Stephen A. Vitkun, a professor in the Departments of Anesthesiology and Pharmacological Sciences in the School of Medicine, has been appointed to the rank of Distinguished Teaching Professor by the State University of New York. Vitkun was one of nine SUNY professors approved for appointment to Distinguished Teaching Professor, one of the highest academic ranks SUNY bestows on outstanding faculty within the SUNY system.
Vitkun’s academic and clinical career at Stony Brook University Medical Center has spanned 28 years. He began in 1982 as an anesthesiology resident and rose in the ranks as a physician educator in that department. Vitkun completed a fellowship in pulmonary/critical care in the 1980s and expanded his teaching role as a professor in pharmacological sciences and clinical health sciences. A national expert in medical training using simulation, such as the use of computerized mannequins as patients, Vitkun has educated thousands of medical students, residents, and other physicians by way of simulation training.
“I am very pleased and honored to have been selected for this appointment,” said Vitkun. “I have always considered teaching on all levels to be one of my personal missions at Stony Brook and feel that the opportunity to teach is one of the main attractions to academic medicine. I greatly appreciate having been given the opportunity to teach at various levels and in various programs and schools within the University.”
“Dr. Vitkun’s commitment to medical training in the School of Medicine and medical education for Stony Brook University Medical Center at large is paramount and has helped to greatly advance the educational mission of the entire institution,” said Richard N. Fine, outgoing Dean of the School of Medicine.
Vitkun has run simulation-centered and other types of medical training in the School of Nursing, School of Health Technology and Management, and at undergraduate levels in the College of Arts and Sciences.
The Distinguished Teaching Professorship recognizes and honors mastery of teaching at the graduate, undergraduate, or professional levels. For this prestigious tribute to be conferred, candidates must have demonstrated consistently superior mastery of teaching; outstanding service to students and commitment to their ongoing intellectual growth, scholarship, and professional growth; and adherence to rigorous academic standards and requirements.
Vitkun, who went to Stony Brook as an undergraduate, received a B.S. degree in Chemistry and Biochemistry in 1979 and an M.D. degree from Dartmouth Medical School in 1982. He has also earned a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from Pacific Western University in California and an M.B.A. from the University of Tennessee.