LeeRoy E. Meyer, MD



LeeRoy E. Meyer, MD


Born in Sidney, Nebraska, in 1935, LeeRoy Meyer, MD, was a leader and innovator in medical education. A 1961 UNMC graduate, Dr. Meyer completed his internship and internal medicine residency at his alma mater before joining the faculty as an instructor in internal medicine in 1966. At the end of his first academic year, Dr. Meyer won a Golden Apple teaching award from the American Medical Student Association. In the ensuing years, Dr. Meyer won the Golden Apple award for teaching 25 more times, a feat no other faculty member has achieved. In 1995, the awards committee gave Dr. Meyer lifetime teaching recognition by creating a "Golden Apple Hall of Fame" and made him the first such recipient. This made him ineligible for more Golden Apples so other teachers would have a chance to be recognized.

An innovator in education, Dr. Meyer was at least 20 years ahead of his time, with his methods eventually becoming the national norm in medical education. Dr. Meyer developed his curriculum using the case-based method of teaching and a Socratic style that was uniquely his. This case-based method has now been widely adopted for medical student education in the form of problem-based learning. Dr. Meyer’s Socratic style emphasized working with students in small groups and in one-on-one sessions, with the teacher asking questions and giving the students space to critically evaluate their responses. One of Dr. Meyer’s students noted that “Dr. Meyer doesn't just instruct, he teaches you how to instruct yourself, and how to be resourceful when you can't find the answer to a problem.”

Dr. Meyer also pioneered and championed the use of distance learning starting in the mid-1970s. The technology of the time used two-way interactive television links, which he used effectively for many years to teach students at multiple sites simultaneously. He was one of the early proponents of patient simulators (actors) to assess clinical competence and was instrumental in incorporating them into the required curriculum for the College of Medicine. The National Board of Medical Examiners mandated similar clinical competence examinations for medical licensure in 2005.

Dr. Meyer passed away in 2005 after 35 years of service to UNMC students and extensive impact on the national system of medical education. In 2007, the College of Medicine named a professorship in his honor.


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