Fifth-year medical student Vaishnavi Vaidyanathan spent nearly two months exploring the histories of stroke patients and the effects of the clot-busting drug tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). The result was a research poster she recently presented at the 2017 American Academy of Neurology conference in Boston.
Her presentation showed that patients treated with tPA within the first 24 hours of a suffering a stroke have significantly fewer early onset seizures.
Vaidyanathan began her study last September while completing a neurology rotation at Saint Luke’s Hospital. Under the guidance of Saint Luke’s neurologist Harold Morris, M.D., and Angela Hawkins, M.S.N., R.N., stroke program manager, Vaidyanathan reviewed the histories of nearly 1,300 stroke patients.
“They allowed me to write it up and go through process with their guidance,” Vaidyanathan said. “I learned so much from that, literature searching, how to write up an abstract, doing bio-statistics. It was a great learning opportunity.”
The annual neurology conference in Boston drew an international audience of nearly 14,000 physicians and scientists.
“This conference was a great experience,” Vaidyanathan said. “I got to meet people who are celebrities in the neurology field. They’re very well-known. I had the opportunity to listen to talks about the latest research that’s going on in neurology and hear all the great innovations that are happening. It was an awesome experience.”
Vaidyanathan said she already has ideas for future studies that look at the effects of tPA and other intra-arterial interventions on the incidence of post-stroke seizures.
“I hope to do further investigation of these patients and get more results that I can write up and present,” she said.
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.
Two UMKC School of Medicine students have been selected to serve in national and regional leadership positions with the Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association.
Fourth-year student Tim Chow was recently appointed to the organization’s executive board as the chief financial officer. Elizabeth Theng, a second-year student, was selected to serve as one of four regional directors for APAMSA’s Region VI, which covers 11 states.
This is Chow’s second term on the national board. Last year, he served as the national director of membership. Before that he served as the Region VI director and as treasurer of the UMKC chapter of APMSA. He has been part of the organization throughout his time at UMKC.
Theng became involved with APAMA during her first year at the School, largely as a volunteer at various local health fairs and as a representative for first-year students. She currently also serves as treasurer of the School of Medicine chapter of APAMSA.
The latest appointments came during the organization’s 2016 national conference at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. They are each is for one year.
APAMSA is an organization of medical and pre-medical students that provides a forum for student leaders to develop programs and initiatives to address health issues unique to the Asian and Pacific Islander American communities.
Colleagues cheered on Joanne “Jo” Marasigan, a second-year orthopedic resident at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, in a crutches/walker/wheelchair relay race. “Go Flo-Jo!”
Marasigan and 20 of her physician-in-training colleagues also competed in casting and suturing competitions, using medical guidelines, in an OrthOlympics, all part of a pilot program conceptualized by the UMKC School of Medicine to create a National Resident/Fellow Appreciation Day Feb. 25.
“It’s a great idea because every health profession gets a day of recognition,” Marasigan said between jovial competitions. “We get lumped in with other doctors but really, we’re a subset of doctors who work much longer hours. There’s a lot at stake here: a day off as the gold medal.”
There are more than 120,000 residents and fellows — physicians in training — in the United States. Called housestaff, residents and fellows work long hours, typically up to 80 per week, at a much lower salary than healthcare professionals who have completed training. Marasigan’s colleague, James Barnes, M.D., developed the idea for a national recognition day after seeing other healthcare professions honored.
“UMKC has over 400 physicians in training who contribute nearly 1.5 million hours a year to serve patients and gain practical experience and expertise,” said Barnes, the UMKC Housestaff Council President and event organizer. “To our knowledge, there is no national day designated to recognize this unique set of healthcare workers.”
As institutional sponsor of the residency and fellowship programs, the UMKC School of Medicine and clinical training partners including Truman Medical Centers, Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City, Children’s Mercy, Center for Behavioral Medicine and Kansas City VA Medical Center are participating with catered meals, snacks, banners, gifts and special events to recognize the residents and fellows.
Various departments are celebrating in unique ways, such as hula dancing and yoga sessions for the Department of Emergency Medicine. Several departments are having catered on-site pancakes, and Barnes’ department, Orthopedic Surgery, held the “OrthOlympics.”
Barnes is also conducting a research project in collaboration with faculty mentor and Orthopedic Program Director, James Bogener, M.D., on the effects of the recognition and appreciation on residents/fellows. Barnes and Bogener are conducting a survey to gauge residents’ and fellows’ thoughts on the day and how it affects their perception of the workplace and their satisfaction.
This event has been made possible through the facilitation of the UMKC School of Medicine Housestaff Council and the Council on Graduate Medical Education. The UMKC councils’ goal is to present the event to national organizations including the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), American Medical Association (AMA) and American Osteopathic Association (AOA) to make Resident and Fellow Appreciation Day a day of recognition nationally for all residents and fellows.
“We are proud, but not surprised, that our residents and fellows at the UMKC School of Medicine conceptualized this important event,” said Steven L. Kanter, M.D., dean of the UMKC School of Medicine. “We look forward to celebrating their critical contributions as integral members of the patient-care team.”
The PLP is a partnership between the School of Medicine and the Henry W. Bloch School of Management. The certificate program equips those in leadership positions or who will be promoted in the next 12 to 18 months with the management skills necessary for 21st Century health care delivery. Participants attend classes over the course of six weekends spread throughout seven months.
The UMKC-Cerner Certificate for Healthcare Leadership program is a collaboration between the Bloch School of Management’s Executive Education Center and Cerner Corporation, one of the world’s leading health care technology providers. The first program of its kind at the Bloch School is a nine-month curriculum designed to enhance health care leadership abilities for selected executive participants from Cerner.
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