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2012 Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award

Richard B. Gunderman, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., Indiana University School of Medicine


As professor and vice chairman of radiology at Indiana University (IU) School of Medicine, Richard B. Gunderman, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., “serves as an educational catalyst,” says D. Craig Brater, M.D., dean and Walter J. Daly Professor at IU School of Medicine and vice president for University Clinical Affairs. Dr. Gunderman also holds faculty appointments in the departments of pediatrics, medical education, philosophy, liberal arts, and philanthropy. He taught at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine for eight years before arriving at IU.

Dr. Gunderman, an engaged and effective classroom teacher, has received the highest teaching awards at IU. He is the medical school’s principal teacher of radiology, and he works with second- and fourth-year students in a radiology clerkship he helped design. “Thanks to his efforts, our school has been one of few in the country with a month-long radiology clerkship, which serves as a capstone” that integrates the basic and clinical sciences, says Dean Brater.

In addition to teaching classes, Dr. Gunderman has a reputation for being an educational innovator. He “has created a number of new learning opportunities at our medical school,” according to Dean Brater. Dr. Gunderman has designed and gone on to teach 16 courses at IU, including his fourth-year elective, Leadership in Medicine. This hands-on course involves students in the administration of their school. Two years ago, the students created a new course on human sexuality, guiding it through the review process and getting it approved. It is now part of IU’s course catalog, and the first class gave it glowing reviews.

Dr. Gunderman makes himself accessible to his students and partners with many of them across a variety of fields each year on scholarly projects that often result in peer-reviewed publications. He is “deeply committed to medical student mentorship,” confirms Dean Brater. In the words of one of his students, “Dr. Gunderman challenges students to look inside themselves, encouraging them to bring up questions and then working fervently alongside them until they find answers.” As a testament to Dr. Gunderman, many of his former mentees have gone on to pursue careers in radiology and academic medicine at large.

A scholar himself, Dr. Gunderman has written one of the best-selling radiology textbooks in the English language. Essential Radiology is now entering its third edition and has been translated into multiple languages. “It represents not only a learning resource but a different approach to radiology education, which seeks to integrate the clinical presentation and pathophysiology with the radiologic imaging,” Dean Brater explains. Dr. Gunderman also is the author of Achieving Excellence in Medical Education, a book that offers theoretical insights and practical suggestions for medical educators, and has garnered positive reviews from the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association.   

Dr. Gunderman completed his B.A. at Wabash College and his Ph.D. in social thought at the University of Chicago. He received his M.D. degree from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and his M.P.H. degree from IU.

Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award

This award provides national recognition to faculty members who have distinguished themselves in medical student education.