A photo of Francis J. Real.

Attending Physician, Division of General and Community Pediatrics

Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics


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

Zackoff MW, Real FJ, Cruse B, Davis D, Klein M. Medical Student Perspectives on the use of Immersive Virtual Reality for Clinical Assessment Training. Academic Pediatrics. 2019.

Real FJ, Beck AF, DeBlasio D, Zackoff MW, Henize A, Xu Y, Davis D, Cruse B, Klein M. Dose Matters: An App to Improve Asthma Control Among Patients at an Urban Primary Care Clinic. Games for Health Journal. 2019.

Real FJ, Zackoff MW, Beck AF, Klein MD. Ready Player: Virtual Reality for Paediatric Asthma Education. Medical Education. 2019 May;53(5):519-520.

Zackoff MW, Real FJ, Abramson EL, Li ST, Klein M, Gusic M. Enhancing Educational Scholarship through Conceptual Frameworks: A Challenge and Roadmap for Medical Educators. Academic Pediatrics. 2019 Mar;19(2):135-141.

DeBlasio D, Real FJ, Ollberding NJ, Klein MD. Provision of Parent Feedback via the Communication Assessment Tool: Does It Improve Resident Communication Skills? Academic Pediatrics. 2019 Mar;19(2):152-156.

Real FJ, DeBlasio D, Rounce C, Henize AW, Beck, AF, Klein MD. Opportunities for and Barriers to Using Smartphones for Health Education Among Families at an Urban Primary Care Clinic. Clinical Pediatrics. 2018 Oct;57(11):1281-1285.

Lazow M, Real F, Ollberding N, Cruse B, Davis D, Klein M. Modernizing Training on Social Determinants of Health: A Virtual Tour of an Impoverished Neighborhood Proves Non-Inferior to an In-Person Experience. Academic Pediatrics. 2018 Aug;18(6):720-722.

Phan M, Hickey E, Beck A, Klein M, Real F. A “Smart” Way of Addressing Food Insecurity in the Digital Age. Pediatrics. 2018 Jul;142(1):1-3.

Real F, DeBlasio D, Ollberding N, Davis D, Cruse B, McLinden D, Klein M. Resident Perspectives on Communication Training that Utilizes Immersive Virtual Reality. Education for Health. 2017 Sep-Dec;30(3):228-231. 

Real FJ, DeBlasio D, Beck AF, Ollberding N, Davis D, Cruse B, Samaan Z, McLinden D, Klein MD. A Virtual Reality Curriculum for Pediatric Residents Decreases Rates of Influenza Vaccine Refusal. Academic Pediatrics. 2017 May-June;17(4):431-435.