All posts by Kelly Edwards

Physician Assistant students take part in 2017 White Coat Ceremony

Members of the School of Medicine’s physician assistant program took part in the reading the PA Professional Oath during the annual White Coat Ceremony on April 15.

Eighteen students from the UMKC School of Medicine’s master’s program for Physician Assistants took the spotlight at the UMKC Student Union on April 15.

The class read aloud the Physician Assistant Professional Oath as part of the program’s White Coat Ceremony, marking a milestone in the journey toward completing  the Master of Medical Science Physician Assistant degree.

At the School of Medicine, the annual rite takes place at the beginning of the students’ fifth semester of the seven-semester program. It signifies the time of students transitioning from the classroom to the clinical phase of their training.

This was the third year of the White Coat Ceremony for the school’s PA program, which celebrated its first graduating class last May.

Following a brief welcome and introductions from program director Kathy Ervie, M.P.A.S., PA-C, Jim Wooten, Pharm. D., and associate professor of medicine for the departments of Basic Medical Sciences and Internal Medicine, offered brief remarks of encouragement.

Members of the PA program faculty then placed the white coats on their students’ shoulders. The white coat is considered a mantle of the medical profession and the ceremony emphasizes the importance of compassionate care and expertise in the science of medicine.

The Arnold P. Gold Foundation initiated the White Coat Ceremony to welcome students into the medical profession and set expectations for their role as health care providers by having them read their professional oath. Today, nearly 97 percent of the AAMC-accredited medical schools in the United States and Canada, and many osteopathic schools of medicine conduct a White Coat Ceremony. The Foundation partnered with the Physician Assistant Education Association to provide funding to establish the first White Coat Ceremonies for PA programs at the end of 2013.

Anand presents research at national ACP meeting

Gaurav Anand presented a research poster in March at the National American College of Physicians’ Internal Medicine Meeting in San Diego.

Fifth-year medical student Gaurav Anand took part in the student research poster competition at the National American College of Physicians’ Internal Medicine Meeting. The three-day conference took place in San Diego at the end of March.

In addition to presenting his research poster, Anand attended lectures on topics ranging from radiology to ophthalmology, as well as participating in suturing and arthrocentesis workshops.

Anand called the experience both humbling and enlightening.

Anand with his poster at the National ACP student poster competition.

“Being invited to attend and present my research at this National ACP meeting was an enriching experience, not only by attending the lectures and workshops, but also from learning about the groundbreaking research happening across the country,” he said.

Anand presented his poster, Pharmacological control of oxidative stress-mediated effects on endocannabinoid signaling pathways. He conducted his research at the Vision Research Center with Peter Koulen, Ph.D., director of basic research and Felix and Carmen Sabates Missouri Endowed Chair in Vision Research; and Christa Montgomery, Ph.D., research scientist at the Vision Research Center.

Anand earned a spot in the national poster competition last September when he won the student poster competition at the annual meeting of the Missouri chapter of the American College of Physicians.

After winning the Missouri competition, Anand continued his research prior to the national meeting. He said he is gathering data from the most recent experiments and had not made any major alterations to his poster or abstract.

Anand said he plans to continue his research efforts throughout medical school and his residency training.

“Research is the foundation on which new discoveries are made,” he said.

SOM’s Hickman selected to serve in two national positions

Timothy Hickman, M.D.

Timothy Hickman, M.D. ’80, M.Ed, M.P.H., F.A.A.P., associate teaching professor of biomedical and health informatics, has been selected to serve in two national positions.

He was recently elected as president of Association for Prevention Teaching and Research (APTR) Board of Directors. He has also been chosen as a representative of the American Academy of Pediatrics to serve on the March of Dimes Prematurity Campaign Collaborative.

Hickman chaired the planning committee for the APTR annual meeting, Teaching Prevention 2017: Aligning Curriculum to Achieve Health Equity that took place in April in Savannah, Georgia. At the conference, he also presented a poster, “What do Medical Students Need to Know about Population Health and Preventive Medicine.”

He has been a member of the ATPR Board of Directors, the Paul Ambrose Scholars Planning Committee and the Board of Governors for the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Working with the March of Dimes, Hickman will be part of the Clinical and Public Health Practice workgroup. He also currently serves as on the American Academy of Pediatrics’ section on epidemiology, public health and evidence.

The group is one of five March of Dimes workgroups designed to foster communities that provide the healthiest possible start to life for  the most vulnerable newborn infants. Its purpose is to explore and share the best available research and experience to improve health-care practice and public health policy for newborn children.

The prematurity campaign collaborative was launched in 2003 to raise public awareness of the issues surrounding premature berths and to decrease premature births in the United States. It is made up of nearly 200 leaders in maternal and child health organizations throughout the nation.

 

 

APAMSA members participate in health fair for refugee community

APAMSA members took part in a one-day, free health for the refugee community on March 11.

On March 11, School of Medicine members of the Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association took part in a free health fair for foreign refugees. The event was open to the public and was the first health fair conducted by the UMKC students directed toward refugees.

More than 40 students assisted the Jewish Vocation Service with the program. It offered free blood glucose screenings, blood pressure checks, cholesterol/lipid panels and translator services.

“The majority of the people who came were in the refugee community programs with the JVS,” explained Sarthak Garg, a member of APAMSA.

The health fair drew more than 100 people from the community, Garg said.

School of Medicine announces key administrative appointments

School of Medicine Dean Steven Kanter is pleased to announce several key appointments, as the school continues to align itself for the future.

The new appointments include:

  • Paul Cuddy, Pharm.D. MBA, Vice Dean;
  • Nurry Pirani, M.D., Associate Dean for Curriculum;
  • Stefanie Ellison, M.D., Associate Dean for Learning Initiatives;
  • Michael Wacker, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Academic Affairs;
  • Darla McCarthy, Ph.D., Assistant Dean for Curriculum;
  • Jennifer Quaintance, Ph.D., Assistant Dean for Assessment and Quality Improvement.

Cuddy will oversee associate deans for curriculum, learning initiatives, allied health and assessment and quality improvement, and he will continue as the Faculty Lead for the upcoming LCME site visit in April 2018. Prior to his new appointment, Cuddy served as senior associate dean for academic affairs and as chair of the coordinating committee since 2003. He has been member of UMKC faculty since 1981.

Pirani now serves as the associate dean for curriculum. Pirani joined the faculty in 2011 as a docent, and served as associate program director and chair of the clinical competency committee for the internal medicine residency program. Before her appointment to associate dean, Pirani served as the vice-chair clinician to the Council on Curriculum.

Ellison will now focus on service learning and interprofessional education initiatives at the school. Ellison served as associate dean for curriculum from 2010-2017, and she will continue to support two subcommittees preparing for the 2018 LCME accreditation visit. She joined the faculty in 2000.

Wacker, in his new role, will work with Cuddy on key academic affairs and faculty affairs initiatives. Prior to this appointment, Wacker served as assistant dean for student research. He joined the faculty in Biomedical Sciences in 2007.

McCarthy will serve as the school representative to UMKC undergraduate degree committees and will serve as a Council on Curriculum liaison to the Year 1-2 advising staff. She will continue to direct the USMLE Step 1 readiness assessment program at the school. McCarthy joined the faculty in 2012 in the Department of Biomedical Sciences.

Quaintance served the past four years as director of the Office of Assessment and Quality Improvement. She will coordinate the efforts of a cadre of staff responsible for implementing and monitoring an ongoing series of assessment metrics that the schools’ councils will use to monitor the quality of our educational programs. She joined the faculty in 2005.

Students turn interprofessional education into a competition

UMKC Chancellor Leo Morton presented prizes to the winners of the first Interprofessional Education and Collaboration Healthcare Reasoning Competition: Diana Jun, medicine; Isioma Amayo, medicine; Hanna Miller, nursing; Ashley Ragan, pharmacy; Gift Maliton, pharmacy; Asad Helal, medicine.

Interprofessional education at UMKC’s health sciences schools has spawned an interprofessional competition.

Nearly 50 students from the schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy worked together as members of nine interprofessional teams putting their combined skills to the test in the first Interprofessional Education and Collaboration Healthcare Reasoning Competition.

UMKC health sciences students took part in the first IPEC Healthcare Reasoning Competition at the School of Medicine.

The daylong, case-based simulation competition took place in conjunction with the fifth-annual Interprofessional Education Faculty Symposium at the School of Medicine. It was the brainchild of a smaller group of seven students from different disciplines who formed a UMKC IPE Student Interest Group to promote interprofessional education.

“This started with the IPE interest group,” said Stefanie Ellison, M.D., IPE coordinator for the School of Medicine. “Seven or eight student were really interested in this. It was their energy that made it happen and everything fell in place.”

Members of the student interest group include Morgan Beard, Vincent Cascone, Maggie Kirwin,  Grant Randall, Alie Reinbold,  Mitchell Solano, and Robert Weidling.

Weidling said the group developed the competition after taking part in a similar event at Creighton University. The team spent the next eight months working on the structure of the competition. Ellison and Emily Hillman, M.D., assistant program director and clerkship director for emergency medicine, and faculty sponsor for the school’s Sim Wars team, provided faculty guidance.

“The most important goal of our event was to help students understand the importance of interprofessional teamwork,” Weidling said. “We wanted students to be put into a position where they were forced to augment their weaknesses with the strengths of the other interprofessional students, such as relying on pharmacy students to employ complex pharmacological treatment plans, medicine students to produce a robust differential diagnosis, and nursing students to craft care plans.”

For the competition. At least two different schools were represented on each team of five to six students. Each team was given a case with pertinent patient history and vital statistics, then given 90 minutes to prepare a treatment plan using their personal skills and other resources, such as Internet access. After 90-minute, teams gave 10-minute presentations to an interprofessional panel of judges made up of faculty from the health sciences schools. Each presentation offered the team’s treatment plan for the patient and how the team worked together to develop the plan.

The top four teams from the first round of competition were then given a new, unique case to prepare without using any outside resources.

Teams were evaluated on skills such as collaboration, demonstration of medical knowledge, ability to manage health-care decision and using their individual roles and responsibilities, and use of evidence-based medicine.

Ellison said the winning teams maximized their roles.

“Their knowledge and the skill sets of each team member allowed them to best take care of the patient,” she said. “That’s how we function every day.”

Weidling said the students enjoyed the event and that group is already planning for the next competition with hopes of creating a regional event for health sciences school throughout the midwest.

“The most common comment I heard was that all of the interprofessional team members felt valued and left with a greater appreciation of what each of our varying medical disciplines do,” Weidling said.

The top four winning teams selected by the judges were:

First Place: Isioma Amayo, medicine; Assadulah (Asad) Helal, medicine; Diana Jun, medicine; Rattanaporn (Gift) Malitong, pharmacy; Hanna Miller, nursing; Ashley (Kate) Ragan, pharmacy.

Second Place: Ma Chu, pharmacy; Jordann Dhuse, medicine; Mallory Matter, nursing; Tjeoma Onyema, pharmacy; Minh Vuong-Dac, medicine.

Third Place: Kristine Brungardt, nursing;Hayley Byers, nursing; Tom Green, medicine; Angela Kaucher, pharmacy; Alex Poppen, pharmacy.

Fourth Place: Jess Belyew, nursing; Bowers, nursing; Matt Buswell, dentistry; Emily Herndon, nursing; Amber Reinert, pharmacy.

Med student Briggs joins surgical team on Dominican Republic mission

View of the ocean from the roof of Hospital el Buen Samaritano in La Ramona, Dominican Republic, where UMKC School of Medicine student Kayla Briggs is part of a surgical mission team. The smokestack in the distance is a sugar refinery.
Kayla Briggs

Kayla Briggs, a sixth-year student at UMKC School of Medicine, is part of an 11-person group that left on March 18 for the Dominican Republic on an eight-day medical mission trip.

The team consists of physicians, nurses, paramedics, an interpreter and Briggs.

“We can all contribute to make the world a better place both near and far.”

– Kayla Briggs

Working from the Good Samaritan Hospital in La Ramona, Dominican Republic, the group plans to spend the first two days in clinics meeting patients and assessing needs before spending the remainder of its time performing surgical procedures.

“We will have two operating rooms, one for general surgery and one for urology,” Briggs said.

The team will be performing elective procedures such as repairing hernias, removing gallbladders and excising masses all in hopes of preventing patients from encountering more serious complications in the future.

Briggs will serve as the first assistant in the operating room once the surgery procedures begin. She has already completed seven months of surgical rotations at UMKC. On March 17, which was Match Day, Briggs learned that she will begin a surgical residency at the University of California-Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, California, this summer.

“I’ve done medical mission trips before but never a surgery trip, so I’m really excited about this trip,” she said.

The mission is a collaborative effort with the Dominican Republic Medical Fellowship.

Other members of the mission team include:

  • Glenn Talboy, M.D., Chair and Program Director of the UMKC Department of Surgery
  • Edna Talboy, interpreter
  • Teisha Shiozaki, M.D., chief resident, UMKC general surgery
  • Patrick Murphy, M.D., section chief, Children’s Mercy Department of Urology
  • John Gatti, M.D., director of minimally invasive urology, Children’s Mercy Department of Urology
  • Louise Davis, CRNA and mission trip coordinator
  • Reidun Fuemmler, CRNA
  • Scott Davis, CRNA
  • Vahe Ender, paramedic
  • Matt Libby, paramedic

DAY ONE, SATURDAY, MARCH 18
Kayla Briggs

Today was quite the day – we had to be at the KCI airport at 4:30 am. After a relatively short layover in Chicago, we headed to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

The Dominican Republic is a hot tourist destination and the airport shows it. The terminals are modeled after tropical huts with straw roofs.

Our bunks, complete with Peanuts sheets.

Navigating customs was surprisingly easy. After picking up our five duffels and several rolling bags of surgical supplies, we headed to the exit where our bags were scanned once more. Our surgical instruments looked like weapons in the scanner and we were held for nearly 30 minutes trying to explain who we are and what we’re doing here. After lots of talking (shoutout to Edna Talboy for being an incredible translator), we were released.

We rented our cars (a van and sedan) and were on our way to La Romana – about a two hour drive. The highway system is what you see in the U.S. and was easy to navigate. Once in the city and at our mission, we unloaded our personal belongings.

The mission has separate bunks for women and men with a common room. All our sheets and linens are provided.

All meals are cooked by the ladies at the Mission. They take great care of us!

After a great dinner of roasted chicken, rice, and beans, we headed off to Jumbo. The only way I can describe it is a mix of Walmart, Target, H.E.B., and a department store … except much shinier. They have EVERYTHING – food, clothes, electronics, appliances, outdoor supplies, you name it. It was fun to browse the aisles and see what brands are similar and what’s different.

After picking up some snacks, we headed back to the mission to meet Matt and Vahe, the two paramedics joining our group from Boston. We then walked to the local restaurant and had ceviche, calamari, and bruschetta. Needless to say, we all slept like rocks after a long day of travel.

 


DAY TWO, SUNDAY, MARCH 19
Kayla Briggs
The Mission Team: (left to right) me (Kayla Briggs, MS6); Reidun Fuemmler, CRNA; Vahe Ender, paramedic; Edna Talboy, translator and surgeon wrangler; Dr. Glenn Talboy, general surgeon; Matt Libby, paramedic; Dr. Teisha Shiozaki, general surgery chief resident; Dr. Pat Murphy, pediatric urologist; Louise Davis, CRNA and mission trip coordinator; Scott Davis, CRNA; Dr. John Gatti, pediatric urologist.

Because it’s the weekend, we slept in a bit. Breakfast was served at 8 a.m. and was a hearty offering of pancakes, bacon, sausage, and fresh pineapple and papaya.

Hospital el Buen Samaritano

After breakfast, we headed off to Hospital el Buen Samaritano. It’s a private hospital that is funded by the Village Presbyterian Church. The operating rooms have the basics – anesthesia machines, overhead lights, and one even has a C-arm for taking X-rays during orthopedic cases.

We spent the morning organizing the plethora of supplies – laparoscopic equipment, suture, instruments, suction tubing, drapes, sterile water, sterile towels, liter boluses, etc. After dividing the two operating rooms (one for adults, one for children), we headed to Jumbo again to shop. Then it was time for lunch.

Unloading medical supplies.

After a busy morning, garlicky noodles with chili and a short siesta was just what we needed. Our afternoon was spent seeing all the patients that had been identified in the bateys (rural areas where the sugar workers live) by the promotoras (health promoter) as needing surgery.

On the adult side, 21 patients were scheduled for pre-operative evaluation. Patients were asked about their past medical history, any prior surgeries, and if they’d ever had trouble with anesthesia. Twelve were scheduled on the adult side with three more that will be coming tomorrow for evaluation (transportation can be an issue for some).

I was reminded time and time again just how rusty my Spanish is. Without Alex and Edna, our amazing translators, it would be impossible to provide safe and smooth patient care. After refueling with a dinner of roasted pork, potatoes, broccoli, and carrots, we indulged in coconut pie and passion fruit cheesecake from a local bakery. We then fell into our nightly routine: a walk to Jumbo followed by relaxation at the restaurant. Tomorrow, we start operating at 8 a.m.!


DAY THREE, MONDAY, MARCH 20
Kayla Briggs

Breakfast is served at 7 a.m. on the days we’re working. Oatmeal and fresh fruit energized us for the day ahead.

Dr. Shiozaki (right) and me operating. Reidun is behind us administering anesthesia.

We arrived at the hospital just after 7:30 and patients showed up shortly thereafter. On the agenda for the adult room was a laparoscopic cholecystectomy (removing the gallbladder), lipoma excision, and fibrous adenoma excision. The pediatric room performed three hernia repairs, one case involving the removal of a child’s extra digits (called polydactyly), and a ganglion cyst excision.

It felt great to be back in the OR! After the first two cases, we took a break outside in the courtyard to eat a lunch of ham and cheese sandwiches and rice. There’s nothing like enjoying a real sugar sweetened Fanta underneath the warm Dominican sun.

We finished operating at around 4 p.m. After monitoring our last patients for post-operative complications, we instructed them all to return to clinic on Friday for wound checks.

Flat Lyla amongst a bed full of gifts.

Lyla Graham, a 12-year old from back home, had family and friends donate gifts for the children in lieu of receiving birthday presents for herself. We toted around a drawing of Lyla that we lovingly named ‘Flat Lyla’ (in the tradition of Flat Stanley) and snapped a few photos of the children with their gifts. These were not only a great tool for distracting purposes, but were also the sweetest parting gift before sending the children home.

Muchas gracias, Lyla!

We experienced our first tropical rainstorm (what seemed like a torrential downpour) of the trip during our evening siesta time. Dinner was fantastic – roasted chicken, rice, beans with lentils, roasted carrots, and fresh cherry lime juice. Dessert was just as good – a massive chocolate layer cake filled with dulce de leche.

Tomorrow is our busy day. Can’t wait to update you all on how it goes!


DAY FOUR, TUESDAY, MARCH 21
Kayla Briggs
Dr. Talboy and me excising a lipoma.

WOW – what a day!

Teisha said something the other day that resonated with me. When she’s not busy, she has a tendency to be lazy. When she is busy, she is more energized. I found myself relating to that and I think most surgeons would agree – downtime or a lighter schedule is nice, but being busy makes you feel productive and useful.

Working on a massive lipoma that was hidden under a patient’s deltoid (shoulder) muscle. Couldn’t have done it without Dr. Talboy’s help!

Today was our busy (and productive) day.

The pediatric room performed three cases (all inguinal hernias). We did six cases on the adult general surgery side: one laparoscopic cholecystectomy, two lipoma excisions, two inguinal hernia repairs, and one add on hydrocele repair. We did our best to stay on a tight schedule. I got to help a lot with our first lipoma excision (on the back of the patient’s neck) and got to perform a significant portion of the lipoma excision on our next patient’s arm (with the expert assistance of Dr. Talboy, of course!).

The first case – the laparoscopic cholecystectomy – was not without a few hiccups. The power in the Dominican Republic is not as reliable as in the States. Just as we were achieving our critical view the power went off – taking away our “eyes” by cutting power to our camera and light cord. In the room next to us, an OB/GYN was performing a c-section. After three minutes of wondering when the backup generator was going to kick in, the lights flickered back on. We heard a newborn’s cries shortly thereafter, and finished the remaining cases without further incident.

Just one of our amazing meals!

Our meals were fantastic. Breakfast was scrambled eggs and fresh croissants. Lunch was empanadas and rice delivered to the hospital. Dinner was roasted chicken, pasta, potato salad, fried plantains, tres leches cake, and banana pineapple juice. I don’t think any of us will come back from this trip any slimmer.

Today, we broke from tradition and drove to Plaza Lama instead of walking to Jumbo. Different selection, similar massive super store idea.

Our schedule is all downhill from here! We have two lipoma excisions and one inguinal hernia repair tomorrow. I’m excited for the lipomas – they’re satisfying.

Kayla


DAY FIVE, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22
Kayla Briggs
Teisha teaching a U. Mass nursing practitioner student how to suture.

Today was an eventful day. We started off with a breakfast of French toast and bacon before heading off to the hospital. Our first case went off without a hitch – an uncomplicated bilateral inguinal hernia repair. Our second case was a slightly more complicated. After a few tense moments, we successfully repaired a patient’s hydrocele and hernia. He was admitted to the hospital and we will check on him tomorrow morning.

We followed with a simple forehead lipoma excision. While in the recovery room, the patient and his mother took a look at our work in the mirror and returned to shake our hands numerous times. They were so thankful to have such a simple but visible problem resolved. It was a great reminder of why we do this.

During our cases, two c-sections were performed in the OR next to us. We had so much fun fawning over the babies; they were so cute.

¡La playa bonita! Beach Day!

After a quick lunch of braised chicken and rice, we finished up all the cases (including three inguinal hernia repairs on the pediatric side) by 1 p.m. We all looked at each other knowingly and said, “Beach day? Beach day.”

We returned to Casa Pastoral to grab our swimsuits and sunblock before heading to a public beach in Bayahibe, a 30-minute drive from La Romana. The scene was picturesque. A bright sunny day, sandy beach, beautiful water, happy voices of people from all over the world carrying in the wind, and plenty of Lay’s limón potato chips (our favorite!). The waves were so tranquil, perfect for jumping in without being too rough. I haven’t been on a beach since my fourth year in the program and I had forgotten how much I missed the ocean.

Dinner was (once again) delicious. Braised pork, rice and beans, and carrots with cabbage. Dessert was a super rich, super tasty carrot cake. After dinner, we walked to the central square in La Romana and went to Trigo de Oro, a French bakery and restaurant. At about 8:30 p.m., yawns were circling the table and we decided it was time for bed.

Tomorrow is a quick day – two lipoma excisions. Dinner will be at a pizza parlor on the river. Can’t believe tomorrow is our last day of operating!


DAY SIX, THURSDAY, MARCH 23
Kayla Briggs
Dr. Patrick Murphy, Dr. Glenn Talboy, Kayla Briggs, and Dr. John Gatti.

¡Hola mis amigos!

The name of the game is to front-load cases at the beginning of the week to make room for any add-ons. Today was a lighter day; we were scheduled for two cases in the adult room and three in the pediatric room.

First, we checked in on the patients we admitted to the hospital yesterday. They were doing well and were discharged later in the day. Our first case was a neck mass excision that we initially thought was a lipoma. After removal, we discovered that it was actually an infected cyst. The second was a foot mass that turned out to be a ganglion cyst.

Our pre-op and post-op room is the same three-bed space. Because the cases are elective procedures on healthy patients, once the patient is alert, can eat and drink, and is able to walk, he or she can go home. For cases like the foot mass, you want to ensure the patient isn’t in pain and won’t move during the case. Our awesome CRNAs came up with the idea to lightly sedate the patient and administer an ankle block in the hopes of numbing up their foot. Not only did this work like a charm (the patient snored as we were cutting out the large mass) but will also provide extended pain relief.

After both rooms had completed their first two cases, we hung around and ate empanadas with a side of rice and beans for lunch. The third child never arrived so we decided to pack up our equipment.

Group selfie.

Louise, our mission coordinator, has been on this trip 21 times. Dr. Murphy has been on it many times, too. They’re experts at identifying what leftover supplies can be donated, what we should save for next year, and what we’ll need when we come back. That’s one thing I’ve loved about this trip. It’s a sustainable effort and you don’t leave feeling that without your presence, the patients are abandoned.

After packing up our supplies in the hospital, we headed back to the mission to clean up. We ate at El Chiringuito, a local pizza shop. The food was incredible – chewy pizza crust, plenty of cheese, and lots of fresh ingredients. The company was excellent, too.

Tomorrow, we will see patients back in clinic for post-op wound checks. Our afternoon will be spent at the beach with plenty of sunblock and Lay’s limón chips. Hard to believe this trip is almost over.


DAY SEVEN, FRIDAY, MARCH 24
Kayla Briggs
Alex (our translator) assisting Dr. Talboy with communicating post-operative instructions.

After a breakfast of pancakes, bacon, and orange juice, we headed to Hospital el Buen Samaritano one last time. Seeing our patients in the post-op clinic was immensely gratifying. Patients and their family members were so grateful for their operations.

Smiles all around.

I continue to be amazed by this patient population’s tolerance of pain. Even those who had their operations two days ago were walking, talking, smiling, and taking minimal amounts of Tylenol and ibuprofen.

At around 10:30 a.m. we headed back to Casa Pastoral to get ready for the beach. The combination of a hot car, fatigue, and some questionable arugula on our pizza left my stomach feeling questionable. I made the tough decision to sit out of beach day and rest instead.

Folks headed off to the beach at around 11:30 a.m. It was rainy most of the afternoon and when they came back cold and soaking wet, I knew I made the right decision to stay. After an afternoon siesta, we enjoyed one last family dinner of pork steaks with rice and beans and a dessert of tres leches cake and Neapolitan ice cream. Our evening was a little shopping at Jumbo, a walk around town, and packing our bags.

Tomorrow, we will head to the airport at 8 a.m. I can’t believe this adventure is coming to an end.

———————

DAY EIGHT, SATURDAY, MARCH 25
Kayla Briggs
Headed home.

After a breakfast of sweet rolls with coffee, we headed to the airport. The drive through the Dominican countryside was gorgeous, lush green landscape and seemingly endless sugarcane fields.

Customs was busy. All flights out of Punta Cana leave between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and lines were especially long because it’s spring break for many.

After a stop at Chicago’s Midway Airport, we finally arrived in Kansas City at 8:30 p.m. We all said our “goodbyes” and “see you laters” before going our separate ways. For those who’ve been on a mission trip, you understand the craving for a hot shower and your own bed near the end of the week. While I don’t want to speak for everyone, I’m positive we all slept like babies.

This has been the adventure of a lifetime and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to share it with you! I hope to return to La Romana in the future as a surgery resident.

If you’re interested in going on a mission trip, I recommend finding one associated with an organization that has a permanent presence in the community you’re traveling to. This ensures that even after you are gone, the patients are still connected to care. And if foreign mission trips don’t fit into your budget, don’t forget about everyone in need in our own community and country. We can all contribute to make the world a better place both near and far.

Match Day a time for joy, celebration at UMKC School of Medicine

Jasleen Ghuman was all smiles as she shared her Match Day letter with friends on Friday.

Jasleen Ghuman opened the white envelope in her hands, took a quick peek at the single page message inside, and exploded with screams of joy.

Ten years ago, Ghuman came to the United States from India with her mother and siblings. Her dream was to become a doctor.

Her dream took a big step toward becoming reality on Match Day, Friday, March 17. That’s when she learned that she will be headed to Northwestern University in Chicago this summer to begin a residency in internal medicine after graduating from the UMKC School of Medicine in May.

“It’s my number one choice,” Ghuman said. “I got it. I’m very, very pleased and surprised. I never thought I’d go this far. You have those moments when you aim really high and then you start to question your choice. And then it happens. I’m so excited.”

She wasn’t alone.

View the 2017 UMKC School of Medicine Match Day results and photo album

Nearly 100 students in the School of Medicine’s Class of 2017 participated in this year’s National Residency Matching Program. Before receiving their Match letters from the Education Team Coordinators, they received an encouraging buildup from School of Medicine Dean Steven Kanter, M.D.

“I know what you have had to do to get to this day, and how hard you have had to work,” Kanter said. “You’ve done a magnificent job. I know how great a job you’ve done because I get to see the results just a little bit before you do, and I can tell you this is the best match this school has ever had.”

Nearly 40 percent of this year’s class matched to a primary care specialty. Internal medicine had the largest number of UMKC student matches with 21, followed by pediatrics with 10, and  family medicine with six. Twenty-three students will remain in Missouri for their residencies, 13 of them in the Kansas City area, including nine who matched to UMKC residencies and three who will stay in Kansas City for pediatrics at Children’s Mercy Hospital.

For Bilal Alam, the news was still sinking nearly 15 minutes after opening his envelope. At Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, Brown University had just one residency position available for an interventional radiologist.

The letter told Alam that position was his.

“I’m very humbled,” Alam said. “I can’t even describe the feeling I have right now.”

Looking on, Alam’s father, Mahmood, said, “I was praying for this and it happened.”

“I’m shocked,” Alam said. “I literally can’t believe it.”

Medical students at schools across the country were sharing in the excitement at the same moment. The NRMP embargoes the public release of its list of where students have matched until 11 a.m. Central time each year.

For students like Ghuman, it is a time of dreams coming true. Living in India, the family finances weren’t available for her to attend medical school. She earned a nursing degree instead. When the family moved to the United States, she began to support herself working at a nursing home. She later worked as a certified nursing assistant at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle before taking a chance and coming to Kansas City to attend medical school.

As a crowd around her celebrated, a friend held up Ghuman’s cell phone. Her mother was on the other end, watching by Skype back home in Seattle. Half a country apart, the two celebrated together for a few moments.

“It’s been a long exciting journey,” Ghuman said. “I couldn’t have done this without the support of my family.”

2017 UMKC School of Medicine
Match Facts

Primary care specialties:
Internal Medicine — 21
Pediatrics — 10
Family Medicine — 6
Medicine-Pediatrics — 2
Primary Medicine  — 1
Total — 39 = 40%

General surgery & subspecialties:
Obstetrics/Gynecology — 5
General Surgery — 4
Orthopedic Surgery — 3
Otolaryngology — 2
Oral Surgery —  2
Total — 16 = 16%

Metro Kansas City area matches:
UMKC — 9
Children’s Mercy — 3
Univ. of Kansas — 1
Total — 13 = 13%

Missouri matches:
Kansas City metro — 13
Washington Univ. — 6
Missouri-Columbia — 2
St. Louis Univ. — 2
Total — 23 = 23%

Other top states:
California — 7
Illinois — 7
New York — 6

Notable residency programs students matched into:
Mayo School of GME-Rochester
Stanford University
Harvard University
Brown University
Duke University
Emory University
Northwestern University

*includes categorical/advanced positions only

SOM students take part in national conference on student-run free clinics

Student members of the Kansas City Free Eye Clinic, Mrigank Gupta, Ravali Gummi, and Ahsan Hussain, presented a poster on the organization’s effect on the Kansas City community at the Society for Student Run Free Clinics National Conference in Anaheim, California.

Three fifth-year UMKC School of Medicine student members of the Kansas City Free Eye Clinic represented the organization and presented at the February meeting of the Society for Student Run Free Clinics National Conference in Anaheim, California.

Mrigank Gupta, Ravali Gummi, and Ahsan Hussain presented a poster, “Distinctive Demographics of an Inner City Free Eye Clinic,” that discussed a research project exploring the effects of the clinic on Kansas City’s population.

“The poster that we presented was unique because it was the only poster that focused on eye care in the underserved population,” Gupta said.

Members of the society viewed posters by student organizations from medical schools throughout the country. Participants heard an inspirational talk from Rumi Abdul Cader, M.D., who started a free clinic in Los Angeles while a medical student at the UCLA School of Medicine.

Gupta said the knowledge the students gained from the conference would help them improve the efficiency of the KCFEC and its outreach to Kansas City’s uninsured population.

Comics used to express culture of med school and students

Michael Green, M.D., physician and bioethicist at Penn State College of Medicine, presented the 2017 William T. Sirridge, M.D., Lecture in Medical Humanities.

At the Penn State College of Medicine, Michael Green, M.D., a physician and bioethicist at Penn State University’s Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, uses the medium of comics to help medical students share their experiences of medical school.

Each year, Green, who is also the vice chair of the Department of Humanities, offers a seminar-style class in which students are encouraged to create their own comic book to describe their time in medical school.

Green presented the 23rd William T. Sirridge, M.D., Medical Humanities Lecture on Thursday, March 16, at the UMKC School of Medicine. He described how comics have become mainstream in today’s culture. He said today’s comic strips and entire comic books touch on almost every topic in all genres.

“So it’s not surprising then that there would be some comics that have some relevance to medical education as well,” Green said.

That has led Green to offer a four-week course in Graphic Medicine, an Intersection of Comics and Medicine. And while a large number of his students’ comics describe and depict good experiences as medical students, one serious theme has surfaced: medical students being mistreated by their superiors.

Such experiences are supported by data from the Journal of the America Medical Association, which found that nearly four out of every 10 students surveyed say they have experienced mistreatment in medical school. Only half say they report it,  out of fear of retribution.

According to Green, these numbers have remained consistent in surveys taken throughout the past five or six years. And the data is relevant, he said, because it goes on to show that those who experience mistreatment as medical students have twice the rate of burnout as other medical students.

“It is something we should care about and think about,” he said.