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.
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.
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
Why 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.
Research indicating that stress from racism contributes to low birth weights and premature births was presented Feb. 22 at Children’s Mercy Hospital by Dr. James W. Collins Jr.
Collins, medical director for the Neonatal Intensive Care Nursery at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, said pre-term birth rates in the United States had changed little in the past seven decades. The rate for African American women also has seen little change, remaining about 50 percent higher than for white women.
Collins’ presentation, titled “The Social Determinants of the Racial Disparity in Adverse Birth Outcomes: ZIP Code Eclipses Genetic Code,” reviewed several studies looking at possible causes or explanations for the persistent racial gap in low birth weights.
Those factors include age, education, income, upward economic mobility and geographic mobility, and they often correlate with rates of pre-term birth in predictable ways. For example, women living in low-income neighborhoods have more pre-term births than women in middle- or upper-income neighborhoods. But African American mothers in every type of income-bracket neighborhood still have higher rates of pre-term births than their white counterparts.
The results are much the same across the studies. Whatever factor is isolated and adjusted for, African American mothers still have higher rates of pre-term births. That leaves researchers looking for other causes, including racism and stress.
“Racism is kind of the elephant in the room,” Collins said. He presented research indicating that African American women who experienced racism more frequently and consistently in their lives were more likely to give birth prematurely.
“We are made to deal with acute stress pretty well,” Collins said. But when stress is chronic, such as from persistent racism, “you respond to acute stressors but you don’t come back down. I suspect this predisposes African American men to hypertension and African American women to pre-term birth.”
Collins said the biological mechanism for these ill affects was still unknown, but could be something that suppresses the immune system or otherwise fosters infections. But the exact mechanism doesn’t need to be known, he said, to see the problem as social rather than strictly medical, and to “go big” and “ecologic” in confronting and combating racism.
Medically, Collins said the day-to-day challenge for pediatricians is to provide comprehensive care for African American girls from before birth and to see them as potential mothers-to-be. Raising those girls for resilience, he said, while also working to change society, is work that requires everyone “to start slow and be tenacious.”
Collins closed with President John F. Kennedy’s reminder and exhortation that good and difficult work “will not be finished in the first 100 days … nor perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.” He then recited lines from Langston Hughes’ “Let America Be America Again,” with a gender switch:
O, let America be America again —
The land that never has been yet —
And yet must be — the land where every woman is free.
Sarah LaGrece has been selected as the new manager of the School of Medicine’s Medical Education Media Center. She will also serve as a senior operations technician at the Clinical Training Facility.
A graduate of UMKC, LaGrece will oversee the media center that serves as the School of Medicine’s instructional resource lab with anatomical models, and audiovisual and computer-based learning materials.
The media center will be open from noon to 5 p.m. during the week. Students can contact LaGrece to make arrangements to use the facility outside of the normally staffed hours. School administration is exploring options to provide additional staffing to expand these daily hours, she said.
In the meantime, LaGrece will be working on taking inventory, updating and repairing the models, and updating the computer software available for students, residents and faculty.
Her morning hours will be spent in the Clinical Training Facility, assisting with administrative duties, simulations with the facility’s mannequins, and helping with the standardized patient program.
A life-long resident of Kansas City, LaGrece graduated from Bishop Miege High School before attending UMKC and earning her bachelor’s degree in communications.
“I was thinking about being a teacher before I went into communications, so education was something I was always interested in,” LaGrece said. “So this seemed to mesh well with my interests.”
In an age of rapidly advancing technology and conflicting economic forces, it is important to guard against overuse of medical treatments and interventions, according to Pieter Cohen, M.D. He was this year’s William Goodson Jr. lecturer.
Cohen, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, spoke Nov. 3 about “Slow Medicine,” the approach he and others promote at slowmedupdates.com. Cohen described Slow Medicine as thoughtful practice that involves patients, relies on the best evidence available and is “applied to help decrease excessive and potentially harmful interventions.”
Relatively high use of medical resources and procedures does not produce better results in many areas, Cohen said. For example, research indicates that 30 percent of U.S. knee replacement surgeries are not appropriate. That’s 200,000 major surgeries a year that should have been avoided, he said, resulting in 14,000 people needlessly suffering serious complications and side effects.
Similarly, aggressively ordering lots of CT scans and other tests can result in other overtreatments, not to mention increased anxiety and other side effects, he said, especially when tests produce false positive results.
Cohen cited research in 1973 by John Wennberg, M.D., author of “Tracking Medicine,” who identified the two main drivers of medical overuse. One is supply, so that adding physicians, specialists and hospital beds to an area will increase its use of medicine. The other is the style of medical practice prevalent in an area.
When Wennberg did his research, it was rejected by the Journal of the American Medical Association. But Dartmouth University then financed Wennberg’s work and started the Atlas Project, which examined patterns of medical use and resource intensity in the U.S.
According to Cohen, Wennberg’s conclusions have been proven correct, and Slow Medicine “digs deeper into the style issue to figure out what we can do better.” By involving patients, fully looking at options and not quickly reaching for a specific diagnosis and treatment, he said, Slow Medicine can improve care.
Economic pressures from pharmaceutical companies and medical device makers can promote overuse of some treatments, while cost pressures can curb others than might be beneficial. Slow Medicine tries to put the focus back on what’s best for the patient, which can end up saving money, but for the right reasons. It also keeps physicians from doing things mainly to make themselves feel better, and can prevent extending a treatment that works for some types of patients to others for whom it really wouldn’t be beneficial.
Cohen said Slow Medicine also can take more effort, to fully explain possible risks and rewards of different treatment choices, so that patients have more information and can know that there’s a good case to be made for more than one treatment option. In the end, more thoughtful, appropriate and caring practice can result.
Slow Medicine also is “about letting go of a specific, certain diagnosis” in favor of a more general assessment and then watchful waiting for signs of a particular ailment or for a clearer indication that treatment is needed. The slower approach often provides time for healing without intervention, he said, or provides the data needed to take the best treatment approach possible.
Cohen was the 31st speaker in the William B. Goodson Jr., M.D., Memorial Lectureship, which was established in 1987 by a group of families, patients, colleagues and friends to honor Goodson’s many contributions to medicine.
The challenge of finding the right dosage of medicines for young patients is complex and requires fresh thinking, J. Steven Leeder, Pharm.D., Ph.D., told the audience for the latest installment of the Health Sciences Deans’ Seminar Series.
Leeder, a professor of pediatrics and pharmacology at the UMKC School of Medicine, spoke Oct. 25 in the Health Sciences Building on Hospital Hill on “Exploring Inter-Individual Variability in Drug Response: Moving Beyond the Dose-Exposure Relationship.”
Leeder, who leads the pediatric clinical pharmacology group at Children’s Mercy Hospital, noted that many drugs are initially developed for adults and tested on them, making dosage calculations for children more difficult. On top of that, he said, the typical differences in how people respond to a drug can be magnified in children, given great differences in patient weight and in how rapidly different biological mechanisms in children can change during growth and development.
The maturation of the brain, Leeder said, implies that receptors and transporters affecting drugs’ effectiveness may be changing in children and adolescents, but there’s relatively little research knowledge of these changes.
Given those challenges, he said, it makes sense to invert the usual sequence of “dose-exposure-response”: administering a standard dosage of a drug and then seeing how much of that dosage is present in a patient’s body and how much the patient’s condition responded to the drug. Instead, he favors looking at “response-exposure-dose”: identifying the desired response or therapeutic outcome, and determining the amount of drug that needs to be in the body – the “exposure” — to achieve the desired response. Given that knowledge, he said, then a dosage can be tailored to the patient.
Leader, who practices at Children’s Mercy Hospital, noted that many drugs are initially developed for adults and tested on them, making dosage calculations for children more difficult. On top of that, he said, the typical differences in how people respond to a drug can be magnified in children, given great differences in patient weight and in how rapidly different biological mechanisms in children can change.
The maturation of the brain, Leeder said, means receptors and transporters that affect drugs’ effectiveness must be changing in children and adolescents, but there’s relatively little research knowledge of these changes.
Given those challenges, he said, it makes sense to invert the usual sequence of administering a standard dosage of a drug and then seeing how much of that dosage was used by a patient, and how much the patient’s condition responded to the drug. Instead, he favors looking at the response or outcome that’s desired, and then trying to gauge how well an individual patient’s system will use a drug. Given that knowledge, he said, then a dosage can be tailored to the patient.
Such an approach, he said, might best use the “more information on everyone” being provided by the increase in genomics, bioinformatics and population-wide data from electronic health records.
Leeder holds the Marion Merrell Dow Endowed Chair in Pediatric Clinical Pharmacology and is division director for clinical pharmacology and therapeutic innovations. He earned his pharmacy degree at the University of Minnesota and his doctorate at the University of Toronto. He completed a fellowship in clinical pharmacology at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.
The School of Medicine is accepting nominations for three upcoming faculty, staff and student awards in the areas of diversity and health equity, mentoring and medical education research.
The Excellence in Diversity and Health Equity in Medicine Awards recognizes an individual or organization that has demonstrated sustained and impactful contribution to diversity, inclusion and cultural competency or health equity. The award is given to a student or student organization, and to faculty, staff, resident and/or organization/department.
Nominees should be those who have made consistent contributions to diversity, inclusion, cultural competency or health equity through one or more of the following:
Recruiting and/or retaining a diverse student or faculty body;
Facilitating an inclusive environment for success of all;
Working to promote health equity and the elimination of health disparities;
Strengthening efforts to develop or implement cultural competency strategies that improve health-care delivery.
Nomination materials should be sent to the attention of Cynthia Ginn in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at email@example.com.
Two Betty M. Drees, M.D., Excellence in Mentoring Awards are presented each year. The Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award is for a faculty member with the rank of professor. The Excellence in Mentoring Award goes to a faculty member who is either an associate or assistant professor.
The awards recognize the significant contributions mentors make to enhance and develop the careers of our faculty and trainees. Characteristics of successful mentoring include generosity, listening, objectivity, and constructive feedback regarding career and professional/personal development.
The UMKC School of Medicine is the 5K sponsor of the 2017 Hospital Hill Run – one of the most storied races in Missouri history. Originally created by SOM Founder Grey E. Dimond, the race attracts thousands to participate or volunteer in the family friendly UMKC School of Medicine 5K, as well as the 5K rerun, 10K or half marathon.
As the named sponsor of the UMKC School of Medicine 5K on Friday, June 2, at 7 p.m. – where strollers are welcome and families of all sizes are encouraged to take part – all UMKC staff, faculty, students and alumni may register at a discounted rate.
Participating UMKC staff and faculty also may earn points toward their wellness incentive programs by racing or volunteering. When registering for the Friday night or Saturday morning race events, use the code DISCUMKC for 20 percent savings.
In addition to improving your health and wellness, your participation in the Hospital Hill Run supports many local charities.
There are many ways to get involved in this year’s Hospital Hill Run. Volunteers are needed for all events: to help unwrap medals; pack post-race food packets; sort, stack, and pass out t-shirts; distribute bibs; set up and staff aid stations; cheer and steer participants on course; award medals; give wet towels, food, and hydration at the finish line; and race clean up.
The School of Medicine’s Missouri Delta Chapter of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society welcomed its 2017 class of inductees during an annual celebration at Diastole.
Induction to the society is an honor that recognizes one’s excellence in academic scholarship and adherence to the highest ideals of professionalism in medicine. New AOA members are selected based on their character and values such as honesty, honorable conduct, morality, virtue, unselfishness, ethical ideals, dedication to serving others and leadership.
This year’s inductees included 12 new junior and senior students, residents and fellows, alumni and faculty.
Student inductees include: Junior AOA members Danielle Cunningham, Sanju Eswaran, Carlee Oakley and Vishal Thumar; and senior members Mohammed Alam, Jeffrey Klott and Reid Waldman. Resident and fellow inductees were Mouhanna Abu Ghanimeh, M.D., Katrina Lee Weaver, M.D., and Stephane L. Desouches, D.O.
Sajid Khan, M.D., ’05, was the alumni inductee and Dev Maulik, M.D., chairman of obstetrics and gynecology and senior associate dean for women’s health, was this year’s faculty inductee.
Twelve senior inductees were also selected last fall, including: Himachandana Atluri, Kayla Briggs, Molly Carnahan, Kevin Gibas, Neil Kapil, Susamita Kesh, Deborah Levy, Sean Mark, Luke Nayak, Amina Qayum, Dayne Voelker and Zara Wadood.
Richard Isaacson, M.D., ’01, delivered the annual AOA Lecture on May 5. Isaacson serves as director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic and Weill Cornell Memory Disorders Program at Weill Cornell Medical College/New York-Presbyterian Hospital. He spoke on advances in the management of Alzheimer’s treatment and prevention.
The UMKC School of Medicine Community and Family Residency Program has announced that Chadwick Byle, M.D., and Kevin Munger, D.O., M.S., will take on leadership roles as the program’s chief residents for 2017-18.
Byle received his medical degree from the University of Missorui-Columbia. Munger is a graduate of the Des Moines University College of of Osteopathic Medicine.
As chief residents, Byle and Munger will serve as liaisons between program residents and faculty, representing the interests and serving as spokesmen for residents. They also serve as a role model, providing oversight and educational leadership.