All posts by Kelly Edwards

Physician Assistant program celebrates White Coat Ceremony; welcomes association president

The School of Medicine presented white coats to 20 physician assistant students during the annual White Coat Ceremony on April 14.

As they prepare to begin the next stage of training, 20 physician assistant students at the UMKC School of Medicine participated in the program’s fourth White Coat Ceremony on April 14. It took place at the UMKC Student Union.

Students receive their white coats as they begin their fifth semester of the seven-semester program. The ceremony signifies their transition from the classroom to the clinical phase of training.

Beverly Graves, M.D., clinical assistant professor, who served as the program’s first medical director, and Kathie Ervie, M.P.A.S., P.A.-C., program director, led the presentation of the white coats.

The day before the White Coat ceremony, students from all three years of PA program heard remarks from Gail Curtis, president of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. Curtis visited the School of Medicine while in Kansas City to take part in a Kansas Academy of Physician Assistants meeting.

She told the UMKC students that this is a good time to be joining the physician assistant profession.

“We have so many great opportunities right now for our profession,” Curtis said. “You’re very lucky to be getting into the profession at the time you going into it.”

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the physician assistant profession. It is ranked third on the U.S. News and World Report’s list of  2018 Best Jobs.

“One thing that I think is good about where we are right now is that we’ve accomplished a lot in those first 50 years,” Curtis said. “We’ve gone from one program in North Carolina to having almost 235 PA programs, and more are coming every day.”

She also applauded the UMKC program that welcomed its inaugural class in January of 2014.

“You’re still a baby program,” Curtis said. “But I hear you have a 100-percent pass rate on your board exams. So, you’re also a great program.”

The School of Medicine currently has about 60 students enrolled in the physician assistant program. Its first two graduating classes have produced 34 physician assistants.


Yicheng Bao’s award-winning diabetes study puts new focus on autoimmune conditions

Yicheng Bao, left, with his research study co-authors, Dr Janet McGill, professor of medicine at Washington University-St. Louis, and Dr. Maamoun Salam, a graduating endocrinology fellow at Washington University.

Yicheng Bao, a third-year medical student at the UMKC School of Medicine, conducted a research study that shows adults diagnosed with type 1 diabetes are at greater risk of developing additional autoimmune conditions.

Bao received an Endocrine Society Outstanding Abstract Award for his work. He was then invited to give an  oral presentation of his results at the March annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in Chicago. This was a special and rare opportunity, as most selected abstracts are designated for poster presentations.

Much of Bao’s research took place during his summer medical student research program at Washington University in St. Louis. The program was sponsored by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Bao continued working on the study when he returned to school at UMKC.

Following his presentation in Chicago, Bao’s results have been reported in a number of health-care and diabetes-related media outlets.

“I came to work on this particular project because of my interest in diabetes and its complications,” Bao said. “Diabetes is a growing public health concern, and it is very debilitating for patients. It has multifaceted complications that confound their care, and this area in particular requires more research.”

His study found that people with type 1 diabetes can develop multiple autoimmune diseases. And, those diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as an adult run a greater risk of developing them.

Bao’s study collected patient data on 29 autoimmune conditions. He found that the overwhelming majority of additional conditions developed in adults after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

These results of could lead health-care providers to give closer attention to symptoms of autoimmune diseases in diabetes patients diagnosed with the disease as an adult.

Bao said he developed skills from the experience that have lead him to continue his research efforts. He now intends to pursue a career in academic medicine and research.

“I learned to ask scientific questions that have significant clinical implications, and to answer these questions with biostatistics and data analysis,” he said. “Using these skills, I am working on several other studies about diabetes and its complications that will be submitted for publication soon.”

Links to media reports of Yicheng Bao’s research study on type 1 diabetes in adults:

Notable research project featured in SOM video series

A new School of Medicine video looks at two important research projects addressing health disparities among African Americans. These projects are spreading the gospel of good health … at church.

The research is led by Jannette Berkley-Patton, Ph.D., associate professor of Biomedical and Health Informatics, who works with area churches and pastors to bring health education and screening to African-American congregations. Attention is given to issues of HIV, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Research plays a critical role at the UMKC School of Medicine – for students, faculty, residents and fellows. Today, nearly 100 faculty are involved in research projects with some, like Berkley-Patton’s, awarded significant federal grants and national foundation funding. Medical students are encouraged to engage in research and scholarship activities, and the school supports residents and fellows looking to embrace research as part of their medical careers.

To highlight its leadership role in research, the School of Medicine is producing a research video series. The first film features Berkley-Patton and her National Institutes of Health grants: Faith Influencing Transformation and Taking it to the Pews.

View the video

Dr. Go appointed to special purpose exam oversight committee

Go, Steven
Steven Go, M.D.,

The Federation of State Medical Boards and National Board of Medical Examiners have appointed Steven Go, M.D., professor of emergency medicine, to serve on a newly formed Special Purpose Examination (SPEX) oversight committee.

The committee will manage a special purpose exam for physicians who currently hold, or who have previously held, a valid, unrestricted license to practice medicine in a United States or Canadian jurisdiction.

It is responsible for a wide range of exam topics, such as selecting appropriate testing methods; evaluating and approving blueprints, objectives, and test material formats; adopting test polices, and oversight of a research agenda and other uses of the exam.

The SPEX is provided for physicians seeking licensure reinstatement or reactivation, or those involved in disciplinary proceedings that determine a need for evaluation. The oversight committee is a new group that assumes the responsibilities of the governing  and program committees of the Post-Licensure Assessment System.

Go’s appointment officially began in January. His new role is a continuation of his interest in medical student and physician competency assessment and credentialing issues. He is also serving on the United States Medical Licensing Examination management committee that is responsible for all USMLE step examinations. In addition, Go has also served as a board member for the National Board of Medical Examiners.

School of Medicine IPE team wins regional competition

UMKC School of Medicine students (left to right) Saber Khan, Becky Kurian, Yicheng Bao, Creighton University  pharmacy students Caressa Trueman and Amy Cimperman, and UMKC med student Diana Jung combined to win an interprofessional education reasoning regional competition at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

A team students from the UMKC School of Medicine showed its mettle in winning an interprofessional education reasoning competition at Creighton University on March 24 in Omaha, Nebraska.

Fourth-year students Diana Jung and Saber Khan, and third-year students Yicheng Bao and Becky Kurian teamed with Creighton pharmacy students Amy Cimperman and Caressa Trueman to present the winning case in the 2018 Regional Interdisciplinary Clinical Reasoning Competition.

Teams were comprised of a mix of medical, pharmacy and nurse practitioner students.

Each team was presented a patient case, similar to a real-life encounter. They then had two and a half hours to evaluate the chief complaint and medication list, make a working diagnosis, and order needed lab tests and treatments. Teams that advanced to the final round then presented their case to a panel of judges to defend their reasoning and gain feedback.

The UMKC team ranked first among four competing schools in team work and collaboration, concise and professional presentation, and demonstration of appropriate clinical judgement and management.

“I attribute this largely to the early exposure that we get in patient interaction and the presentations we get during our curriculum through clinic, rotations and DoRo,” Jung said. “It was fun and a great learning opportunity.”

Jung said the experience drove home the need for teamwork among health care providers in giving patient care.

“Being able to rely on our pharmacy students for their expertise, played a huge role,” she said. “And having medical students in different years of study allowed us to approach the patient case in a broader point of view.”

School of Medicine hosts IPE competition

Students from the UMKC schools of medicine, pharmacy, and nursing and health studies competed in the the second annual UMKC Interprofessional Education reasoning competition.

The UMKC Interprofessional Education program conducted its second health sciences schools IPE competition on April 7 at the School of Medicine. Four teams of students from the schools of medicine, pharmacy, and nursing and health studies took part in the two-round, case-based competition.

The team of fifth-year medical students Joseph Bennett and Luke He and nursing student Joseph Bredvold won the first-place Emeritus Chancellor Morton Award for Interprofessional Excellence. The second-place team included fourth-year medical students Saber Khan, Zach Randall and Louis Sand, and pharmacy student Ann Lee.

A team of fifth-year medical students Kent Buxton and Christian Lamb, and pharmacy student Brad Erich, tied for third place with the team of Shannon Demehri and Hunter Faris, fifth-year medical students, and nursing student Caleb Jockey.

A panel of interprofessional faculty judged the competition based on diagnosis, treatment, pharmacotherapy, teamwork, communication and decision making. Judges for the event were Paul Cuddy, Pharm.D., Maqual Graham, Pharm.D., Cydney McQueen, Pharm.D., Eileen Amari-Vaught, Ph.D., M.S.N., F.N.P.-B.C., Doug Cochran, M.D., Jim Wooten, Pharm.D., and Emily Hillman, M.D.

Stefanie Ellison, M.D., associate dean of learning initiatives, said many students helped to develop and plan the event and provided support during the competition. Those involved included medical students Jordann Dhuse, Paige Charboneau, Niraj Madhana, Isioma “Miracle” Amayo and Mesgana Yimmer, and pharmacy students Michael Scott, Ijeoma Onyema and Joseph Bredeck.

Two UMKC SOM students selected for national ACP positions

Maheshwari, Jung

Sixth-year medical student Rahul Maheshwari and fourth-year medical student Diana Jung have been selected to take part in national initiatives with the American College of Physicians.

Maheshwari has been chosen to participate in a four-week ACP Health Policy Internship. Jung has been selected to the ACP’s national Council of Student Members. The appointments were announced by the ACP Missouri Chapter following its inaugural Advocacy Day at the Missouri state capital in Jefferson City in March.

At the end of April, Maheshwari will travel to Washington, D.C., where he will work directly with ACP staff. The internship provides medical students learning opportunities in health policy and advocacy.

Interns also learn about the legislative process as they assist in the research and analysis of current health and medical issues and policies. Part of Maheshwari’s role will be that of advocate, attending Congressional hearing and coalition meetings and working with government affairs staff in lobbying efforts with members of Congress. He will also be part of leading the ACP’s Leadership Day to discuss medical issues of particular interest to medical students and residents/fellows.

Jung was selected to an at-large position with Council of Student Members. The group works closely with the ACP Board of Regents and Board of Governors to review programs, products and services. It also promotes internal medicine as a career, the value of ACP membership to medical students, and aligns council activities with the ACP’s strategic plan.

ACP is a national organization of more than 150,000 internists, internal medicine subspecialists, medical students, residents and fellows. It is the largest medical-specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States.

Athletes and volunteers: Take part in the 2018 Hospital Hill Run presented by UMKC Health Sciences District!

Multiple race options – 5K, 7.7 mile and half marathon – offered at discounted rates


Fourth-year medical student Jordann Dhuse, winner of the  women’s 5K event at the 2017 Hospital Hill Run, and running enthusiast and professor of emergency medicine Stefanie Ellison, M.D., talked to Kansas City’s 41 Action News about training for the 2018 Hospital Hill Run.

The UMKC Health Sciences District is the presenting sponsor for the 2018 Hospital Hill Run – one of the most storied races in Missouri history – on June 1-2, 2018.

Race weekend begins with a 5K run on Friday night – where strollers are welcome and families of all sizes are encouraged to take part. The next morning, runners hit the pavement in the 5K rerun, 7.7 mile and half marathon.

All UMKC staff, faculty, students and alumni may register at a discounted rate or serve as volunteers. Participating staff and faculty can also earn points toward their wellness incentive programs. When registering for the Friday night or Saturday morning race events, use the code SOM2018DISC for 20 percent savings.

In addition to improving your health and wellness, your participation in the Hospital Hill Run supports many local charities, including the School of Medicine’s Sojourner Health Clinic, a student-run, free safety-net clinic helping the adult homeless and medically indigent in Kansas City. And volunteers are needed at all events, from handing out race packets, to cheering on athletes, to handing out medals at the finish line.

To learn how you can get involved in this year’s race, visit

Brandt Wible, M.D., appointed interim chair of radiology

Brandt Wible, M.D.

School of Medicine Dean Steven L. Kanter, M.D., has appointed Brandt Wible, M.D., interim chair of the Department of Radiology effective April 1, 2018. Under Wible’s leadership, the Department of Radiology will continue its important role in the School of Medicine’s undergraduate and postgraduate education and research programs.

Wible received his M.D. from the Rush Medical College. He completed his residency in diagnostic radiology at the Medical College of Wisconsin and a fellowship in interventional radiology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Wible is a former United States Peace Corps Volunteer and is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. He is the author of numerous peer-reviewed publications and textbook chapters and recently published a second edition of a textbook on interventional procedures in radiology. His clinical interests include oncologic and vascular imaging and treatment and clinical research at Saint Luke’s Plaza and Lee’s Summit Hospitals.

Kanter expressed his thanks and appreciation to Jeffrey Kunin, M.D., for his leadership as interim chair of the UMKC School of Medicine from 2016 to 2018.

School of Medicine celebrates Match Day 2018

UMKC School of Medicine sixth-year student Jacob Rash was filled with excitement as the Class of 2018 celebrated Match Day, along with thousands of medical students across the country on Friday.

An early morning rain shower couldn’t dampen the Match Day excitement throughout the UMKC School of Medicine on Friday, March 16. Students gathered with family and friends to fill all three of the school’s theaters to open letters from the National Residency Matching Program. Inside the envelopes, the learned where they will be going in a few months to begin their medical residencies.

This year’s graduating class will be disbursed throughout 31 states and the District of Columbia for residency training.

2018 UMKC School of Medicine Match List
2018 UMKC School of Medicine Match Photo Album

Internal medicine was the most frequent match with 27 residencies. Other popular matches were pediatrics and medicine-pediatrics (11), general surgery (9), psychiatry (9), family medicine (8), emergency medicine (7), anesthesiology (6) and orthopedic surgery (4).

Thirty-three of the residency matches are in the Kansas City area, mainly through UMKC and its affiliate hospitals, but also at the University of Kansas. A half-dozen are in St. Louis, and four are at University of Missouri-Columbia.

As the soon to be residents celebrated with classmates, some reflected on their time at the School of Medicine and shared their Match Day thoughts about what lies ahead.

Ahsan Hussain / Ophthalmology / New York Medical College — Valhalla, New York
hy did you come to UMKC School of Medicine?
On interview day, when I first got here, I saw how close everyone was, the camaraderie among the docents and the students. It felt like a very comfortable environment. I’m from New York and didn’t want to be that far from home, but I felt like this would be a second family for me, and it has been.
What is your fondest memory of medical school?
Definitely hanging out with my unit. Red 2 – the best unit ever!
What did you the night before to prepare for Match Day?
I worked out. Kind of got the stress out, all the pre-game jitters. Just kind of relaxed.
Why ophthalmology?
This was the one specialty where I felt like I could make the most difference. I love taking care of people’s eyes. I think sight is the most important sense and to help someone see and maintain their vision is important.
What’s next?
Just taking the next few months to hang out with as many people as I can, soak up as much of Kansas City as I can. Knock a few things off the bucket list and enjoy this place as much as I can before I leave.

Kelly Kapp / General Surgery / UMKC School of Medicine
Why did you come to UMKC School of Medicine?
I knew I wanted to be a doctor, and I really liked that the program was accelerated. The clinical experience is really strong here. I’m very motivated by seeing immediate results, so being part of a group people motivated by patient care was important. And I liked that it’s a small class, so you get to know everyone in your docent unit and have a core group to  lean on.
What is your most fondest memory of medical school?
I really loved the Do-Ro rotation with my unit. I also had really close roommates that I met in the dorms. We’ve been friends for six years. It’s been fun to get to know them through the bad times and the good, the study sessions and the long nights. Even though they were rough nights, they were great.
What will you miss most about medical school and UMKC?
I’ll miss my class and my friends, the docents and the really strong teaching atmosphere. It’s a hard program, but it doesn’t feel as hard when you have everyone working together.
Why general surgery?
I like that there are acute problems that you can fix immediately. You go into the day with a checklist of things to do. You get those things done and you know at the end of the day, you’ve helped the patient.
What did you do the night before to prepare for Match Day?
My mom and my sister came in, and we got together and just relaxed. My roommate and I have been friends for six years. We said a quick prayer, relaxed and took deep breaths.

Christopher Tomassain / Dermatology / University of Kansas School of Medicine – Kansas City, Kansas
Why did you choose the UMKC School of Medicine?
It was because of the six-year program. That and my cousins went here, so I had some family that had gone through the program and really liked it. So, I decided to pursue it.
What was your best memory of the UMKC School of Medicine?
It has to be the friends I made throughout the years. It’s not really just one memory, it’s the journey that you’re on for six years. The close connections you have with friends are what I’ll remember most.
How did you prepare for Match Day?
I just stayed at home, drank a glass of wine and tried to relax.
How will you celebrate?
I’m flying to Las Vegas after this to meet my parents. I’m from Los Angeles, so it was easier for them to go to Las Vegas than to come here.
What’s next?
In 10 years, I want to have my own practice with my sister as my physician assistant.

Caitlin Curcuru / Anesthesiology / University of Chicago Medical Center – Chicago, Illinois
Why anesthesiology as your specialty?
My mom is a nurse anesthetist, so I had some early exposure and just really fell in love with it.
What is your fondest memory of medical school?
I’m on Dr. Keeler’s unit, so I have so many great memories. He is awesome. He’s an incredible docent and mentor, and we had so much fun, especially on Do-Ro.
What will you miss most about UMKC and medical school?
I’ll miss all the friends that I’ve made over the last six years because we’ve become really close.
Did you do anything special last night to prepare for Match Day?
My family came into town, and we all went out to dinner, went to a movie and just chilled.
How do you plan to celebrate?
First, I’m going to finish this bottle of champagne (a Match Day celebration gift) and then join everyone at John’s Big Deck, so it’s going to be fun.

Minh Vuong-Dac / Family Medicine / Presby Intercommunity Hospital — Whittier, California
Why did you come to UMKC School of Medicine?
Knowing that I’d be getting clinical experience from day one and knowing that I wanted to do medicine, I felt like this was the perfect place. And Kansas City is awesome. I think the UMKC School of Medicine is one of the best programs in the country. I would do it again every time.
Why family medicine?
I like treating patients of all ages, from babies to older people, and doing procedures. So, this was a natural choice for me.
What will you remember most about medical school?
Meeting all my friends and making another family, another home here, and getting to do what I love. I’m from California. Coming from Los Angeles, I was skeptical that I’d be able to call this a second home, but I really have and have come to love this city.
What will you miss most?
I’m going to miss everything about it, the doctors, the administration. This is just such a nurturing environment. I came out of high school and everyone here has helped me grow into who I am today.
What’s next?
I realize that I would really love to be involved in academics. I’d love to be involved with this school again one day. We’ll see, but right now, I think that sounds like a good plan.

Tasha Tuong / Family Medicine / Presby Intercommunity Hospital — Whittier, California
Why did you come to the UMKC School of Medicine?
I grew up in California and my parents actually moved to Kansas City when I was 16 so they could help me get into the six-year program here. It was a family decision.
What is your fondest memory of medical school?
My most fond memory would probably have to be meeting my boyfriend, Minh.
Why Family Medicine?
I wanted a specialty that gives me a lot flexibility to do whatever I wanted. After residency, I could be a hospitalist, I could be doing sports medicine, I could be doing anything I want to.
How do you plan to celebrate?
We’re all going to go to John’s Big Deck, it’s one of our traditions at the med school.

Sean Rogers / General Surgery / Akron General Medical Center/NEOMED — Akron, Ohio
Why did you come to UMKC for medical school?
I was at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and I got an interview here at the UMKC School of Medicine. They said “yes” and I wasn’t about to turn it down.
Why general surgery?
I love the procedural aspect of it and the fact they tend to take care of sicker patients. It isn’t as much rounding, it is more doing.
What is your best memory from medical school?
They’re all surgeries, being in the operating room. The first case that I ever scrubbed in for was a whipple procedure, which is a really long procedure, eight or nine hours. I was in dress shoes because I hadn’t dressed properly for the day. I loved it. I was there uncomfortable in my dress shoes for nine hours but I was like, yeah, this is for me.
How are you going to celebrate your residency match?
I’m going to go out with my family for lunch and then I’m going to go out with my girlfriend, Isha Jain. She graduated (from the UMKC School of Medicine) last year and is in her first year of family medicine in Chicago. So, I’m going to hang out with her.

Siri Ancha / Internal Medicine / Washington University-St. Louis
Why did you come to the UMKC School of Medicine?
I’ve lived in Missouri for 13 years and wanted to stay in the area. I loved the idea of the accelerated program at UMKC. I always knew that I wanted to be a doctor, so this was the best way to go.
Why internal medicine?
I like everything, so I wanted a specialty where I could learn about everything and do everything. I don’t want to limit myself.
What will be your fondest memory of the UMKC School of Medicine?
Probably Match week, celebrating with all my friends, celebrating all of our accomplishments.

Harris Zamir / Internal Medicine / UMKC
Why did you come to the UMKC School of Medicine?
I’m from Kansas City. I knew about the school and knew that I wanted to be a doctor, so it made sense to come here and do what I wanted to do.
Why internal medicine?
My favorite part about medicine is being able to deal with chronic conditions and being able to find the right medication that works for the patient.
What is your best memory of medical school?
Today. It’s a combination of all the fond memories, even the bad memories, all coming together in one day. It’s awesome.
What will you miss most about UMKC and medical school?
This is a bittersweet time. Everyone’s happy because they’re getting the residencies they want, but also a lot of people are going away. My best friends are leaving, going to other cities, so it’s cool that they get to do what they want, but I’m going to miss them.
How did you spend the night before Match Day?
I worked in the emergency room. I had an emergency medicine shift in the evening.