Faculty Educator of the Month: August 2009

Dr. Christopher H. Crane

Dr. Christopher H. Crane, director of the Resident Training and Fellowship Program, program director and section chief of the Gastrointestinal Section, associate medical director of the Multidisciplinary Gastrointestinal Center and professor with tenure in the Department of Radiation Oncology, has been named the August 2009 Faculty Educator of the Month.

Since early 2007, Dr. Crane has directed the Fellowship and Residency Training programs in the Department of Radiation Oncology. Under his leadership, the Residency Training Program received Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education approval of increasing the number of positions from 20 to 24. Furthermore, he has revised the Residency Training Program curriculum to enable the program to make better use of its educational resources.

Dr. Crane has also played a major role in enhancing education in the Department of Radiation Oncology by changing the teaching methodology from a didactic to a Socratic format for joint faculty/resident teaching sessions. In addition to stimulating more active learning by the residents, faculty members are able to learn from each others' teaching styles during the teaching sessions which has begun to enhance their teaching skills. Dr. Crane has also lead revisions of the nine clinical rotations as well as the physics and radiobiology courses in the department.  As a result, both resident satisfaction and in-training test scores, which are used as measures of medical knowledge, have improved substantially.

Additionally, Dr. Crane has had his eye on the future in training of radiation oncologists. Specifically, he has created the only proton therapy fellowship in the U.S. to instruct trainees in the use of this promising new technology.

Dr. Crane has had a great deal of teaching experience at MD Anderson, serving as a lecturer or instructor for more than 30 courses since 1999. He also served as the Radiation Oncology Representative for the LBJ Multidisciplinary Teaching Conference from 2000 to 2003. Dr. Crane also has given presentations at a long list of conferences and other meetings and completed several lectureships and visiting professorships throughout the world.

Dr. Crane’s supervisory experience has also been extensive, as he has been a clinical mentor for 56 residents and fellows. He also has mentored nine medical students.

Dr. Crane was recognized for his educational contributions with the True Interest and Enthusiasm in the Recruitment of Able Students to the Field of Medicine award from The University of Texas Medical School at Houston in 2004 and the Luis Delclos Excellence in Teaching Award in 2003. In addition, Dr. Crane received a Next Generation Award (2008) and the Simon Kramer New Investigator Award (2003) from the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group and was named one of the Best Doctors in America (2003-2009) and one of Houston’s Top Doctors by the magazine Inside Houston (2003).

Dr. Crane received his M.D. degree from the University of Virginia in 1993. He then completed a transitional internship at Roanoke Memorial Hospital in Roanoke, VA, in 1994 and a residency in radiation oncology at the University of Virginia in 1998, serving as chief resident from 1996 to 1998.

Upon completion of his residency, Dr. Crane came to MD Anderson as an assistant professor (non-tenure track) in the Department of Radiation Oncology. He was promoted to assistant professor (tenure track) in 2002, associate professor in 2003 and professor with tenure in 2009. Also, Dr. Crane served as associate director of the Resident Training and Fellowship Program from 2005 to 2007 before his promotion to director, associate medical director (ad interim) of the Multidisciplinary Gastrointestinal Center from 2001 to 2003 before his promotion to associate medical director and chief (ad interim) of the Gastrointestinal Section from 2001 to 2003 before his promotion to chief. He was named program director (Gastrointestinal Section) in 2003.

Currently, Dr. Crane is a member of the Gastrointestinal Center Steering Committee, the GME committee, MD Anderson Medical Practice Subcommittee. Outside MD Anderson, he is an Oral Board examiner and Written Exam question writer for the American Board of Radiology and a member of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group Gastrointestinal Steering Committee. Dr. Crane also has been a consultant for six organizations outside MD Anderson.

While at MD Anderson, Dr. Crane has been the principal investigator, the study chairman, a co-investigator, or a collaborator for 11 funded clinical trials evaluating combinations of chemotherapy with radiation, including phase II and phase III studies. He also has been a grant reviewer for one study section and two review committees.

Dr. Crane presently is an editorial board member for the American Journal of Clinical Oncology, Cancer, the International Society of Gastrointestinal Oncology and Gastrointestinal Cancer Insights. In addition, he is a reviewer for 11 journals. Since 1997, Dr. Crane has authored more than 80 articles published in peer-reviewed journals, 27 invited articles, nine editorials, 37 book chapters and one book.