Meet Our Award-Winning Teachers

Our faculty love to teach – the opportunity to participate in education is one of the major reasons they have chosen an academic career at UC Davis Health. Their commitment to training the next generation of pathologists shines every day since teaching is a regular part of their daily work. 

Meet a few of our faculty who truly stand out in the crowd as award-winning teachers.

Alaa Afify, M.D.As the recipient of the 2019 Teaching Award for Anatomic Pathology from our housestaff, Dr. Afify is known as a kind and thoughtful teacher.  He is Director of the Cytopathology Fellowship program, as well as Medical Director of Cytology and plays a central role in cytopathology curriculum.  Here’s what housestaff say about working with Dr. Afify: “One of the best pathology faculty I worked with. He was welcoming and took time to teach me and truly involved me in the process of sign­out.”  “Dr. Afify truly cares about a trainee's well-being and provides me invaluable feedback and suggestions. I am very grateful to him for his thoughtful guidance.”  “Very kind and an excellent educator. Spent a great deal of time during signout to make the experience educational with many helpful clinical pointers. Had opportunities during the rotation to learn about interactions between pathologists and clinicians as well as outside pathologists for consultation; an excellent role model.”

Sarah Barnhard, M.D.Dr. Barnhard’s personal experience as a graduate of our residency and transfusion fellowship programs brings a special dimension to her educational role as a faculty member, leading to her choice by residents for the 2016 Faculty Teaching Award in Clinical Pathology. A subspecialty expert in in transfusion medicine and apheresis, Dr. Barnhard brings an additional focus in quality improvement since she is one of the first graduates of UC Davis Health System’s certificate program in healthcare quality improvement. Dr. Barnhard is also very engaged with medical students as the faculty advisor for the Pathology Student Interest Group.

Here’s what residents say about Dr. Barnhard:

"Dr. Barnhard is such a joy to work with, and she has the estimable ability to turn even the most banal moment into a high-value teachable moment."

"I would love to have more time with Dr. Barnhard for my next Blood bank rotation. There is so much to learn from her."

Patricia Dalton, M.D.Dr. Dalton is a surgical pathologist and leads the educational experience at our teaching affiliate, the Mather VA Medical Center.  She is a dedicated teacher who is committed to providing the residents with an outstanding experience during their rotations.  She is a long-standing member of our Residency Advisory Committee and ensures that the VA rotations are aligned with the expectations and standards of our program and the ACGME. In recognition of her outstanding contributions, the residents honored her with the Resident’s Teaching Award for Volunteer Faculty in 2014 and 2020.

Here’s what residents say about Dr. Dalton’s teaching:

“Dr. Dalton is one of the very best instructors that we have as part of surg path within the UCD pathology system. I have and continue to learn so much information from her during our teaching sessions. She has been essential in my development as a pathologist.”

“Wonderful teacher with helpful feedback. Clear direction and well organized. Efficient. Double scoping was awesome and so helpful at my stage!”

“I appreciate Dr. Dalton's patience with teaching, both at the microscope and in particular taking the time to go over grossing step by step on complicated specimens.”

Dr. Gandour-EdwardsDr. Gandour-Edwards is an award-winning teacher who is widely regarded as a master educator within our school. She served as the Instructor of Record for our medical student’s pathology course for many years and received the Tupper Award, our school’s highest honor in medical education. Twice she was awarded the Kaiser Foundation Teaching Award for excellence in the Clinical Sciences. On three occasions, she was awarded Outstanding Instructor in Basic Sciences by the medical student graduating class. In 2015, the Association of Pathology Chairs honored Dr. Gandour-Edwards as the recipient of the Michele Raible Distinguished Teaching Award, the highest honor for undergraduate medical education in the specialty of pathology for her national contributions to medical education which included her service as chair of the APC’s Undergraduate Medical Education group. Dr. Gandour-Edwards also teaches in our nursing school’s nurse practitioner/physician assistant program. She is very active in resident education where she provides clinical teaching while on clinical service.

Here’s what residents say about Dr. Gandour-Edwards’ teaching:

“Dr. Gandour-Edwards was a pleasure to work with. She was very patient in addressing my areas of weakness. She also on multiple occasions came down to the grossing room to see how I was doing. She always gave me feedback there and then when I did something wrong or if I did something right.”

“Dr. Gandour-Edwards is a great educator, taking the time to explain things thoroughly and is always available to answer questions.”

“Good teacher. I would appreciate more learning time with Dr. Gandour-Edwards.”

John Paul Graff DOAn expert in hematopathology and informatics, Dr. Graff was honored by the housestaff with their 2018 Clinical Pathology Teaching Award. In addition to providing clinical teaching to housestaff in pathology and many other specialties, Dr. Graff teaches students in the master’s program in medical informatics, and serves in a leadership role as the Associate Program Director for the department’s ACGME-approved Clinical Informatics Training Program. Here’s what trainees have to say about Dr. Graff: “Dr. Graff is very supportive and an excellent teacher.  It is always a great experience and privilege to work with Dr. Graff.” “Incredibly enthusiastic, knowledgeable.” “Dr. Graff’s enthusiasm was infectious!”

Dr. GreenDr. Green is a national leader in education who served two terms as Chair of the Graduate Medical Education Committee for the Association of Pathology Chairs. As chair of this committee, he guided pathology residency education through major changes due to increased applicants, national changes to the ACGME required curriculum, and the introduction of Maintenance of Certification requirements by the American Board of Pathology.  In recognition of his major contributions during this transformative time, the APC honored with an award for “Extraordinary Service to Pathology Resident Education” in 2008. Dr. Green has continued his contributions to education as a member of the Education Committee of the Association for Investigative Pathology, and was appointed our residency program director in 2014. His passion for inspiring others in their careers includes outstanding contributions as a mentor and Dr. Green was recognized with the 2015 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring.

Here’s what residents say about Dr. Green’s teaching:

“Wonderful teacher. I enjoyed the week this attending was on service and had great confidence in his ability.”

Dr. Gui has distinguished herself as an outstanding teacher in multiple departments. She is the recipient of the 2015 Ruebner-Rosenquist Excellence in Teaching Award by the Gastroenterology fellows which recognizes her excellence in many educational settings, including her highly regarded multi-disciplinary slide sessions held around the multi-headed microscope which are a favorite of housestaff in both GI medicine and pathology. One of Dr. Gui most significant contribution to our teaching program has been through her role as grossing room director through which she has greatly enhanced the teaching experience by creating new standardized grossing protocols and initiating regular training sessions for first-year residents and pathology assistants, among other innovations. The housestaff are highly appreciative of her educational efforts, and consider our training in grossing surgical specimens to be an outstanding experience.

Han Lee, M.D., Ph.D. Han Sung Lee, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Lee was honored with the Pathology Faculty Teaching Award for 2020-2021, presented by our residents and fellows. Dr. Lee also was honored with the Faculty Professionalism Award, determined by an annual survey of all Pathology Personnel. Dr. Lee received the award in recognition of the high level of professionalism he has brought to the neuropathology service, improving relationships with clinicians, courteously accepting additional clinical service on short notice, and contributing significantly to a positive, hands-on learning environment for residents and fellows.

Here is what housestaff and colleagues say about Dr. Lee:

"Dr. Lee has exhibited the utmost of professionalism, cheerfully accepting additional clinical service and/or call on short notice, and always being willing to teach residents, fellows and medical students. He has worked with Residency program leaders to fully develop an expanded neuro rotation. He is always upbeat and courteous to everyone, regardless of rank and position. He is a joy to work with."

"Always willing to pitch in, super friendly."

"Deeply interested in resident education, a courteous colleague who is always ready to help out with cases, hands-on educator."

"Super helpful, friendly, smart, kind. Always willing to pitch in on service or teach."

"Commitment to teaching and professional responsibilities."

Karen Matsukuma, M.D., Ph.D.The recipient of the residents’ 2016 Faculty Teaching Award in Anatomic Pathology, Dr. Matsukuma joined our faculty in 2015 as a gastrointestinal and liver pathologist. Dr. Matsukuma has enhanced our training program by creating new standardized grossing templates for GI specimens in surgical pathology, and through her participation in departmental educational workshops and committees to improve the educational experience. She is also very active in medical student teaching. Here’s what residents say about Dr. Matsukuma:

“Working with Dr. Matsukuma is a pleasure. She is crazy smart, efficient, available, and friendly. She treats everyone with a great deal of respect, and is always working hard to see the value and potential for learning in everything around her. She is an inspiration and a role model.”

“Great attending to work with! Very approachable and enthusiastic about resident education. High yield learning.”

“One of the things that I most appreciate about Dr. Matsukuma is that she gives everyone time to speak. Many attendings (and physicians in general) will interrupt people after about 75% of a sentence. But, Dr. Matsukuma gives everyone enough room to get all of their thoughts out ‐‐ and she does it because she's genuinely interested in learning how someone is thinking, and hearing what they have to say. It refreshing, respectful, and greatly appreciated.”

Dr. Melgoza practices at the Mather Veterans Administration Hospital in Sacramento, and is the recipient of the residents’ Faculty Teaching Award for affiliated faculty in 2017. He received his MD at the UC Davis School of Medicine. We are especially proud to have one of our own alumni contribute to education for our residents.

Here’s what residents say about Dr. Melgoza:

“A very knowledgeable teacher with great attitude toward others. Very well respected among residents. Very professional.”

“Dr. Melgoza has been a pleasure to work with. He really takes the time to teach. At the VA the attending on service usually helps with grossing, but Dr. Melgoza will help when asked if he knows his colleague is busy with service duties and does not make the resident wait for a prolonged period of time. Also the environment is very comfortable and friendly, and mistakes made by the residents are met with a professional attitude rather than intimidation.”

Grace Monis, M.D., Ph.D.

Director of Apheresis Grace Monis MD PhD was honored by Pathology housestaff with their 2020 Faculty Teaching award for Clinical Pathology.  Here’s what our housestaff say about working with Dr. Monis:  “Dr. Monis is an excellent faculty. She is calm in her approach and is very approachable. She explains things in a very lucid manner and lets you know what she expects of you.”  “Always a pleasure to work with. She does a great job with giving graduated responsibility and for giving you cases that have the most educational benefit.”  “Easy to work with and is always pleasant. It is evident she loves to teach and help residents learn the most on their time on Apheresis. She is conscious of which cases will be most beneficial/interesting for residents to learn from..”  “Dr. Monis does an excellent job of explaining the overall process of apheresis as well as the more "behind the scenes" aspects of running an apheresis service. It is always a joy to work with her during the apheresis rotation.”

Dr. OlsonDr. Olson has received many teaching awards.  In 2018 and 2020, she was voted the Outstanding Basic Science Instructor by the graduating medical students, twice received the annual Faculty Teaching Award from our residents, as well as the Department of Internal Medicine’s Division of Gastroenterology’s annual Ruebner-Rosenquist Award for outstanding teaching, and the 2015 Kaiser Award for Outstanding Clinical Teaching. Dr. Olson also plays a leadership role in medical student education and serves as the Instructor of Record for our highly rated general and systemic pathology courses for medical students, in addition to a popular elective in GI pathology. She is very active in resident education and provides clinical teaching while on clinical service, in addition to didactic lectures in the residents lecture series.

Here’s what residents say about Dr. Olson’s teaching:

“Dr. Olson is a delight to work with as a resident. She is a thoughtful teacher and challenges the residents to know full details about their cases and patients. She explains the finer points of GI pathology effortlessly and has an open door policy for  questions. She even entrusts the GI service to advanced residents so they can attempt management and triage of cases on their own.”

“I can’t say enough about Dr. Olson. She is a great teacher, pathologist and role model.”

“Dr. Olson always takes the time to answer my questions, gives ample feedback on ways to improve, and is always available to help. She takes the time to go over slides on sign-out and teaches in an organized fashion that makes learning much easier.”

Dr. Rashidi

Dr. Rashidi is the 2018 recipient of UCD Schools of Health Deans’ Award for Excellence in Teaching for his national and international recognition as an innovator in educational technology. He is the developer, editor-in-chief and primary author of the online atlas HematologyOutlines utilized in many medical schools worldwide (including UCD) and recognized by the American Society of Clinical Pathology as the “go-to” resource for students preparing for their Medical Technology Board of Certification examination. Dr. Rashidi also developed Heme Quiz App, released on iTunes which quickly skyrocketed into the top 200 of 150K+ medical apps shortly after its release. Other examples of Dr. Rashidi's recognition as a transformative educational leader include his service on the American Society of Hematology’s Digital Education Working Group (2014-2016) and his current role as an elected member of the American Board of Pathology’s Test Development Advisory Committee in Anatomic Pathology. While at UCSD, Dr. Rashidi received the Clinical Pathology Teacher of the Year award from their pathology residents, and UCSD's Kaiser Teaching Award for his excellence in educating first year medical students.

Here’s what residents say about Dr. Rashidi’s teaching:

“Dr Rashidi is an excellent attending who prioritizes education and patient care….His knowledge in hemepath and surgical path are also excellent. I have improved my flow cytometry and diagnostic skills tremendously in just a few months. I am extremely glad that he joined our department.”

”What a wonderful asset to our program. He is an exemplary attending!"

"Not only does he have a fantastic knowledge base, but he takes the time to share it and teach the residents. He is able to teach to all levels and makes the material come alive in a useful way. I truly enjoyed working with this attending and appreciate the extra time he put in to giving us mini lectures each day. I have held on to my notes and continue to use them."

Kurt Schaberg, M.D.Dr. Schaberg is an excellent teacher and role model.  As early as his first year on the faculty, he quickly distinguished himself as one of the department’s best teachers, and received the 2020 Faculty Teaching Award in Anatomic Pathology from the housestaff, as well as the department’s 2020 Professionalism Awards. Here’s what our housestaff say about working with Dr. Schaberg: “Dr. Schaberg is fantastic to work with. He is a great teacher, available and willing to help, and very knowledgeable.” “Thank you for your as always, excellent slide session with a good mix of cases presented with good pace to enable getting through the material efficiently. Much appreciated.” “Dr. Schaberg is an exceptional attending in his attention to resident education… His pragmatic approach to resident learning is much appreciated.” “As always, Dr. Schaberg's session was engaging, informative, and memorable. Excellent work.”

Joshua Shulman, M.D.The recipient of the 2016 Residents’ Teaching Award for VA Faculty, Dr. Shulman is an outstanding teacher who makes the VA educational experience an important complement to the UC Davis Medical Center experience. Here is what residents say about Dr. Shulman:

"Thank you Dr. Shulman for the wonderful teaching and amazing and kind personality. I learned a lot!!!"

"I can't believe how patient Dr. Schulman is with me as I struggle to understand even the basics of derm path. It is very much appreciated."

"Great to have Dr. Shulman at the VA."

Dr. Tran

Dr. Tran’s excellence as an educator has been recognized with multiple awards. In 2017, he was the recipient of the residents’ Faculty Teaching Award in Clinical Pathology for the outstanding experience he provides our housestaff in clinical chemistry and point-of-care testing. In 2014, Dr. Tran received the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching for the innovative multi-disciplinary course that he developed with the Dept. of Biomedical Engineering in the School of Engineering: “Clinical Applications for Biomedical Device Design.” Hundreds of junior and senior undergraduates have participated in this popular course which provides basic concepts in pathology, hands-on experience with biomedical devices, and an understanding of complex clinical settings through clinical case studies, and mini-design challenges.

Here’s what residents say about Dr. Tran:

“This faculty member did a great job teaching.”

“Dr. Tran is a pleasure to work with. His excited and engaging style helps me stomach the nuances of clinical chemistry. He's also very polite to not notice my eyes glazing over every time he says "Henderson-Hasselbalch". It's a privilege to get to spend so much one-on-one time with him during this rotation.”

Chihong (Heidi) Zhou

The 2017 recipient of the Faculty Teaching Award in Anatomic Pathology, Dr. Zhou is a graduate of our residency and cytopathology fellowship programs Before joining our faculty, Dr. Zhou practiced in the community at Outpatient Pathology Associates, and therefore adds an important perspective to residency training. She also adds unique skills to our training experience, including hands-on training in ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration in our Cancer Center Clinic.

Here’s what residents say about Dr. Zhou:

"Dr. Zhou is great to work with. She spends a lot of time teaching, and thinking about how best to help residents learn. It's very much appreciated."

"Dr. Zhou is such a pleasure to work with. I always look forward to signing out with her, and to going to clinic with her. She's extremely knowledgeable and kind and thorough."