Lieberman Named Outstanding Educator
BIDMC radiologist Gillian Lieberman, MD, has received the Radiological Society of North America's 2010 Outstanding Educator Award.
She calls it a "labor of love." Her colleagues call it evidence of her dedication to teaching the next generation of radiologists. And now her work is receiving international recognition.
Lieberman was recognized for her role as a teacher at BIDMC and Harvard Medical School as well as for her innovative online tutorials called Lieberman's eRadiology.
"I have centered my career around teaching and feel honored and grateful to be recognized," Lieberman said. "I have published the web materials without a formal publisher so that they can be offered for free. My goal is to allow global access, including to doctors and students in underdeveloped impoverished areas. You're going to improve medical care world-wide if you improve medical teaching and training."
By embracing the Internet, she created, voiced and published a series of web-based interactive lessons in radiology. The site focuses on five different areas with her section of "Interactive Tutorials in Radiology" replacing the Lucy Squire tapes as the industry standard in teaching radiology at HMS and medical schools around the world. Lieberman developed the website outside of her job hours at BIDMC and does not charge a fee for people to use it.
In addition to reaching a worldwide audience with her electronic lessons, Lieberman serves as a Director of Medical Student Radiological Education at HMS, runs three Harvard clerkships at BIDMC and acts as Co-Director of Radiologic Education at BIDMC. Her Clerkships include foreign students who come from far and wide to spend 4 weeks training with her and the staff at BIDMC. Her passion for teaching inspired Lieberman's colleague Melvin Clouse, MD, Radiology, to nominate her for the RSNA Outstanding Educator Award.
"I would say that Dr. Lieberman as an educator certainly ranks as first with no equal among her peers," Clouse said. "She has devoted the past 28 years to the education of medical students, residents and fellows as well as CME courses in radiology, internal medicine, surgery and many subspecialties. She has indeed taught and mentored a generation of doctors, thousands of whom have consistently cited her as the 'best clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School.'"
Lieberman's eRadiology is divided into five sections - Primary Care Radiology, Interactive Tutorials in Radiology, the Classics Collection, the Learning Lab and Living Anatomy. Primary Care Radiology features cases that guide students through patient assessment, workup, staging, treatment and prognosis in a variety of specialties including surgery and internal medicine.
The Interactive Tutorials in Radiology teaches medical students and residents basic and advanced radiologic imaging. Lieberman's voice, a soothing South African lilt, takes students through imaging of the abdomen, chest, musculoskeletal system and head and neck.
Lieberman said the Classics Collection is her latest addition to the site. The information is divided into specialties such as cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and emergency radiology. The goal is to help students and residents recognize the classic imaging appearance of common conditions. It has a search capability so that the user can compare a current patient's x-rays with the expected appearance of the condition, enhancing the confidence with which they make their diagnosis and thus improving patient treatment.
She established the Learning Lab 15 years ago to help medical students graduate with a first author publication on their resume. This supports their applications for residency. Part of the core radiology clerkship is a case presentation using PowerPoint. Students deliver the presentation in class and then Lieberman works with them to turn the case into a web tool that helps educate their peers internationally.
The Living Anatomy section is another opportunity for medical students, residents and fellows to become published as Lieberman works with them on presenting views of live organs in order to teach detailed anatomy. For example, the presentations "Chest Anatomy" and "MRI Atlas of the Abdomen" demonstrate the segments of the lungs and liver. "This tool is great for surgical residents," Lieberman said. "You can only cut a mass out along planes that respect the anatomic segments or you will disrupt the blood supply .So you need to learn where these planes are"
Lieberman's eRadiology is utilized by students and physicians in nearly every country. Through her website, she has been able to assist more than 700 clinicians in publishing their work. The impact she has had helping to shape the careers of her students through her site make all the long hours worthwhile.
"Being a medical educator is enormously fulfilling. It has been a privilege teaching and learning from my students and residents of all ages and nationalities. They enrich my life," Lieberman said.