A photo of Francis J. Real.

Attending Physician, Division of General and Community Pediatrics

Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics


Board Certified

About Me


F. Joseph Real, MD, MEd, is an assistant professor in the Division of General and Community Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center within the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. Dr. Real completed his medical training at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and his pediatric residency at Cincinnati Children's. He completed a General Pediatric Master Educator Fellowship at Cincinnati Children's where he earned his Masters of Education from the University of Cincinnati.

Dr. Real is interested in curriculum development aimed at improving care for underserved populations and use of technology specifically virtual reality (VR) in medical education. He recently completed a study using VR to teach residents best-practice communication strategies in cases of influenza vaccine hesitancy. His VR curriculum resulted in a decrease in influenza vaccine refusal among residents that participated. This work earned him the Academic Pediatric Association's Ray E. Helfer Award for creative, scholarly work in pediatric education. Dr. Real anticipates increased use of VR in medical education given its ability to allow for deliberate practice in a safe, immersive and realistic environment.

Clinical Interests

General pediatrics; health disparities; medical education; virtual reality

> Video: Watch how Dr. Real uses virtual reality training for doctors and families 

Academic Affiliation

Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics


Primary Care, General and Community Pediatrics

My Locations

My Education

MD: Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN, 2012.

Residency: Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, 2012-2015.

Fellowship: General Pediatrics Master Educator, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, 2015-2017.

MEd: University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, 2017.

Certification: Pediatrics, 2015.

My Publications

A Balanced Approach: Meeting the Needs of Medical Students and Faculty Educators in Pediatrics. Patel, SJ; Farrell, L; DeBlasio, D; Bolger, AK; Brady, JM; Sheanon, NM; Guiot, AB; Lehmann, C; Real, FJ. The Journal of Pediatrics. 2019; 215:4-6.

Dose Matters: A Smartphone Application to Improve Asthma Control Among Patients at an Urban Pediatric Primary Care Clinic. Real, FJ; Beck, AF; DeBlasio, D; Zackoff, M; Henize, A; Xu, Y; Davis, D; Cruse, B; Klein, MD. Games for Health Journal. 2019; 8:357-365.

A Jittery Newborn With an Abnormal Newborn Screen. Cooper, EE; Szumlas, GA; Lombardo, RC; Real, FJ. Clinical Pediatrics. 2019; 58:1354-1356.

Online Simulated Cases Assess Retention of Virtual Neighborhood Tour Curriculum. Lazow, MA; DeBlasio, D; Ollberding, NJ; Real, FJ; Klein, MD. Maternal and Child Health Journal. 2019; 23:1159-1166.

Medical Student Perspectives on the Use of Immersive Virtual Reality for Clinical Assessment Training. Zackoff, MW; Real, FJ; Cruse, B; Davis, D; Klein, M. Academic Pediatrics. 2019; 19:849-851.

A content analysis of HPV vaccine online continuing medical education purpose statements and learning objectives. Rosen, BL; Bishop, JM; Anderson, R; Rea, FJ; Klei, MD; Kreps, GL. Human Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics. 2019; 15:1508-1518.

Objective Assessment of Resident Teaching Competency Through a Longitudinal, Clinically Integrated, Resident-as-Teacher Curriculum. Zackoff, MW; Real, FJ; DeBlasio, D; Spaulding, JR; Sobolewski, B; Unaka, N; Jerardi, K; Klein, M. Academic Pediatrics. 2019; 19:698-702.

Ready Player: the use of virtual reality in paediatric asthma education. Real, FJ; Zackoff, M; Beck, AF; Klein, MD. Medical Education. 2019; 53:519-520.

Provision of Parent Feedback via the Communication Assessment Tool: Does It Improve Resident Communication Skills?. DeBlasio, D; Real, FJ; Ollberding, NJ; Klein, MD. Academic Pediatrics. 2019; 19:152-156.

Enhancing Educational Scholarship Through Conceptual Frameworks: A Challenge and Roadmap for Medical Educators. Zackoff, MW; Real, FJ; Abramson, EL; Li, ST; Klein, MD; Gusic, ME. Academic Pediatrics. 2019; 19:135-141.