MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Stephanie Terezakis, MD, professor, and chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Minnesota Medical School, has been named the Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology's, or ARRO, Educator of the Year for 2020-21.
ARRO honors a faculty member each year whom residents choose from each participating institution. The award recognizes excellent faculty members for their dedication and enthusiasm for trainee education.
"Receiving this award is incredibly meaningful to me, especially given that it's chosen through a resident nomination," Dr. Terezakis stated.
After her nomination, Dr. Terezakis stated that believing in the learners' ability enables the educator to equip them with the skills necessary to be more successful than they think they are capable of being. She is confident that this will result in the sense of practice pride sought by all clinicians.
Dr. Terezakis' success as an educator stems from her belief that people can overcome educational obstacles if provided with the necessary tools.
Additionally, she teaches trainees how to look beyond the fundamentals of radiation oncology and grasp how to care for patients in a range of social, emotional, and familial contexts – a holistic approach.
"I think taking care of the patient means more than just having your basic textbook knowledge. Having those interpersonal interactions and learning through patient experience is important," she said. "I try to get residents involved in as many patient interactions as possible because there's something to learn from each unique experience."
She has also served as vice-chair of research for the department, which has informed her approach to student training.
"You can generate so many research questions from patient care, so I try to demonstrate how participating in research can really improve your level of care," Dr. Terezakis said.
Dr. Terezakis believes that research is vital since it informs daily life. As an illustration, she stated that clinical trials are occasionally the best option for patients, depending on their circumstances.
She says that even if an individual does not intend to become a researcher in the future, they must understand that research and training is the optimal time to do so.
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