Gretchen Gavero


Assistant Professor,
John A. Burns School of Medicine

Dr. Gretchen Gavero on the faculty at the John A. Burns School of Medicine has been Director of Medical Student Education in the Department of Psychiatry and Chair of the JABSOM Clerkship Education Committee. A colleague writes that she “has initiated critical educational changes to the medical student curriculum that focuses on optimizing the learning experiences of students, residents and faculty.” Professor Gavero’s teaching philosophy is built on four tenets: an attitude of gratitude for opportunities to learn and to give back; a strength-based approach toward each and every learner; being attentive to the dynamic nature of learning and the generation gap between teachers and learning, technology and media, sociocultural issues among others; and, the inherently collaborative nature of learning. A colleague finds her to be an inspirational role model who “appears to have a knack for understanding the strengths of others. Under her leadership, more resident physicians have voluntarily taken or created leadership positions to further improve the overall educational experience of our program.” A senior colleague describes her has a leader for “curricular innovation and continuous quality improvement.” She spearheaded a transformation of the residency training curriculum from primarily lecture-based to problem-based learning for advanced learners, implemented a very successful interviewing skills seminar for beginning residents, designed and implemented well- received sessions for medical students at different phases of development, and has led the specialty of psychiatry to grow exponentially above national averages in numbers of senior medical students pursuing the specialty. In so doing Professor Gavero has improved the experience of students, faculty, staff and residents. At the end of her first year with the department, residents selected her as recipient of the Departmental Excellence in Teaching Award. A senior colleague and previous awardee of the Manoa Excellence in Teaching award states that “Dr. Gavera invites and embraces responsibility, in all areas, and particularly for teaching. She then ends up doing it better than any of the rest of us, yielding credit for the good work to everyone else around her.” Students have remarked that she demonstrates the kind of doctor and kind of life that they had hoped to achieve when they entered medical school.”

John A. Burns School of Medicine