An emergency department may not seem like an ideal classroom at first glance—there are no chalkboards or neat rows of desks here, but that does not stop Marla Doehring, MD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine, from using every bit of space as a teaching environment. Her commitment to training the next generation of emergency medicine physicians and excellence in doing so, is why she has been selected to receive the 2019 Indiana University Part-Time Faculty Teaching Award.
“Dr. Doehring is truly is an inspirational educator,” said Jay H. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA, Dean of the Indiana University School of Medicine.
Doehring’s refreshing philosophy on being efficient and effective in every aspect of one’s life allows her to prioritize both personal and professional values. She is consistently named a role model for trainees and faculty in regard to career longevity and job satisfaction in emergency medicine. Doehring takes the time to set expectations and learn more about learners’ goals, ensuring that no matter what the circumstance, they are comfortable asking questions. Colleagues and learners alike describe her as kind, attentive, and enthusiastic.
“My role is to be a ‘coach on the field’ and provide a safe place for learners to spread their wings while also ensuring safety and quality care to our patients,” said Doehring.
Born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, she went on to graduate from Vanderbilt University in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts in history. She went on to complete her medical education at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1996. A residency in emergency medicine brought her to IU School of Medicine, where she graduated in 1999. Her husband’s service in the U.S. Army provided an opportunity to serve as a faculty physician at the Medical College of Georgia before returning to Indianapolis in 2003.
“Marla is an outstanding member of our faculty whose contributions far exceed expectations for full time clinical faculty let alone someone who works part-time,” said Megan Palmer, PhD, Vice Chair for Education and Faculty Development in Emergency Medicine.
In addition to teaching, Doehring demonstrates a personal commitment to lifelong learning. Her colleagues marveled, “She not only teaches from her experience, but also from the recent literature … I am always amazed at how up-to-date Marla is.”
This passion has seen her lead lifesaving patient safety efforts, sit on the Department of Emergency Medicine Faculty Recruitment Committee, and serve the broader community as a member of the Indianapolis women’s charitable giving organization, Kaleo, and the local inner-city women’s ministry, Heart Change.
“Dr. Doehring is the right set of hands,” said colleague Daniel Rusyniak, MD, Professor of Emergency Medicine. “She has an impressive ability to create calm out of chaos. I can remember numerous occasions when patient after patient was streaming in the department and her learners were not stressed or frazzled. This is because Dr. Doehring is always calm.” One of many strengths that help shape the lives of her colleagues, learners and patients.
She will formally receive the award from Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie at the IU Celebration of Distinguished Teaching and Service Dinner on Friday, March 29, 2019.
The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.
Nikki Livingston is a Marketing and Communications Coordinator for Faculty Affairs, Professional Development, and Diversity. She earned a B.A. in Theatre Arts and Drama at Spelman College.
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