Clinic facilities

UTHSC’s Balaji Krishnaiah Named Visiting Professor at Mayo Clinic

Balaji Krishnaiah, MD, left, poses with Mayo Clinic neurologist Lyell Jones, MD, at the clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Balaji Krishnaiah, MD, associate professor and director of the neurology residency program at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, has been named the 2022 Burton A. Sandok Visiting Professor of Neurological Education at Mayo Clinic.

The Mayo Clinic Department of Neurology coordinates the faculty position each year to honor a professor of neurology from anywhere in the country. A selection committee selects the recipient based on excellence in teaching and passion for the field of neurology.

Dr. Balaji Krishnaiah

Dr. Krishnaiah said he was honored that UTHSC Neurology Department Chairman Andrei Alexandrov, MD, nominated him.

“My first feeling was whether I got it or not, just the fact that he thought I qualified for this award meant a lot to me,” Dr Krishnaiah said. “Then when I got the email saying I was selected, it was a fascinating feeling.”

Scott Strome, MD, executive dean of the UTHSC College of Medicine, said he was proud someone from the university received the honor from Mayo Clinic, where he worked for five years.

“This recognition reflects Dr. Krishnaiah’s incredible commitment to all of our learners and his skills as an educator,” said Dr. Strome. “We are so fortunate to have him as a member of our outstanding faculty at the UTHSC College of Medicine.”

Dr. Krishnaiah was invited to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, where he met with leaders of the clinic’s neurology department, visited stroke rooms to share his expertise with residents and fellows and gave a lecture on theories of learning. He also gave a major tour, titled “Reimagining Engaging Learners,” in which he encouraged educators to modernize their teaching styles.

“Our current and incoming medical students are Gen Z. They grew up with technology. For my generation, it’s a tool, but it’s part of their life. It’s a huge difference, so we need to change the way we teach so we can reach them,” Dr Krishnaiah said.

Dr Krishnaiah said receiving the honor was a monumental moment in his career. He hopes this recognition will inspire his students to work hard to achieve their goals. “As long as you work hard, you’ll get places and get the recognition you deserve,” he said.