our priority in this program, has enhanced the educational process for residents and fellows, and has defined the credentialing guidelines for all surgeons prior to their use of the robot technology.” – Colleague

“What I find most impressive is the way that she serves as a role model for the type of clinician educator we should all be striving towards. She is exceedingly generous with her time, compassionate in the care of her patients, and never rushes through encounters with trainees, making the most of each encounter as a learning opportunity.” – Fellow

“Her passion for education and her contributions to our residency and fellowship programs have been truly outstanding. She is leading the way in improving collaboration across all programs. I know from personal discussions that what gives her the most joy in her work is her role as a mentor and educator to our medical students, residents, and fellows.” – Colleague

“Like all great teachers, she demands a level of effort that pushes residents toward high achievement while possessing patience, seemingly unending positivity, and understanding necessary for utmost learning. She has a rare combination of traits that makes her the ultimate physician role model.” – Resident

Richard L. Merkel, Jr., MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences


“For thirty-three years, Dr. Merkel has combined his passions for medicine and anthropology to provide culturally-sensitive care, to understand and teach others about cultural competence, to mitigate healthcare disparities, and to improve outcomes in diverse populations.” – Colleague

“Dr. Merkel is an exceptional teacher and mentor who is dedicated to the education of residents. Dr. Merkel taught me how to process my own feelings when treating patients with trauma, which has allowed me to better understand these patients, and for this I will be forever grateful.” – Resident

“Dr. Merkel is the most superb educator our program has to offer. His knowledge, wisdom, and experience have inspired countless residents and made us better clinicians, healers, and public servants. He opens our horizons by championing our global health track and creating international opportunities for our residents abroad, while also tending to our most venerable patients at UVA’s refugee clinic.” – Resident

“Dr. Merkel began to teach cultural psychiatry before it was cool. He earned a PhD in anthropology and has spent his career teaching students, residents, and colleagues how to care for disadvantaged people from racial minorities to sexual minorities; from indigenous populations in New Zealand and Africa to immigrants in Charlottesville seeking refuge from war. In the care of each of these populations, he demonstrates understanding, compassion, and above all else, respect.” – Colleague

“Despite his many commitments, he remains one of the most accessible and supportive members of the faculty and is among the first we turn to for supervision with challenging patient cases.” – Resident

“Whether through hosting multicultural dinners, or by providing lectures, seminars, or clinical care, Dr. Merkel models the highest ideals of our profession.” – Colleague

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