Cathy Hatcher Named Innovative Teacher of the YearJuly 11, 2018
Cathy Hatcher, PhD, uses an active learning strategies such as audience response,
patient simulations and report sessions to engage her students.
Cathy Hatcher, PhD, associate professor, neuroscience, physiology and pharmacology, has been named the
Philadelphia campus’ Innovative Teacher of the Year. Now in its fourth year, the award
honors those who exhibit original and creative thinking, inside the lab and the classroom.
Dr. Hatcher leads the Cardio-Renal-Pulmonary Medicine (CRP) course in the Philadelphia
Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) program, and uses an active learning model to engage her students with techniques such as
audience response, patient simulations, morning report sessions and integration of
clinical and basic sciences.
Dr. Hatcher implemented the new learning strategies after becoming director of the
CRP course in 2015.
“The active learning sessions are designed to engage small groups of students in the
dissection and discussion of a clinically relevant patient case that encompasses multiple
scientific disciplines,” she said. “These sessions not only allow students to integrate
multiple sources of information, but they also enable the student to identify their
strengths and weaknesses. Numerous students have told me that they benefited from
this small-group style of learning, and that makes me very happy.”
The award’s Selection Committee, chaired by Erik Langenau, DO, MS, chief academic technology officer and associate professor, family medicine, noted,
“What separates Dr. Hatcher’s work from other educators around the country is her
ability to apply this active learning model to such a large group of students—roughly
270. Her course has become a model for active learning at PCOM, and her work has inspired
others to adopt active learning and simulation in other courses.”
“I was so surprised, elated and grateful to PCOM for selecting me for this award,”
said Dr. Hatcher. “I am forever grateful to several people who made valuable contributions
to this effort, including Robert Barsotti, PhD, professor, neuroscience, physiology
and pharmacology; Bruce Kornberg, DO ’78, professor and chair, cardiology; Pat Lannutti, DO ’71, co-vice chair and professor, internal medicine; Sue Hingley, PhD, professor, microbiology; and Evan Saenger, DO ’18.”
Nominations for the Innovative Teacher of the Year award are submitted by fellow faculty
and staff. Nominees are selected for their use of creative student engagement which
may include clinical reasoning, simulation, role-play, positive reinforcement and
technology. Using a scoring rubric to help in the selection process, the committee
evaluates innovation by the degree to which the innovation varied from standard teaching
methods; the level of active engagement for the learners; and sustainability of the
“As an institution, our educational goals focus on presenting students with high-quality
programs of study that continue to challenge in new and exciting ways,” said Dr. Langenau.
“We applaud the efforts of this year’s Innovative Teachers for their efforts to think
creatively about how to best educate their students, and encourage our entire faculty
to continue to innovate and collaborate whenever possible.”
Edo-Abasi McGee, PharmD, associate professor, pharmacy practice, was selected as the
Innovative Teacher of the Year at GA-PCOM.
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Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has trained thousands
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