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Duke Psychiatry Honors Professors and Residents with Year-End Awards

Sunday, June 27, 2021
By Susan Gallagher
Honored Faculty and Residents - Graduation 2021

Congratulations to the following Duke Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences faculty members and trainees on receiving these year-end awards.

Outstanding Mentor

Heather VestalHeather Vestal, MD, MHS, Assistant Professor and Director of the Psychiatry Residency Program

The following nomination comment speaks to the impact Dr. Vestal has had on the personal and professional growth of our trainees.

One of Dr. Vestal’s many outstanding qualities is the amount of time and energy she has dedicated to mentoring residents. She launched the residency mentorship program and has also provided a lot of mentorship to residents formally and informally, through regular residency-wide meetings, class meetings and individual meetings, as well as the Clinical Education track and weekly chief meetings, during which she provides us with helpful guidance to navigate residency and cultivate leadership, teaching and advocacy skills.

She has also reformatted the chairs round series so that it includes conversations about sensitive and difficult topics like diversity and sharing struggles from faculty. She has also mentored residents and faculty through her up-stander training workshops responding to bias in the clinical setting, which needs to be an essential component of our training.

Honored Professors 

The Honored Professor Awards honor one MD and one PhD faculty member who exemplify an enduring dedication to teaching and lasting contributions to medical education.

Noga ZerubavelNoga Zerubavel, PhD, Assistant Professor

The following nomination comment speaks to the impact Dr. Zerubavel has had on our trainees and their personal and professional growth.

Dr. Zerubavel is an exceptionally gifted teacher and therapist. She especially shines during feedback sessions with residents. She is gentle with her teaching, makes close note of our strengths and instills hope. Furthermore, she offers to remain in a mentor role, providing guidance and encouragement promptly and sincerely.

Paul RiordanPaul Riordan, MD, Assistant Consulting Professor

The following nomination comment speaks to the impact Dr. Riordan has had on our trainees and their personal and professional growth.

Dr. Riordan is a great mentor, teacher and person. He models and cultivates a harmonious, non-judgmental and curious learning environment. He cultivates and fosters humility in education and stimulates learners to read, learn, share and teach evidence-based medicine. He acknowledges the strengths and limitations of evidence-based medicine and models tolerance of ambiguity and uncertainties in medicine. He disseminates education and teaching pearls very effectively and practices mindfulness in medicine through attentive awareness of self and others, by reflecting in action, by practicing and modeling beginner’s mind (open, curious, flexible, improvising and adapting) in different teaching environments.


We are also pleased to announce the following resident award winners:

Outstanding Resident Clinician Award: Hiba Zaidi, MBBS

Given to a graduating resident who has demonstrated clinical excellence and best exemplifies professional and compassionate clinical care of patients and serves as a model for peers and learners.

Outstanding Resident Educator Award: Stephanie Cripps, MD, MS, & Hira Silat, MBBS

Given to graduating residents who have demonstrated passion and talent for teaching and who have made significant contributions to the learning of others.

Outstanding Resident Research Award: Alexandra Bey, MD, PhD

Given to a graduating resident who has demonstrated excellence in research carried out during training and embodies the qualities of an outstanding physician scientist.