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FSU College of Medicine Hires Innovators in Medical Education

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Phone: (850) 645-1255
March 18, 2002

Leaders in the development and use of virtual reality technology, the Internet and other multimedia resources for medical education are among the recently hired faculty at Florida State University’s new College of Medicine.

“We’ve been especially successful at bringing in people interested in innovations in medical education and will soon be known nationwide for our leadership in the field of medical information technology,” said Dr. Joseph E. Scherger, dean of FSU’s medical school. ”The opportunity to be involved in the development of a new medical school has been a tremendous draw.”

Among those innovators is Dr. Richard Usatine, developer of an online case-based dermatology program that has been adopted by a number of U.S. medical schools. Usatine, who is coming to FSU from the UCLA School of Medicine, will begin serving as associate dean for medical education in July.

Usatine was recognized by the Association of American Medical Colleges in 2000 with its Humanism in Medicine Award for his work with the homeless and medically indigent, but he also is a nationally recognized expert in the education of clinical faculty, known in academic medicine as preceptors. He will be working closely with Tallahassee physicians involved in teaching basic clinical skills to first- and second-year medical students.

Usatine and his FSU colleague, David Steele, Ph.D., are participants in a $1.75 million federal grant project that is developing a model four-year family medicine curriculum for use nationwide. Steele is the author of several recent publications on computer-aided instruction in medical education.

Another of the college’s recent hires, Andrew Payer, Ph.D., worked on the National Library of Medicine’s Virtual Human Project and with the virtual reality program at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. There he developed methods for applying the virtual reality technology used to train astronauts to the training of medical students. A medical educator for 30 years, Payer will serve as course director for the first-year curriculum.

Dr. Edward Klatt, a pathologist with more than 20 years of experience in medical education, also brings to FSU a wealth of experience in medical information technology. Klatt is widely known in academic medicine for developing WebPath, a popular multimedia resource for pathology education that is distributed worldwide. He also has been a director of autopsy services at two academic medical centers as well as a deputy medical examiner for the County of Los Angeles. At FSU he directs the second-year curriculum.

The college’s most recent hires include:

  • Dennis Baker, Ph.D., who will direct faculty development both at FSU’s Tallahassee campus and at its regional campuses around the state. Baker, who comes to FSU from Ohio University, will work to increase the educational effectiveness of faculty in the basic science program and to ensure the quality of education being offered by the community physicians who will be hired to provide clinical training to third- and fourth-year medical students.
  • Dr. Anthony Costa, who will serve as assistant dean for the regional medical school campus in Orlando. Costa is coming to FSU July 1 from Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, where he is associate dean for clinical education. He brings 16 years of experience in medical education to FSU and was named Educator of the Year by the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians.
  • Graham Patrick, Ph.D., who will coordinate the pharmacology curriculum. Patrick has 29 years of teaching experience in health professions schools at Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia, where he earned numerous teaching awards.
  • Philip Posner, Ph.D., an internationally recognized electrophysiologist who will coordinate and direct instruction in physiology and pathophysiology. Posner has had research funding from the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association. He taught physiology at the University of Florida for 28 years before moving to Auburn University in 1999 as head of the department of anatomy, physiology and pharmacology. While at the University of Florida he was the recipient of three Teacher of the Year Awards.