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MU Neurologist Receives National Award for Innovation in Education

A University of Missouri neurologist is being recognized for his innovation as a teacher. David Lardizabal, MD, assistant professor of neurology at the MU School of Medicine, has been selected to receive the 2012 Clerkship Directors Innovation Award from the American Academy of Neurology (AAN).

Lardizabal is receiving the honor for his development of online teaching tools and simulation training for neurology education. He received the award at the AAN Annual Meeting in New Orleans.

The AAN Neurology Clerkship Directors Innovation Award is intended to acknowledge innovation and creativity in neurology clerkship directors. According to the AAN, many directors have developed unique tools and instruments to teach medical students, assess knowledge and benchmark progress.

In his letter of support for the award nomination, Pradeep Sahota, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Neurology at the MU School of Medicine, said Lardizabal’s innovative approach to teaching has “truly changed the face of neurology clerkship.”

“The new educational tools and methods he developed have led to an increased evaluation rating for our neurology clerkship and increased examination scores for neurology tests,” Sahota said.

Also supporting Lardizabal’s nomination was fourth-year medical student Ryan Matthews. In her letter, Matthews called Lardizabal an inspiration.

“Quite simply, Dr. Lardizabal has made the intricacies of neurology a tangible and accessible science for the medical students at the University of Missouri,” Matthews said. “He has done so with thoughtful development and utilization of many tools, be they traditional or cutting-edge.”

Lardizabal has served as director of the neurology clerkship at the MU School of Medicine since 2010. He was the associate director from 2009 to 2010.