EACH MONTH, I MEET with a group of students for afternoon tea and cookies. After the students each talk a little bit about themselves, I spend a few minutes telling them about some of the remarkable individuals who have graduated from this medical school over the last 46 years. Sometimes I talk about alumni with whom I have spoken in the preceding week or two; sometimes I talk about those who have a recent noteworthy accomplishment; and sometimes I talk about those who work in an area that overlaps with a student’s interests. I like to share stories of our school’s alumni and their notable achievements because I think it gives current students a sense of the history of their school, enriches their thinking as they are developing their own professional identities, and helps them connect to the school in a meaningful way.
That’s one reason why spring is such a special time at the School of Medicine. Each May, family, friends, faculty, staff and students gather to enjoy commencement ceremonies as we add new alumni (more than 140 this year) to the growing UMKC School of Medicine family.
This issue of UMKC Medicine presents the wonderful stories of several alumni. It features four graduates—William Cooper, Toi Blakley Harris, Mike Munger and Carl Noback—who are exemplary leaders in medicine. We also highlight alumni and residents—Aron Burke, Dimitri Golfinopoulos, Noushin Ansari and Jessica Richter— who are playing significant roles in the contemporary use of house calls to serve patients. And we showcase our newest alumni—from the class of 2017—representing five of our school’s academic programs: the six-year B.A./M.D. program, physician assistant program, anesthesia assistant program, master’s degree program in bioinformatics and master’s degree program in health professions education.
Please join me in congratulating the class of 2017 as we welcome them to the health care profession. And please stay connected and keep sending stories of your successes, so that we
can continue to share them with current students.
Steven L. Kanter, M.D.
Dean, UMKC School of Medicine