Francis J. Real, MD, MEd

Attending Physician, Division of General and Community Pediatrics

Academic Affiliations

Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

Phone 513-803-4887


General pediatrics; health disparities; medical education; virtual reality

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

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.

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.

View PubMed Publications

Phan M, Hickey E, Beck A, Klein M, Real F. A “Smart” Way of Addressing Food Insecurity in the Digital Age. Pediatrics. 2018.

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.

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.

Hensley C, Real F, Walsh K, Beck A, Klein M. Tackling the Social Determinants of Health: A Critical Component of Safe and Effective Healthcare. Pediatric Quality and Safety. 2018;3(2):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.

Real FJ, Michelson CD, Beck AF, Klein MD. Location, Location, Location: Teaching about Neighborhoods in Pediatrics. Academic Pediatrics. 2017 April;17(3):228-232.

Real F, Beck A, Spaulding J, Sucharew H, Klein M. Impact of a Neighborhood-based Curriculum on the Helpfulness of Pediatric Residents’ Anticipatory Guidance to Impoverished Families. Maternal and Child Health. 2016 Nov;20(11):2261-2267.

Real FJ, Walmsley D, Beck, A, Spaulding J, Anderson B, Klein M. A Self-Guided Tour of an Impoverished Neighborhood Changes Pediatric Residents’ Perspectives. Medical Science Educator. 2015 Dec;25(4):393-395.

Real FJ, Zackoff MW, Davidson MA, Yakes EA. Medical Student Distress and the Impact of a School-Sponsored Wellness Initiative. Medical Science Educator. 2015 Dec;25(4):397-406.