Lionel Brounts, MD, FACS, is the General Surgeon and Director of Graduate Medical Education at the Veterans Affairs Northern Indiana Health Care System in Fort Wayne and a volunteer clinical faculty member for IU School of Medicine. He is a strong advocate for medical student education since his arrival in Fort Wayne. Brounts’ service began in the Army, having completed multiple deployments in different war zones. He and his wife, Michelle, along with their four children: Bode (age 15); Abigail (age 14); Gabrielle (age 12); and Isabelle (age 3), relocated to Fort Wayne in 2017. Shortly after moving Brounts started teaching for IU School of Medicine after approaching IU School of Medicine-Fort Wayne campus about providing educational experiences for students at the local VA facility. What started as a rotation for the Surgery Clerkship has expanded into sites for Psychiatry and now Internal Medicine Clerkships.
Brounts’ dedication to medical students does not stop with offering clinical experiences. He serves as a Physician Mentor for a group of incoming Phase 1 students, which continues through all four years of their education. In 2018 he became a facilitator for the Phase 2 Intercessions course. And in 2019 he volunteered to assist Phase 3 students with mock interviews. Through these educational opportunities, Brounts shares his personal and professional experiences while teaching students how to navigate the health care setting and prepare for residency.
IU School of Medicine-Fort Wayne faculty and staff are very thankful for the time and dedication that Brounts commits to clinical education. He received the Excellence in Teaching Medical Students in Surgery Award by the Department of Surgery in 2019.
, Surgery Clerkship Director stated, “Dr. Brounts is an asset to the IU School of Medicine Surgery Clerkship, providing a high yield clinical experience for medical students at the Fort Wayne VA Hospital. The level of personal attention he commits to providing a challenging yet productive learning environment is unparalleled. His method for engaging students in his General Surgery clinic is a model to be reproduced wherever possible.”
Brounts exemplary teaching is also regularly reflected in student comments such as “Brounts demonstrated unprecedented interest and investment in my education.” “He has motivated me to continue to grow professionally.” “Brounts asks insightful questions” and has “intentional thought behind teaching and preparing students.”
(Left to right: Katie Stanton, MD, Lionel Brounts, MD, and Fen-Lei Chang, PhD, MD)
Students recognize and appreciate the dedication that Dr. Brounts demonstrates in his other roles in medical education. He was nominated and won the Outstanding Mentor Award in 2020. One medical student commented, “Brounts puts us in touch with the real world of medicine. He not only provides great advice for individual students but also volunteers for various teaching opportunities at the school providing great insight and phenomenal education. He is one of the most beloved educators among our third-year students in the clinic, classroom and as a mentor.”
Another student stated, “He is always willing to help us with whatever we need, whether it be research opportunities or life advice. IU is lucky to have Brounts, and I am blessed to have him as my physician mentor.”
Regional campuses rely on local physicians to volunteer their time and expertise to teach our medical students. Fen-Lei Chang, PhD, MD, Associate Dean and Director of IU School of Medicine-Fort Wayne, added, “When you find someone as dedicated as Brounts is to that purpose, you can count yourself and your students very fortunate and we thank him for his enthusiasm for teaching and his dedication to our students’ success.”
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.
Matt Neal, MD
Matt Neal, MD, is Assistant Dean for Faculty Affairs and Professional Development, Chairman of the Department of Medicine, IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital and Professor of Clinical Medicine, IU School of Medicine-Muncie.