Publisher's note: The author of this post, Kelly Rogers Dilda, is a contributor to ECU News Services.
Dr. Diane Semer, Dr. Adam Kansagor, and Dr. Susan Schmidt, from left, were named the 2020 master educators for the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University during the Feb. 13 Brody faculty meeting. | Photos: Cliff Hollis
A trio of physicians were recently named master educators by the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.
The school's master educator program recognizes excellence in leadership and administration, teaching contribution or mentorship, innovation and curriculum development, evaluation and research, faculty development in education and educational contributions by community physicians.
The winners were announced during a Brody faculty meeting on Feb. 13, during which each winner received a white coat featuring a master educator designation, a plaque and other special items.
Faculty members and students may nominate faculty members to receive the award, and a committee of faculty members and students decides on the recipients.
Since the program began in 2002, 64 Brody faculty members have received the master educator recognition
DR. ADAM KANSAGOR
Dr. Adam Kansagor, a clinical assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology, was recognized for his outstanding teaching and mentoring contribution.
Dr. Adam Kansagor, a clinical assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology, was recognized for his “outstanding teaching and mentoring contribution.”
Nominations from his peers praised Kansagor as a gifted teacher and mentor to medical residents and students.
He regularly organizes surgical simulation days for residents and students, and his sessions are highly regarded as opportunities to work on procedural skills in a protected environment. Medical students appreciate his jovial nature, high expectations and caring approach to feedback; residents often comment that he elevates each trainee and respects them as important colleagues, his nomination letters included.
“It’s an honor,”
said Kansagor, who has been an ECU faculty member since 2013. “And it’s nice to be recognized for the fact that we’re working really hard every single day to educate the future generation of physicians. I’m here today because of everybody that taught me. So, it’s really cool that I get to pass on that knowledge to my residents and medical students.”
Kansagor said he thinks being honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses is vital to improvement.
“If you’re not aware of what you can improve on, there’s no way you can improve on it,”
He also said doctors and medical students must realize their purpose.
“No matter how tired you are, we have this honor of taking care of people every single day and doing that in that a fun environment makes that a lot easier,”
Kansagor was also one of only 20 obstetrician-gynecologists in the nation selected to participate in the APGO Surgical Education Scholars fellowship program, which trains academicians to become experts in surgical skill training and curriculum development.
Dr. Kansagor has twice received the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists National Faculty Teaching Award, most recently in 2019.
DR. SUSAN SCHMIDT
Dr. Susan Schmidt, clinical associate professor in the department of family medicine and associate dean for student affairs at the Brody School of Medicine, was recognized for educational leadership and administration.
Dr. Susan Schmidt, clinical associate professor in the department of family medicine and associate dean for student affairs at the Brody School of Medicine, was recognized for “educational leadership and administration.”
Schmidt graduated from Brody in 2002 and then also completed her residency here in 2005.
“This is like coming full circle for me,”
said Schmidt, who has served as associate dean since 2015. “Coming from being a student here and now being recognized in this way is huge. I consider it to be an honor to be a part of ECU Physicians, and to do what I do every day with our students is amazing. So, for people to even to consider me in this category, I’m humbled.”
Nominations from her peers praised Schmidt as a staunch advocate for students. Her colleagues view her student policy and procedure expertise as invaluable to medical students throughout their education at ECU. Faculty also deem Schmidt an available resource for counsel, advice and leadership, as well as humble, appreciative of others, and willing to listen to input: from students and faculty alike.
Her experiences from her earlier years of service in education at the Brody School of Medicine include small group leader and lecturer for Ml and M2 students, director of medical student education in the Department of Family Medicine, and assistant residency director in the Department of Family Medicine.
“I come here every day because our students are fantastic, and I can say that Brody is 100 percent dedicated to student success,”
Schmidt said. “That’s why we’re here. That’s why our jobs exist, that’s why we’re all in the same boat and rowing in the same direction—so our students can be successful.”
DR. DIANE SEMER
Dr. Diane Semer, a gynecologic oncologist with Physicians East in Greenville, was recognized for outstanding educational contribution by a community physician.
Dr. Diane Semer, a gynecologic oncologist with Physicians East in Greenville, was recognized for “outstanding educational contribution by a community physician.”
Semer received her medical degree from ECU in 1985 and then served as a Brody faculty member from 1992-2004, before going into private practice. She is the first community physician to receive this award.
Nominations from her peers said Semer has tirelessly provided cancer care to patients in eastern North Carolina for more than 25 years, and that her trainees are held to high standards of operative performance and management of critically ill patients, and in those settings some of the most important aspects of residency training are learned.
“It’s humbling to know that I’ve impacted a lot of the OB/GYNs in the community because I’ve been a part of their training,”
Semer said. “And so, at the end of my career, it’s kind of a culmination of everything I’ve done for the last 28 years.”
For many years, she served as the only faculty member in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at ECU.The department of obstetrics and gynecology now contains 14 physician faculty—seven of whom she taught—and an additional two can claim some downstream benefit by having trained in places where she trained their faculty.
Semer received the Community Faculty Teaching Award from the residency program in 2019 in addition to other faculty teaching awards during her time with ECU.
Even though Semer left ECU years ago, she still values her commitment to education.
“I think it’s important to educate our future doctors so that they are quality physicians and they have the skills they need to take care of patients compassionately and skillfully, and do surgery skillfully, so it’s important to do that,”
she said. “And it’s important for me to continue in that role, even though I’m in a private practice.