From Faculty Affairs: Dr. Mutter in the Spotlight

November 16, 2020 by sd2cv@virginia.edu

portrait of Dr. Kathryn Mutter in her white coat

The School of Medicine Faculty Affairs and Development office spotlights members of the Academy for Excellence in Education. Recently, they recognized Dr. M. Kathryn Mutter. Below is the interview they shared on their webpage:

What attracted you to working in academic medicine?

I find significant satisfaction in getting to wear many different hats, all with the goal of excellent patient care and interprofessional medical education.

Each day in my work week is different, between creating new curricula, working on a research paper, taking care of patients in the ED with residents and students, collaborating with faculty for courses, etc.  This variety keeps me engaged, and I love that each facet of my job refines the other facets.

What made you decide to call UVA your home?
I am actually a quintuple Hoo (undergrad, med school, residency, fellowship, MPH), so I suppose you could say I fell in love with the people and the place in my early adult life.  My husband and I moved away for three years, which affirmed our desire to be here long term.  I feel so lucky to count all the wonderful educators at UVA as my colleagues.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I love students’ and trainees’ energy to learn and get better.  I also enjoy the way learners keep me on my toes – I’m always being challenged by learners to know more.  It is immensely satisfying to watch learners grow over time into highly capable professional.

What interests do you have in educational research and scholarship?
I enjoy studying simulation and interprofessional education.  I’m currently focused on the question of how to build interprofessional models of education that mirror and improve our team practice environment.

How would you summarize your philosophy of teaching?
Empathy – my priority is always to design curricula and teach at the bedside from the standpoint of the learner.

How do you spend your free time outside of work?
My greatest joy is spending time with my family and friends, especially outdoors, getting exercise or over a good meal, and I am learning the violin.

What advice would you give to a new faculty member getting involved in education in the UVA SOM?
The opportunities are endless, so it is important to find the facet of education you most enjoy.  Identify someone doing that type of work and ask for mentorship and opportunities to get involved.  I actually recommend reading as well – there is so much good advice about how to improve teaching in the literature and within FOAM resources.  I find a lot of inspiration reading about innovative work.

What do you look forward to about the new Academy?
I’m excited that there will be an emphasis on faculty engagement across disciplines, creating opportunities to network.  I think there are many of us doing similar educational work, but we’re in different departments and don’t know about each other.  I see many new collaborations growing out of the AEE in the future!

Thank you to Faculty Affairs for recognizing Dr. Mutter!