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Dr. Brian Murphy Honored with 2015 Zoetis Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award

October 26, 2015

Dr. Brian Murphy

Dr. Brian Murphy

Dr. Brian Murphy is recognized for his passion, enthusiasm, willingness and overall commitment to teaching and mentoring at all levels – DVM students in didactic and clinical teaching, residents and graduate students.

An Associate Professor of Anatomic Pathology, he graduated with a DVM (1992) and PhD (virology, 2006) from Washington State University. He is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists and joined the faculty at UC Davis in 2007.
Dr. Murphy is active in the planning and implementation of the new professional curriculum, teaches in 4 blocks, and is co-block leader of both Musculo/Skeletal and Endocrine/Reproduction. He is a recent member of the Curriculum Committee and Co-chair of the Integrative Pathobiology graduate group.

Dr. Murphy views education as central to his position - in fact, it is the main reason for his employment in a university rather than industry setting. Every year, he strives to improve on already excellent teaching and is not afraid to bring new teaching methodologies into the classroom. He is viewed by both DVM students and residents as demanding but fair, intense and passionate, very hands-on and always available and willing to find time for teaching.

Dr. Murphy is a member of the Teaching Academy of the Consortium of West Region Colleges of Veterinary Medicine. In his statement on teaching philosophy he wrote “Didactic teaching is a form of mentorship, an attempt to influence, to “stir something” in the student’s mind. I really don’t know how one could effectively teach from distance, so much of teaching is dependent upon the fragile and ephemeral relationship forged between student and teacher. Effective teaching requires a personal investment by both student and teacher.  It is hard, it requires rehearsal, and yet teaching can be transformative for both”. As part of the Teaching Academy, Dr. Murphy represents UCD in one of the active working groups tasked with creating a practical method for generating and evaluating teaching portfolios.

Colleagues comment: “Dr. Murphy is one of the most inspirational and yet humble down to earth colleagues I have ever met. Great fun to be around and work with.” He is pragmatic and sensible, “inspires critical thinking, challenges and motivates students, correlates pathology with clinical medicine, distills down to the most important concepts and respects other opinions.”