Preetha Ramalingam, M.D., associate professor in Pathology and program director of the Gynecologic Oncology Pathology Fellowship, has been named Faculty Educator of the Month for July 2017.
Ramalingam joined MD Anderson in 2011 and became program director of the Gynecologic Oncology Pathology Fellowship in 2013. She became co-director of the Surgical Pathology Fellowship in 2014.
Ramalingam has a long history of interest in education. She was the recipient of the Resident Teaching Award during her training at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Subsequently she obtained her Surgical Pathology Fellowship training at MD Anderson, where she had the opportunity to work with several faculty members who were experts in their field and committed to education.
Driven by her dedication to giving back, Ramalingam strives to be a mentor who makes a positive impact in graduate medical education. “My interest in education stems from the fact that I have had many mentors who have shaped my thinking and inspired me,” she says. “I hope to pass that on to the future generation of pathologists.”
Focusing on her specialty of gynecologic oncology pathology, Ramalingam guides trainees to think critically. “Effective teaching involves drawing trainees into the conversation and encouraging them to think beyond the obvious; as in pathology, small details, and sometimes even the absence of findings, can make a big difference in the diagnosis,” she says.
“I believe in creating an environment of inquiry so trainees can be active rather than passive learners. The ability to play a part in the career development of young pathologists has been very rewarding, and I strive to be an effective role model.”
Ramalingam has given numerous lectures in gynecologic pathology to practicing pathologists and trainees within the institution, as well as nationally and internationally. She has mentored numerous fellows and rotating residents in her role as program director. In addition, she has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and abstracts, as well as book chapters.
Her knowledge of Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) common program requirements has made her an invaluable resource to graduate medical education. She was instrumental in transitioning pathology fellowship programs to the Next GME Accreditation System and continues to be involved in the evolving scope of ACGME requirements. She also takes part in several educational committees.
Ramalingam says she looks forward to creating innovative approaches to the training and development of the next generation of oncologic pathologists.
The MD Anderson Faculty Educator of the Month program, sponsored by the Division of Academic Affairs, recognizes MD Anderson faculty members who demonstrate excellence and innovation in teaching.