The Directors of Learning Environment at McGovern Medical School, John Riggs, MD, professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences; and Vineeth John, MD, professor in the Louis A. Faillace, MD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; have announced the 2021 Champions of Clinical Learning Environment.

Selected for upholding aspects of a positive and vibrant learning environment, the Champions of Clinical Learning Environment create opportunities to promote and encourage professionalism amongst their colleagues.

“We are very appreciative of the extraordinary efforts of the faculty members to role model respect, collaboration, compassion, and commitment to human dignity,” John said.

The process of selecting the faculty involved a detailed review of the Learning Environment Survey (LES) completed by third-year medical students to choose faculty who are consistently described as exceptional role models. In the survey, medical students were effusive in their praise and pointed out hundreds of faculty members who demonstrated patient-centered teaching and care, served as role models of care and compassion towards learners and patients, and exemplified professional behavior while consistently demonstrating respect for the learner, patient, and other health care providers.

In addition, the faculty members received accolades for being enthusiastic and creating enjoyable and safe learning environments.

“We concentrated on the third-year clinical clerkship rotations which occurred in the past academic year for acknowledging the faculty members,” Riggs and John said. “We are aware that faculty from preclinical department and specialty rotations have not been included. In the future we hope to include faculty members for all the clinical and preclinical rotations.

“Additionally, we look forward to receiving real-time feedback from students about exemplary faculty members. Students can write to us at”

The 2021 Champions of Learning Environment are:

Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences
Irene Stafford, MD, MS, associate professor
Julie Gutierrez, MD, assistant professor
Carlos Carreno, MD, assistant professor

Family Medicine
Nathan Bender, MD, assistant professor
Alexander Laceras, MD, assistant professor
Vijaya Mallela, MD, associate professor

Saleem Khan, MD, professor
Ethan Taub, DO, assistant professor
Casey Duncan, MD, MS, assistant professor

Internal Medicine
Gabriel Aisenberg, MD, associate professor
Rukma Govindu, MD, associate professor
Jessica Jones, MD, assistant professor

Emma Omoruyi, MD, MPH, associate professor
Kimberly Smith, MD, MPH, professor
Lisa de Ybarrondo, MD, associate professor

Chase Findley, MD, associate professor
Gregory Hestla, MD, assistant professor
Hanjing Emily Wu, MD, PhD, assistant professor

Pedro Mancias, MD, professor
Shivika Chandra, MD, assistant professor
Jay-Jiguang Zhu, MD, PhD, professor