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2019 Teacher of the Year Awards

June 21, 2019

By Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science staff

A well-deserved round of applause for this year’s Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education (GME) Teacher of the Year award recipients. Presented by the Mayo Fellows’ Association, more than 64 faculty members were honored this year.

The Teacher of the Year award originated in 1970 as “a long overdue expression of appreciation.” These awards are given annually and include an award for each department campus wide. Nominees are submitted by residents and fellows from their respective departments and are then voted on by residents and fellows. Recipients are recognized for being dedicated to resident teaching, going above and beyond their regular duties, and serving as mentors for young physicians in training.

"Being the recipient of the Teacher of the Year award is a big honor," explained Theodora Potretzke, M.D., who was named Teacher of the Year for the Department of Radiology.

"We train exceptional residents and fellows here at Mayo Clinic. They work hard taking care of patients and preparing for great careers in medicine. It’s wonderful to help guide them on their journey. Their thirst for knowledge and experience helps us all remain enthusiastic and authentic learners."

Gretchen Glaser, M.D., program director of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency, was also recognized as a Teacher of the Year for her department. She said, “It was such an honor to be selected for this award, and I absolutely love teaching residents and fellows every day. It is one of the very best parts of my job!" 

The following faculty were celebrated at an awards ceremony on April 4, 2019 in Phillips Hall:

Program Name



Avni Joshi, M.D.


Lauren Licatino, M.D., Paul Warner, M.D.


Heidi Connolly, M.D., Rajiv Gulati, M.D., Ph.D.

Cardiovascular Surgery

John Stulak, M.D.

Dental Specialties

Chad Rasmussen, D.D.S.


Julio Sartori Valinotti, M.D.

Emergency Medicine

Kristina Colbenson, M.D.


Diana Dean, M.D.

Family Medicine - Rochester

Elizabeth Westby Bunch, M.D.

Family Medicine - Health System

Terri Nordin, M.D.


Laura Raffals, M.D.


Thorvardur Halfdanarson, M.D., Mrinal Patnaik, M.B.B.S.

Hospice & Palliative Medicine

Molly Feely, M.D.

Infectious Disease

Omar Abu Saleh, M.B.B.S.

Internal Medicine - Outpatient GIM

John Bundrick, M.D.

Internal Medicine - Outpatient PCIM

Emily Leasure, M.D.

Internal Medicine - Inpatient & Other Internal Med

John Ratelle, M.D.


Fernando Cosio, M.D.

Neurologic Surgery

Michael Link, M.D.


Farwa Ali, M.B.B.S., Elson So, M.D.


Gretchen Glaser, M.D.


William Brown, O.D., Ph.D.

Orthopedic Surgery

Christopher Camp, M.D.


Jeffrey Janus, M.D.

Pathology - Anatomic

Jorge Torres-Mora, M.D.

Pathology - Clinical

Bobbi Pritt, M.D.

Pediatrics & Subspecialties

Paul Galardy, M.D., Jay Homme, M.D.

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Jeffrey Basford, M.D., Ph.D.

Preventive, Occupational & Aerospace Medicine

Robert Haddon, M.D., M.S.


John Huxsahl, M.D.


Craig Sawchuk, Ph.D., L.P.

Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine

Darlene Nelson, M.D.

Radiation Oncology

Daniel Ma, M.D.

Radiation Physics

Deanna Pafundi, Ph.D.


Nate Hull, M.D., Theodora Potretzke, M.D.


Uma Thanarajasingam, M.D., Ph.D.

Sleep Medicine

Meghna Mansukhani, M.D.

Surgery & Subspecialties

Uldis Bite, M.D., Brian Carlsen, M.D.


Boyd Viers, M.D.

Additionally, several faculty members were recognized with individual awards.

Alberto Rubio Tapia, M.D., received the Donald Balfour Alumni Award. Mohamed Seisa, M.D., received the Edward C. Kendall Alumni Award, and Rosalyn Adigun, M.D., Pharm.D., received the Barbara Bush Award.

Narjust Duma, M.D., received the Diversity Award, which recognizes individuals or projects that have significantly contributed to greater diversity and support recruitment or retention of diverse leaners. 

Narjust Duma, M.D., Laura Suarez, M.D., Ryan D'Souza, M.D., Waleed Gibreel, M.B.B.S., Haidar M. Abdul-Muhsin, M.D., and Mark Waddle, M.D., received the Mayo Brothers Distinguished Fellowship Award, recognized for their outstanding clinical performance, humanitarianism, and scholarly activity.

Jordan Ray, M.D., and Ryan Ung, D.O., received the Health Care Disparities Award, which recognizes an outstanding Health Care Disparities project led by a resident or fellow, or in which a resident or fellow participated meaningfully.

Ana Catarina Paim, M.D., Eugene M. Tan, M.D., Zerelda Esquer Garrigos, M.D., and Prakhar Vijayvargiya, M.D., received the Patient Safety Award, which recognizes an outstanding patient safety project led by a resident or fellow, or in which a resident or fellow participated meaningfully. 

Raymond Stetson, M.D. received the Quality Improvement Award, which recognizes an outstanding clinical or non-clinical Quality Improvement project led by a resident or fellow.