Dr. Stearns Receives Faculty Student Teaching Award

Michael Stearns, MD was selected by the third year medical school class of the University of Maryland School of Medicine to receive the prestigious Faculty Student Teaching Award in 1989.  This award is granted to one faculty member each year by the student body of each class, making it one of the more recognized honors bestowed upon faculty members.  Dr. Stearns was the first individual to receive this award while still in training (as a clinical neurophysiology fellow).

Dr. Stearns served as the third year medical student neurology rotation program coordinator.  The students spent three weeks of their third year on the neurology and neurosurgery wards and in didactic sessions with neurology and neurosurgery faculty members and residents. Dr. Stearns was responsible for making sure that the students were adequately prepared to recognize common neurologic conditions and those that require urgent intervention.

The students were given a  six question essay examination at the end of their rotation.  The exam was made up of challenging clinical vignettes that featured often emergent neurology conditions.  The students were required to provide a differential diagnosis and plan, prioritizing urgent and treatable conditions.  This examination format was highly motivating to the students and their responses to the examination questions were often highly detailed and accurate.  Dr. Stearns employed a Socratic teaching method that kept the students highly engaged during classroom sessions.

A number of students in this class and others chose the field of neurology as their specialty based on their experience in this program.

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