Harper Receives Medical Education Excellence Professorship

By todd

LITTLE ROCK – Richard A. Harper, M.D., professor of ophthalmology for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) College of Medicine, was recently invested with the Charles Hartzell Lutterloh and Charles M. Lutterloh Medical Education Excellence Professorship.
The endowed professorship is part of the Lutterloh Trust for the Advancement of Medicine, given to UAMS by Carroll Hartzell Lutterloh, widow and mother of two prominent Arkansas physicians.

As chair, vice chair and subcommittee chair of two separate subcommittees, Harper aided in reorganizing the Graduate Medical Educational (GME) committee at UAMS and helped create the current GME institutional oversight of all residencies and fellowships on campus. As a result, UAMS has become a national leader in GME in implementing the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) general competencies and program evaluation. Stemming from that success, Harper co-authored one published paper and two posters, and has presented at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Group on Resident Affairs and at the Southern Group on Educational Affairs.
Harper, director of the ophthalmology residency program since l997, has implemented significant new processes that have enhanced the program’s effectiveness. One of the ACGME evaluation tools Harper guided to development is the 360-degree global evaluation, which was presented at the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) annual meeting in 2006. A second tool, the Mock Oral Exam, has been the subject of one poster presentation and two papers. Departmentally, Harper developed and organized a retreat the last four years that has significantly aided in faculty development and communication. His work in these areas earned Harper the Residency Educator Award at UAMS in 2003 and 2005.

Nationally, Harper plays an active role in the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO), having made several presentations at the organization’s annual meeting and recently being selected to its Program Directors Council. As a member of the council, Harper gave six resident education presentations at last year’s Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology meeting in Lahore, Pakistan.  

Harper has received both the annual Faculty Teaching Award given by his department’s residents and the UAMS Red Sash Award for medical teaching five times each.
As Lutterloh Professor, Harper will continue pursuing new curricular and evaluation tools to address ACGME General Competencies in resident education, and would emphasize the implementation of new surgical training tools utilizing virtual reality technology.

UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a medical center, six centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has 2,538 students and 733 medical residents. Its centers of excellence include the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute and the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging. It is one of the state’s largest public employers with about 9,600 employees, including nearly 1,150 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. UAMS and its affiliates have an economic impact in Arkansas of $5 billion a year. Visit www.uams.edu.