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School of Medicine Virginia Commonwealth University VCU Medical Center
School of Medicine profiles

October 29, 2010

Barry V. Kirkpatrick, M.D.

Barry V. Kirkpatrick, M.D.

Faculty Excellence Awards – 2010
Irby-James Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching

“It is not hyperbole to state that Barry Kirkpatrick has had a greater impact on pediatrics in Richmond than any other pediatrician in living memory,” states Dr. Bruce K. Rubin, Jessie Ball duPont Professor and Chair, VCU Department of Pediatrics. Colleague Dr. William B. Moskowitz agrees, “I do not believe any other individual has demonstrated such a consistent level of excellence and passion for teaching.” Dr. Kirkpatrick’s commitment to clinical teaching has resulted in improved education and clinical care in our region for nearly 40 years.

After Dr. Kirkpatrick served as Chief Resident in Pediatrics at MCV, he briefly left Richmond to complete a fellowship in neonatal-perinatal medicine at the University of Florida. Returning to MCV, he served as director of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), the first in Central Virginia, from 1973 to 1986. He established and directed the fellowship program in neonatal-perinatal medicine from 1975-1986.

Dr. Kirkpatrick was a pioneer in neonatal education; the field of perinatal medicine was developing rapidly and there was a great need for clinical training about the care of high-risk newborns. With OB-GYN colleague Dr. Robert Petres, Dr. Kirkpatrick developed an annual Perinatal Education Day. Offered from 1978-1986, this regional conference was designed to support obstetricians, pediatricians and hospital- based nurses in learning together, an early example of multidisciplinary continuing education. Over the years, Dr. Kirkpatrick developed a variety of community based education programs for hospital physicians and nurses to improve recognition and management of high-risk pregnancies and newborns.

In 1986, Dr. Kirkpatrick earned the additional title of Assistant Director of Pediatrics at St. Mary’s Hospital, and established an innovative community pediatric clerkship. In 1988 he became Director of Pediatrics at St. Mary’s and continued in this position until he assumed the role of M3 Pediatric Clerkship Director for the SOM from 2004- 2010. Dr. Kirkpatrick serves as Vice Chairman for Pediatrics for Education, responsible for Education and Community Outreach.

These achievements only begin to describe Dr. Kirkpatrick’s impact; he has been a faculty adviser for hundreds of trainees. He is actively engaged in clinical teaching, mentoring, and formal and informal didactics every day. He moderates morning report, directs pediatric grand rounds, teaches in the weekly resident conference, and spends every Friday afternoon with M3 students in a preceptor conference. In addition, Dr. Kirkpatrick serves as attending in the Pediatric Group Practice outpatient clinic, supervising residents and M3 students. Dr. Kirkpatrick is faculty adviser for the Pediatric Interest Group, counsels students and writes personal letters of recommendation for each student choosing a career in pediatrics. With such devoted mentoring and teaching time, it is perhaps not a surprise that our medical students choose a career in pediatrics at twice the national average.

Dr. Kirkpatrick has won many departmental awards for teaching and was a “Special Honoree: Teacher/Mentor Award” in Richmond Magazine’s 2008 “Top Docs in Richmond” edition. He has received the Certificate of Merit and Citation for Outstanding Service, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP); Certificate of Appreciation, VA Chapter of the AAP; Distinguished Volunteer Leadership Award and the Hall of Fame Award from the VA Capital Area March of Dimes; STAR Award from the MCV Foundation of VCU; and the Hodges-Kay Service Award, MCV Alumni Association.

The words of Dr. Kirkpatrick’s recent students describe his profound influence on their training:

  • “I not only learned a tremendous amount of medical knowledge from this man…but also life and ethical lessons of pediatrics.”
  • “His breadth of wisdom and experience is second to none. Dr. Kirkpatrick is really in touch with the students. He is aware of what each of us is doing and should be doing.”
  • “He always has pertinent logical advice, does not harp on the irrelevant details, does not hesitate to be frank and lets you know when you are wrong (which in and of itself is invaluable).”
  • “MCV Pediatrics would not be what it is today without him.”