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

November 18, 2013

Mary Ann Turner, M.D.

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Irby-James Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching

Since Dr. Mary Ann Turner joined the Department of Radiology faculty in 1975, she has taught thousands of medical students, nearly 300 Radiology housestaff, and 37 GI Radiology/Abdominal Imaging fellows, as well as residents, fellows and faculty across the medical center. In 1977 Dr. Turner co-founded the weekly Multidisciplinary GI Teaching Conference and continues to precept this conference in its 36th year. For 30 years, she has participated in the weekly General Surgery conference and the GI Radiology GME elective. These are examples of Dr. Turner’s long-term and significant impact on clinical education at VCU,
and through her former students and trainees, on the field of diagnostic radiology.

“Her teaching efforts are by no means limited to the classroom or lecture hall but extend to every facet of her practice of medicine, including at the viewbox and more recently at the PACS workstation, at the patient’s side during the performance of a wide array of radiologic procedures, and in a multitude of multidisciplinary conferences attended by not only radiology residents but also medical students and surgical, medical, and GI residents/fellows,” explains Ann S. Fulcher, M.D., Professor and Chair of the Department of Radiology.

Joe Behl, M.D., Medical Director, Diagnostic Imaging, Rockingham Memorial Hospital and Managing Partner, Rockingham Radiologists, fondly recalls training with Dr. Turner, “She is that rare individual who not only is a gifted teacher, but also a fount of wisdom as a mentor, and someone who truly cares about all around her.”

Malcolm K. Sydnor, M.D. Director, Vascular and Interventional Radiology, VCU, and a former medical student and resident of Dr. Turner’s agrees. “She is a kind, compassionate, and highly respected professional who has the unusual ability of not only teaching advanced practice to residents and fellows but also to expertly teach basic concepts and imaging findings to 3rd and 4th year medical students … she has an uncanny ability to teach real time in front of a patient in such a way that the student’s learning is optimized and the patient is appreciative because of it!”

Mark Vaughn, M.D., current president of the Virginia Chapter of the American College of Radiology, acknowledges the influence Dr. Turner has had on his career: “My interactions with Dr. Turner during my fourth year radiology clerkship not only helped me decide on diagnostic radiology as a career, but also helped me decide to stay at VCU for my residency training in radiology.”

“As a Gastroenterologist, I frequently have gone to her for help in patient care,” says Richard Sterling, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Chief of Hepatology, VCU. “She not only provides me with expert interpretations, but always takes the time to teach the students, residents and fellows on the team.”

Recalling her time at VCU, Amy Foxx-Orenstein, D.O., Associate Professor of Medicine, Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Mayo Clinic Scottsdale, explains that Dr. Turner’s “depth of understanding of human anatomy, medical radiology, clinical presentation and the vast subtleties of gastrointestinal radiology is legendary. GI Fellows and residents would come away from GI conferences with a rich appreciation for critical thinking, critical questioning, analyzing symptoms and images, choosing the right test, and interpreting the results.”

Dr. Turner’s scholarship, clinical skill, service, and teaching excellence is recognized nationally. In 2011 she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Gastrointestinal Radiologists.

As Alvin Zfass, M.D., Professor of Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, VCU, states, “Simply stated, Mary Ann Turner has been, and remains, the quintessential teacher of teachers. The most “listened to” voice in all conferences. I know … because I have had the good fortune of being in the audience. Incomparable.”