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Jacobi, Zickuhr named Loeb Teaching Fellows

Focus will be on mental health curriculum, improving skills for narrative feedback

by Kristina SauerweinFebruary 16, 2024

Washington University School of Medicine

Celina Jacobi, MD, an instructor in child psychiatry, and Lisa Zickuhr, MD, an assistant professor of medicine, have been named the 2024-26 Carol B. and Jerome T. Loeb Teaching Fellows at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

The two-year fellowship was established in 2004 with a gift from Carol B. and Jerome T. Loeb to advance medical education. The program provides recipients with dedicated time to focus on enhancing the education of medical students and residents by incorporating innovative ideas into teaching and training.

“The Loebs have played an instrumental role in the success of our new curriculum and education at WashU broadly through their abiding commitment to nurture innovation and excellence in medical education,” said Eva Aagaard, MD, vice chancellor for medical education, senior associate dean for education, and the Carol B. and Jerome T. Loeb Professor of Medical Education. “Their support of our programs of study encourages our students and trainees to treat patients holistically and with compassion. The Loebs’ dedication will leave a lasting influence on the health-care field.”

The fellowship program also is supported by The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

With her fellowship, Jacobi will aim to develop curriculum that helps pediatricians-in-training to diagnose and treat mild to moderate mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Through the curriculum, the trainees will work alongside child psychiatrists and other mental health specialists while also attending lectures and completing coursework to improve their knowledge of outpatient mental health care.

Jacobi called the curriculum essential, citing figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that show an increasing number of teens – girls in particular — contemplating suicide. Other CDC figures indicate that more than half of teen girls struggle with pervasive feelings of sadness. Jacobi said that despite increases in the number of teens with mental illness, most such teens do not receive treatment, and of those who do, many receive treatment from a pediatrician rather than a mental health specialist. “The mental health crisis is worsening among children and adolescents at a time when there is a shortage of mental health specialists,” Jacobi said. “I hope to ensure that all pediatricians-in-training graduate from our residency program ready to diagnose and manage mental health conditions and to partner with child psychiatrists to confront the growing pediatric mental health crisis in the United States.”

Zickuhr will use her fellowship to help clinical instructors in the Internal Medicine Clerkship improve their narrative skills in written assessments for students. The project will provide instructors with lessons and tools on writing clear and impactful feedback, suggestions and summaries. Zickuhr also plans to measure the effectiveness of improved narrative writing skills on the students’ training.

“Well-written narrative feedback is imperative for helping Internal Medicine Clerkship students develop their skills on their journeys to becoming physicians,” said Zickuhr, a rheumatologist who has a master’s degree in health professions education. “Clinical teachers want to provide specific examples on what is done well and what can be improved in their feedback to students, but it is really challenging to write high-quality narrative comments. I am excited to support clinical teachers as they develop their skills providing written feedback, essentially flipping the script and giving them feedback on their feedback.”

Kristina covers pediatrics, surgery, medical education and student life. In 2020, she received a gold Robert G. Fenley Writing Award for general staff writing from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), and in 2019, she received the silver award. Kristina is an author and former reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Los Angeles Times, where she was part of a team of journalists that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2004 for breaking news. Additionally, she covered the 2014 Ferguson unrest for TIME magazine and, for eight years, wrote a popular parenting column for