All posts by Kelly Edwards

New Summer Scholars program opens the door of opportunity in health professions to college undergrads

Paul Ganss, EMS Education Program Director, used a mannequin to show STAHR Summer Scholar students how to apply a bag valve mask on a patient.

Two years ago, Karlin Byrd was a Kansas City high school student exploring her options in the health care professions through the UMKC School of Medicine’s Summer Scholars program. Now, getting ready for her second year of college, Byrd is back for more as part of the inaugural class of the school’s new Summer Scholars program for college students.

“My first time in the program, I thought I wanted to be a pediatrician,” said Byrd, who attended Lincoln Prep High School. “I did the clinical rotations in Summer Scholars and realized that wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”

After spending her freshman year at Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia, where she is now studying to become a pharmacist, Byrd has recently joined other college students from Kansas City in the new STAHR Summer Scholars program.

Much like the high school version of Summer Scholars, it provides experiences in clinical settings, supplemental instruction in the sciences, research opportunities, and reinforced skill development to support student academic progression and retention. This six-week program goes even further. It provides college students insights into the professions of pharmacy and dentistry as well as medicine and more.

More photos from STAHR Summer Scholars

“Our objective is to increase the diversity of applicants to each of the schools and of those who are going into each of the health care professions,” said Allan Davis, program coordinator. “We want to open up the options to undergrads so they can explore the programs, find what fits for them and what they’re interested in. We’re providing an experience to prepare students to come into these professional programs.”

Last October, the School of Medicine, in collaboration with the UMKC schools of Pharmacy and Dentistry, received a $3.2-million STAHR Partnership grant to help students from economically and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds enter and succeed in health profession degree programs. Part of that grant is supporting the new college Summer Scholars program.

Ten Kansas City residents attending college at UMKC, Johnson County Community College, Kansas State, Rockhurst, Metropolitan Community College, Haskell Indian Nations University, Donnelly College and Hampton University are participating in the STAHR Summer Scholars. Another group of 12 college students from across the country who are nearing completion of their undergraduate degree with plans to enter dental school are participating in a School of Dentistry program that includes a one-and-a-half-week component of Summer Scholars and its own eight-week online program.

Students spent the first week in a series of personal development workshops focused on things from how to write a resume and prepare for professional program entry exams to learning basic research skills.

As the program continues, the students will get an overview of the medicine and pharmacy professions through shadowing experiences at Truman Medical Center and the medical, pharmacy and dental schools, and hands-on experiences and spend time learning medical terminology.

They are also exposed to the School of Medicine’s graduate programs for physician assistants and anesthesiologist assistants.

“These students get an intense look at a day in the life of a health care provider as well as some clinical experiences,” Davis said.

For Byrd, it’s been an eye-opening experience.

“Hampton has a six-year pharmacy program and I discovered I could still see patients but it would be a different experience than being a physician,” she said. “I came back to ask more questions about the health care professions. Now, I’m learning about all the opportunities. I still want to continue in pharmacy, but going through this program is really opening my eyes to all the other professions like physician assistant and the anesthesiologist assistants.”

Grant-funded project will help Kansas City community take charge of its own vascular health

School of Medicine researcher Kim Smolderen, Ph.D., is leading a grant-funded project to raise community awareness of peripheral arterial disease.

A few years ago, Kansas City received the federal CHOICE grant to revitalize one of the city’s most underserved neighborhoods. Now, an effort by UMKC School of Medicine researcher Kim Smolderen, Ph.D., will support residents of the Paseo Gateway and surrounding neighborhoods to build on existing efforts to flourish in their communities.

With the backing of a new two-year, $300,000 Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute grant, Smolderen, is leading a project to raise community awareness of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and the cardiovascular risks associated with it.

More than 8.5 million Americans live with PAD, a narrowing of the peripheral arteries that occurs most commonly in the legs and often causes pain while walking. African Americans particularly are at risk of late diagnosis and related leg amputations in part because of a low awareness of the disease.

The project focuses on the Gateway Plaza area, specifically the Pendleton Heights, Paseo West and Independence Plaza neighborhoods that have some of the lowest life expectancy rates in Kansas City and Jackson County with their widely diverse communities including a growing immigrant population.

“These are the areas where people have to grapple with financial hardship,” said Smolderen, an assistant professor of Biomedical and Health Informatics. “Violence is a factor, poor housing conditions. These are typically overlooked areas that are dealing with a lot of challenges at the same time.”

Previous data from the American Heart Association also shows that knowledge and resources to improve vascular health are not widely accessible in inner-city neighborhoods characterized by these challenges, further predisposing them to PAD complications such as amputations.

The plan is to increase the awareness of PAD by presenting information to the community through a multi-faceted dissemination campaign including seminars and artwork by neighborhood artists promoting vascular health. Symposiums with community members will also serve to determine what issues impacting vascular disease are most concerning to those in their neighborhoods. Project and neighborhood leaders will then work together to create a list of available community resources that address the identified barriers. Common issues include insufficient resources to stop smoking, which is the leading risk factor for the disease, and needed exercise programs and facilities.

“We’re going to work with the community, not telling them what to do, but sharing with them what we have found and then let them tell us how we can help make connections in the community to implement that knowledge and do something with it that serves their needs,” Smolderen said.

The project will begin this summer with a workshop bringing together a steering committee that includes an array of collaborators from UMKC, Saint Luke’s Hospital, the UMKC Health Sciences District, Storytellers, Inc., the Paseo Gateway Initiative, the local American Heart Association, and PAD experts.

Students interested in community outreach activities are also being invited to contact Smolderen about potential research internships regarding the program.

She said the project will work in lockstep with the city as it continues to implement resources from the stimulus grant it received in 2015 to transform the neighborhood.

In addition to creating awareness and promoting cardiovascular health, Smolderen said the program could also become a template for those in other cities and neighborhoods to engage their city stakeholders and public health officials to focus on health problems facing their communities.

“If you enforce things on people, you only create resistance,” she said. “This is really to help people discover their own autonomy, creativity, and to find needed resources in their own community.”

Health Sciences District co-sponsors 46th annual Hospital Hill Run

More than 3,500 runners competed in the 2019 Hospital Hill Run co-sponsored by the UMKC Health Sciences District.

More than 3,500 runners converged on Kansas City’s Crown Center to compete in the 46th annual Hospital Hill Run on June 1. The UMKC Health Sciences District served as one the sponsors for this year’s event that included a half marathon, 10K and 5K races.

UMKC faculty, staff, students and alumni served in volunteer roles including manning the event’s medical tent.

2019 Hospital Hill Run Photo Album

UMKC School of Medicine students, residents and faculty manned the medical tent.

The Hospital Hill Run was started by in 1974 by School of Medicine founder E. Grey Dimond, M.D., as a single 6.8-mile race that drew fewer than 100 runners to the inaugural event. Today, the race weekend usually draws top runners from around the country, plus many local participants, often from fitness groups.

More than 170,000 athletes of all levels from across the world have completed in the event since its inception. The Hospital Hill Run served as host to the first USATF National Championship half marathon in 2002. In 2013, it was recognized by Runner’s World Magazine as the 11th best half marathon in the United States.

Click here to see the 2019 Hospital Hill Run race results.

School of Medicine celebrates graduating class of 2019

More than 130 UMKC School of Medicine celebrated receiving their doctor of medicine and graduate degrees at the 2019 commencement ceremony on May 20 at Kansas City’ Kauffman Center for the Preforming Arts.

This year’s class included 95 doctor of medicine graduates and 41 students who earned their master’s degrees in the anesthesia assistant, bioinformatics, health professions education and physician assistant programs.

Photo Album

Reminded that they have become part of a rich legacy and long-standing tradition of outstanding alumni of the School of Medicine, the graduates heard from two of those alumni.

Interim Dean Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., a 1978 graduate, told the graduates to view what they do in patient care as both an honor and a privilege.

“Be passionate and persistent,” she said. “And work for the greater good of your patients.”

Arif Kamal, M.D., ’05, MBA, MHS, winner of the 2019 E. Grey Dimond, M.D., Take Wing Award, encouraged the graduates that more than care providers they will also be clinicians, healers and compassionate.

The quality and outcomes officer for the Duke Cancer Institute in Durham, North Carolina, Kamal gave the graduates one final charge.

“Stop asking people what’s the matter with them,” Kamal said. “And start asking what matters to them.”

2019 Senior Awards

Master of Science in Anesthesia
Kayla Hickey – Student Ambassador Award
Hector Sierra Escobedo – Student Ambassador Award

Master of Science Bioinformatics
Frances Grimstad, M.D. – Dean of Students Honor Recipient Award

Doctor of Medicine
Naman Agrawal – Friends of UMKC School of Medicine Basic Science Award
Joseph Bennett – UMKC School of Medicine Alumni Award Association Outstanding Senior Partner
Deven Bhatia – Richardson K. Noback Founders’ Award for Clinical Excellence; Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Award
Lauren Bulgarelli – Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation
Taylor Carter – Dean of Students Honor Recipient Award
Ahmed Elbermawy – Merck Manual for Outstanding Achievement in Medical Education
Ella Glaser – Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation; Malhotra Family Scholarship for Academic and Clinical Excellence
Jonah Graves – Missouri State Medical Association Honors Graduate
Luke He – Missouri State Medical Association Honors Graduate; Richardson K. Noback Founders’ Award for Clinical Excellence
Cindy Jiang – Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation
Christian Lamb – Merck Manual for Outstanding Achievement in Medical Education
Megan Lilley – James F. Stanford, M.D. Patient Advocate Scholarship
John Logan – Malhotra Family Scholarship for Academic and Clinical Excellence
Haley Mayenkar – Missouri State Medical Association Honors Graduate
Niraj Madhani – Bette Hamilton, M.D. Memorial Award for Excellence in Immunology; Thomas R. Hamilton, M.D. Award for Excellence in Pathology
Raksha Madhavan – Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation
Rebecca Maltsev – J. Michael de Ungria, M.D. Humanitarian Award
Imran Nizamuddin – Lee Langley Award; Thomas R. Hamilton, M.D. Award for Excellence in Microbiology; ACP Senior Student Book Award; Dean of Students Honor Recipient Award
Carlee Oakley – Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation; UMKC School of Medicine Alumni Association Award for Excellence in Medical Education; Friends of UMKC School of Medicine Award for Research
Sarah Pourakbar – Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation
Grace Rector – Friends of UMKC Harry S. Jonas, M.D. Award; Laura L. Backus, M.D. Award for Excellence in Pediatrics
Mitchell Solano – Pat. D. Do, M.D., Matching Scholarship in Orthopaedics

Physician quality and outcomes expert Arif Kamal receives 2019 Take Wing Award

Dr. Arif Kamal, a 2005 graduate, received the 2019 UMKC School of Medicine E. Grey Dimond, M.D., Take Wing Award.
Arif Kamal, M.D., ’05

For Arif Kamal, M.D., ’05, physician quality and outcomes officer for the Duke Cancer Institute in Durham, North Carolina, research is as much about solving a problem as it is discovery.

“Sometimes we face a problem and have no idea how to solve it,” said Kamal, winner of the 2019 E. Grey Dimond, M.D., Take Wing Award. “We have to discover the solution, and that may require performing foundational basic science research, or conducting a big clinical drug trial. Or we may discover that we have a solution, but it hasn’t been implemented because of cost or other barriers, so we have to innovate and collaborate to make the solution accessible and affordable.”

Kamal received the School of Medicine’s prestigious alumni award on May 20 at the annual Take Wing lectureship and award ceremony. The honor is given to a graduate who has demonstrated excellence in his or her chosen field and exceeded the expectations of peers in the practice of medicine, academic medicine or research.

After giving the noon lecture and accepting the award, he also spoke to faculty, students and their families at the 2019 graduation ceremony at the Kauffman Center.

Kamal describes his approach on conducting health services research as being “agnostic at the outset toward what’s needed to solve any particular problem.”

Kamal’s desire to broaden his skills and the ways he can approach a problem led him to earn a master’s in health science in clinical research in 2015 and a master’s in business administration in 2016. Besides his Cancer Center post at Duke, Kamal is an associate professor of medicine, business administration and population health science.

Kamal distinguished himself in palliative care, developing innovative ways to find out and provide what’s really important to patients at the end of their life. His desire to research and improve palliative care stemmed from his own mother’s battle with breast cancer, when he saw very personally how her care could have been better.

He started Duke’s outpatient palliative care program for cancer patients seven years ago, and the Cancer Center’s “total pain approach” has helped develop and administer therapies for long-term relief of distress that affects patients with a serious illness. The focus is on identifying and addressing physical and emotional drivers of distress well before the end of life, when people historically have thought of palliative care.

Now, Kamal’s team is working on smartphone apps to engage patients with serious illnesses and their caregivers in their own care, day to day. One such app would monitor opioid use.

“We fundamentally believe that patients don’t want to be addicted, that they want to responsibly use opioids and that clinicians want to responsibly prescribe them,” Kamal said. “But there’s not actually a way, for example, to monitor what people are doing at home. So, we’re creating an app to record how and what they’re using and how that corresponds with pain scores, to make sure they’re getting the right amount, and not too much or too little.”

And to put that app into people’s hands takes a team.

“We’re working with some commercial payers and several parts of the university, from data science to graphics and programming, to our addiction and pain management experts, to palliative care and patients and caregivers, to identify what the right characteristics for the app will be.”

Kamal, originally from Warrensburg, Missouri, said his appreciation for teamwork was fostered by the UMKC School of Medicine’s docent system and frequent clinical exposure to the many types of medical practice.

“And I got my start in research there,” he said. “My first published paper was with Dr. Agostino Molteni,” in Nutrition Research in 2004.

Kamal and his wife, Jennifer Maguire, M.D. ’07, have two small children, and Kamal said they enjoy returning to the Kansas City area frequently. That included a return to receive the Take Wing Award.

While the award recognizes career excellence, individual achievement and public service, in Kamal’s case, it also honors a vision for future innovations to reduce suffering and bring healing.

“I think what we’re fundamentally seeing is a reimagination of what it means to be a researcher in medicine,” he said. “Certainly that’s the path I’ve taken.”

 

Dr. Sam Page encourages patient advocacy at 2019 Quality Patient Safety Day event

Sam Page, M.D., ’92, a former state legislator and current St. Louis County Executive, gave the keynote lecture at the 2019 Vijay Babu Rayudu Quality and Patient Safety Day event.

Physicians carry the responsibility of serving as a patient advocate as well as a care giver, Sam Page, M.D., FASA, told students and faculty at the UMKC School of Medicine during the 2019 Vijay Babu Rayudu Quality Patient Safety Day.

Sahaja Atluri

“Being an advocate is part of your duty, it’s an obligation of being a doctor,” said Page, a 1992 med school graduate and former state legislator. “You have to advocate for the patient in front of you. And you’re obligated to advocate for patients at the population level.”

The former Missouri state representative was elected to the St. Louis County Council in 2014. An anesthesiologist at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis, he currently serves as St. Louis County Executive.

Page was the keynote speaker for the sixth-annual event. He spoke on professionalism through advocacy for patient safety, encouraging students to become involved in by engaging their elected officials and working with their state and national medical organizations.

“Everyone here who graduates from medical school, you have an obligation to engage your elected officials and communicate with them,” Page said. “If you are really interested in changing the world around you, there are things you can do.”

Chizitam Ibezim

The day included student and resident/fellow poster presentations and oral presentations on research conducted in quality and patient safety. A series of morning faculty development workshops and discussions looked at topics surrounding transitions of patient care.

“We have seen some projects that have made an impact in the quality of care,” said Betty M. Drees, M.D., dean emerita, one of the Patient Safety Day organizers. “We feel we’re not only preparing physicians for the future, but these projects are making a direct impact during the time the students, residents and fellows are doing them.”

A record number of 47 abstracts were submitted. The top two student and top two resident/fellow abstracts were selected for oral presentations. The remaining submissions  were included in poster presentations from which two students and two residents/fellows were selected as winners.

Taylor Carter, a sixth-year medical student, and Colin Phillips, a physician assistant student, were chosen to give oral presentations. Carter presented on “Cultivating culturally aware medical students: An analysis of the effectiveness of a two hour interactive course.” Phillips presented “Failing our youth: Under-documentation of electronic nicotine use in adolescents.”

In the resident/fellow category, Laith Derbas, M.D.,  was chosen to present “Improving Resident Confidence in ACLS,” and Thomas Odeny, M.D., presented “Improving documentation of meaningful smoking history at Truman Medical Center: a quality improvement project.”

Fourth-year medical student Sahaja Atluri and fifth-year student Chizitam Ibezim were chosen as the student poster presentation winners. Atluri presented the research poster on “Does Intensivist Management of Brain Dead Organ Donors result in Increased Organ Yield?” Ibezim presented a poster focused on “Fracture Liaison Service (FLS) in Safety-Net Hospital.”

Resident/fellow winners of the poster presentations were Robin Imperial, M.D., and Kathryn VanderVelde, M.D. Imperial presented a poster on “Improving interdisciplinary communication on general medicine wards through the use of a two-way HIPAA-compliant text messaging app.” VanderVelde presented “Optimization of Surgical Prophylaxis in Penicillin-Allergic Labeled Patients.”

School of Medicine welcomes new class of 22 into AOA honor society

The School of Medicine Alpha Omega Alpha honor society inducted its 2019 class of students, residents, alumni and faculty during a banquet at Diastole on May 2.
Michael Bamshad, M.D., chief of genetic medicine at the University of Washington, presented the annual AOA lecture.

The School of Medicine chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha welcomed 22 new inductees into the medical honor society during a banquet on May 2 at Diastole.

This year’s list of new members includes 17 students, four junior members and 13 senior members, three residents, one alumna and one faculty member from the med school.

Two senior student members, Sara Pourakbar and Vidhan Srivastava, were elected this spring to join the class. Senior members elected to this year’s AOA class last fall include: Ahmed Elbermawy, Julia Esswein, Ella Glaser, Usman Hasnie, Cindy Jiang, Niraj Madhani, Raksha Madhavan, Grant Randall, Grace Rector, Kale Turner and Vivek Vallurupalli.

Junior student members who were elected this Spring are Karen Figenshau, Komal Kumar, Daniel O’Toole and Anthony Oyekan.

Also elected to the AOA this spring were School of Medicine alumna Emily Volk, M.D., a 1993 graduate; faculty member Julie Banderas, Pharm.D., chair of graduate studies; and residents/fellows Omar Abughanimeh, M.D., internal medicine, Mohamed Omer, M.D., cardiovascular medicine, and Katelyn Smelser, M.D., internal medicine.

Selection to AOA membership is considered an honor recognizing one’s dedication to the profession and art of healing. It is based on character and values such as honesty, honorable conduct, morality, virtue, unselfishness, ethical ideals, dedication to serving others and leadership. Membership also recognizes excellence in academic scholarship.

This year’s AOA student officers are Jonah Graves, Imran Nizamuddin, Taylor Carter and Miracle Amayo. Fohn Foxworth, Pharm.D., professor of medicine and associate dean, and David Wooldridge, M.D. ’94, internal medicine residency program director, serve as faculty officers.

Michael Bamshad, M.D., a 1989 graduate of the School of Medicine, was the keynote speaker at this year’s AOA lecture on May 3. Division chief and a professor of genetic medicine at the University of Washington, Bamshad spoke on the genetic basis of Mendelian conditions.

Upcoming changes announced in GME, faculty development

School of Medicine Interim Dean Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., has announced changes within the dean’s office that will take effect July 1.

Dr. Christine Sullivan, Dr. Sara Gardner, Dr. John Foxworth

Christine Sullivan, M.D., associate dean for graduate medical education for the past five years, will transition to a new role as associate dean for professional development. Sara Gardner, M.D., assistant dean for graduate medical education for the past two years, will assume the role of associate dean. John Foxworth, Pharm.D., who has served as associate dean for faculty development for the past 10 years, will become associate dean of academic enrichment.

Sullivan’s new role will focus on the development of a formal faculty mentorship program. She will work to expand resources for development training, including those that foster career progression, professionalism and physician well-being.

In her previous role with graduate medical education, Sullivan was responsible for implementing a GME Ombudsman program and establishing an annual Resident/Fellow Appreciation Day.

“It has been my great honor to serve in the role of associate dean for GME over the past five years,” said Sullivan, a professor of emergency medicine. “I truly have enjoyed advocating for our wonderfully talented residents and fellows who are the future in medicine.”

Gardner, associate professor of internal medicine/pediatrics, served as program director for the Internal Medicine-Pediatrics residency program prior to assuming the role of assistant dean.

“It’s been a privilege to work with Dr. Sullivan in the GME office,” Gardner said. “I look forward to collaborating with her in her new role in the faculty development office to support our program leaders and enhance our clinical learning environments.”

The associate dean for GME serves as the Designated Institutional Official for the school’s 35 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-accredited programs and as the chair of the school’s Graduate Medical Education Council.

In his new role, Foxworth, a professor of medicine, will focus more narrowly on supporting faculty, student and trainee success in academics and research. He will also oversee a new grant writing program.

He is a member of the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and a fellow in the American College of Clinical Pharmacology. He has been with the School of Medicine since 1974.

“It has been a pleasure working with the school’s talented faculty, students and residents and I look forward to supporting their ongoing academic and research efforts in this new role,” Foxworth said.

Med School announces student research summit winners

Keerthi Gondi presents his winning poster to John Foxworth, Pharm.D., director of research at the 2019 UMKC Health Sciences Student Research Summit.

Keerthi Gondi, a fifth-year medical student, and Kathryn Kyler, a bioinformatics student, were selected as the School of Medicine’s winners of the 2019 Health Sciences Student Research Summit. This year’s research event on April 17 at the UMKC Student Union drew a record 66 student posters from the medical school.

A panel of faculty judges selected the top three poster presentations among BA/MD students and chose the top two presentations from School of Medicine graduate students.

Gondi presented the winning poster, Symptomatic Versus Asymptomatic Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension in Children. The second-place award for BA/MD students went to Nikhil Havaldar, fourth-year student,  with a poster presentation on Epidemiology of Human Rhinovirus in School-Aged Children and Adolescents with Medically Attended Acute Respiratory Infection. Yicheng Bao, fourth-year student,  was the third-place winner with a poster on Visual Field Loss in Patients with Diabetes in the Absence of Clinically-Detectable Vascular Retinopathy.

In the graduate student category, Kyler presented the winning poster, The Association of Weight with Drug Dosing Variation in Children Hospitalized with Asthma. Second place went to Poghni Peri-Okonny, a graduate student in cardiovascular outcomes research, with the poster presentation, Blood Pressure Variability and Cardiovascular Outcomes in Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction.

This year’s faculty judges included Sarah Nyp, MD; Jessica Markham, MD; Maria Cole, PhD; Jennifer Qayum, MD; Amanda Montalbano, MD; Sean Riordan, PhD; Janelle Noel-Macdonnell; PhD; Jennifer Dilts, MD; Nilofer Qureshi, PhD; Alain Cuna, MD; Peter Koulen, PhD; Bridgette Jones, MD; Jared Bruce, PhD; Dan Heruth, PhD; Rosa Huang, PhD; Kamani Lankachandra, MD; Xiangping Chu, PhD; Wail Hassan, PhD; Jannette Berkley-Patton, PhD; and Mike Wacker, PhD.

The research summit also  included students from the health sciences schools of dentistry, pharmacy, nursing and health sciences, as well UMKC’s School of Biological Sciences. This year’s summit drew a record 100 research posters.

 

Med students present record number of posters at 2019 Health Sciences Research Summit

Fifth-year medical student Kizhan Muhammad presented her poster at the 2019 UMKC Health Sciences Research Summit.

Kizhan Muhammad knows an opportunity when she sees one. The fifth-year medical student used a particularly rare case that appeared during her critical care rotation in the hospital’s intensive care unit to produce a research poster for the annual UMKC Health Sciences Student Research Summit.

Muhammad was one of 59 students from the School of Medicine who presented a record 66 posters at the research summit on April 17 at the UMKC Student Union. Both medical students and students from the school’s graduate programs — bioinformatics, anesthesiologist assistant, physician assistant and health professions education — participated in the summit.

Med School announces student research summit winners

“I always have my eyes and ears open for an opportunity to do research,” Muhammad said. “We happened to have a case with a rare syndrome. My mentor had me read about previous cases. My role was to do a literature review, extrapolate the data and then write a manuscript on our own patient.”

The patient, a 73-year-old man, had come to the hospital with a rapid heartbeat. When mild electrical shock, or cardioversion, was applied to bring the heartbeat to a normal rhythm, the man experienced Takotsubo cardiomyopathy. Also known as broken-heart syndrome, the condition is a ballooning of the left ventricle that produces chest pain and shortness of breath. It’s typically a stress-related condition seen in older women.

“It’s a very benign disease that can be very scary,” Muhammad said. “It’s pretty rare, not something you’d typically see when you’re rounding.”

Muhammad produced a case report that compared her patient’s case with other recorded cases of the disease. The report was published in the Society of Critical Care Medicine journal and presented at the organization’s national convention.

She said her experience provided a good learning experience in the basics of conducting medical research as well as how to create and publish a manuscript and present the findings in a public forum such as the research summit.

“Research is a vital part of medicine,” Muhammad said. “It’s what gives us the potential to do better for our patients. I’m looking forward to doing more in our research program.”

The research summit also included students from the health sciences schools of dentistry, pharmacy, nursing and health sciences, as well UMKC’s School of Biological Sciences. This year’s summit drew a record 100 research posters.

A team of medical school faculty served as judges for the medical student posters and will select the top three poster presentations among medical students for awards and the top graduate student presentation.