Residency Educator Award – Program Director
Erika Petersen, M.D., Neurosurgery Residency
Professor(effective 7-1-20), Department of Neurosurgery
Petersen has made strides in the Neurosurgery Residency Program since becoming program director in 2015. Her work has enhanced the selection process for identifying the best candidates for the residency, strengthened the learning environment and increased residents’ participation in scholarly work and quality-improvement projects.
“Our department is committed to educating neurosurgeons of the highest caliber to serve the public and the citizens of the state of Arkansas, and Dr. Petersen has become integral in fulfilling that part of our mission,” said Neurosurgery Chair J.D. Day, M.D. “She is a motivated and compassionate mentor, and enjoys the confidence of the residents in helping guide them through both professional development and personal matters.”
Co-Chief Resident Heather Pinckard-Dover, M.D., who is now in her seventh year of training, initiated Petersen’s nomination because of her own experiences with Petersen as a mentor and seeing her address programmatic challenges head-on. “Dr. Petersen has been a great mentor both professionally and personally for several years now,” Pinckard-Dover wrote. “She is an avid listener and always takes residents’ concerns to heart, fervidly working to fix them.”
Petersen brings exceptional clinical and research expertise to her teaching roles. She has served on the faculty as director of Functional and Restorative Neurosurgery and Neuromodulation since 2010. In 2019, she received the first-ever Clinical Excellence Award from the American Society of Pain and Neuroscience. She is the principal investigator on four clinical trials, including a major national study exploring a unique type of spinal cord stimulation for treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy (foot pain).
“I am extremely honored to receive this recognition,” Petersen said. “I am fortunate to collaborate with a committed and talented group of individuals—residents, faculty, fellow program directors and GME officers—who inspire my efforts in support of resident education and development.”
See the full list of 2020 Dean’s Honor Awards: https://medicine.uams.edu/about-the-college/features/deans-honor-awards-2020/