A class of 109 first-year students marched into the UMKC Student Union for the UMKC School of Medicine’s annual InDOCtrination ceremony on Friday, Aug. 16, taking the first step in a six-year journey toward earning their medical degrees.
Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., interim dean of the School of Medicine and a 1978 graduate, shared her experience as new medical student.
“I was excited to start this new journey and just slightly overwhelmed to think this was my first step toward becoming a physician,” she said.
She told the class that the next six years would be some of the most challenging, but also most memorable and most life-changing of their lives.
“Each and every day, you will make a difference in people’s lives,” Jackson said. “Embrace that.”
This year’s incoming class is comprised of 76 women and 33 men from 15 states spread from California to Massachusetts.
Corrine Workman, a second-year student, received the school’s Richard T. Garcia Memorial Award. It is given annually to a second-year student for outstanding leadership skills, compassion toward fellow students, and outstanding academic performance throughout Year 1.
“I remember meeting people that I now consider my closest friends,” Workman said. “I also learned about taking caring of myself and people around me.”
She encouraged members of the new Year 1 class to be patient with themselves when they face challenges and to be a help to others.
Each of the students was then introduced to family and friends with their Year 1 docent units and then listed to a reading of the Oath of Physicians. It is the same oath the class will recite in six year upon graduation.
For the physicians who wear it, the white coat is a recognized symbol that carries respect. It also signifies a growing set of responsibilities for 117 students at the UMKC School of Medicine.
The class of third-year students and two oral surgery students, was reminded of that as their Years 3-6 docents presented each with his or her white coat during the school’s annual White Coat Ceremony on Aug. 10 at the White Recital Hall on the UMKC Volker Campus.
Jill Moormeier, M.D., chair of internal medicine, presided over the ceremony that included a message to students from Interim Dean Mary Anne Jackson, M.D.
The ceremony marks a transition in their training from an emphasis on classwork to more intensive clinical training. It also serves as an introduction to the students’ new docent units on the UMKC Health Sciences District campus on Hospital Hill and at Saint Luke’s Hospital for their next four years of medical school.
Gabriel Calderon, recipient of the 2018 Garcia Award for outstanding leadership and academic performance, represented the class in reading the Class of 2023 Philosophy of Medicine that is a compilation of their thoughts about the profession of medicine.
The class also recognized Stefanie Ellison, M.D., professor of emergency medicine, as the 2019 Outstanding Year 1 and 2 Docent. Third-year student Daniel Oh, a new member of the Gold 6 docent unit, introduced Ellison as this year’s award recipient.
Ellison served as a docent for first and second-year students in the ambulatory care program from 2002 through 2015 and returned to that role in 2017. She also serves as associate dean for learning initiatives and as co-chair of the UMKC health sciences schools’ interprofessional education program.
Sponsored by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, the White Coat Ceremony emphasizes the importance of compassionate care for patients and proficiency in both the art and the science of medicine. It has been a tradition at the UMKC School of Medicine since 2003.
Two years ago, Karlin Byrd was a Kansas City high school student exploring her options in the health care professions through the UMKC School of Medicine’s Summer Scholars program. Now, getting ready for her second year of college, Byrd is back for more as part of the inaugural class of the school’s new Summer Scholars program for college students.
“My first time in the program, I thought I wanted to be a pediatrician,” said Byrd, who attended Lincoln Prep High School. “I did the clinical rotations in Summer Scholars and realized that wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”
After spending her freshman year at Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia, where she is now studying to become a pharmacist, Byrd has recently joined other college students from Kansas City in the new STAHR Summer Scholars program.
Much like the high school version of Summer Scholars, it provides experiences in clinical settings, supplemental instruction in the sciences, research opportunities, and reinforced skill development to support student academic progression and retention. This six-week program goes even further. It provides college students insights into the professions of pharmacy and dentistry as well as medicine and more.
“Our objective is to increase the diversity of applicants to each of the schools and of those who are going into each of the health care professions,” said Allan Davis, program coordinator. “We want to open up the options to undergrads so they can explore the programs, find what fits for them and what they’re interested in. We’re providing an experience to prepare students to come into these professional programs.”
Last October, the School of Medicine, in collaboration with the UMKC schools of Pharmacy and Dentistry, received a $3.2-million STAHR Partnership grant to help students from economically and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds enter and succeed in health profession degree programs. Part of that grant is supporting the new college Summer Scholars program.
Ten Kansas City residents attending college at UMKC, Johnson County Community College, Kansas State, Rockhurst, Metropolitan Community College, Haskell Indian Nations University, Donnelly College and Hampton University are participating in the STAHR Summer Scholars. Another group of 12 college students from across the country who are nearing completion of their undergraduate degree with plans to enter dental school are participating in a School of Dentistry program that includes a one-and-a-half-week component of Summer Scholars and its own eight-week online program.
Students spent the first week in a series of personal development workshops focused on things from how to write a resume and prepare for professional program entry exams to learning basic research skills.
As the program continues, the students will get an overview of the medicine and pharmacy professions through shadowing experiences at Truman Medical Center and the medical, pharmacy and dental schools, and hands-on experiences and spend time learning medical terminology.
They are also exposed to the School of Medicine’s graduate programs for physician assistants and anesthesiologist assistants.
“These students get an intense look at a day in the life of a health care provider as well as some clinical experiences,” Davis said.
For Byrd, it’s been an eye-opening experience.
“Hampton has a six-year pharmacy program and I discovered I could still see patients but it would be a different experience than being a physician,” she said. “I came back to ask more questions about the health care professions. Now, I’m learning about all the opportunities. I still want to continue in pharmacy, but going through this program is really opening my eyes to all the other professions like physician assistant and the anesthesiologist assistants.”
More than 130 UMKC School of Medicine celebrated receiving their doctor of medicine and graduate degrees at the 2019 commencement ceremony on May 20 at Kansas City’ Kauffman Center for the Preforming Arts.
This year’s class included 95 doctor of medicine graduates and 41 students who earned their master’s degrees in the anesthesia assistant, bioinformatics, health professions education and physician assistant programs.
Reminded that they have become part of a rich legacy and long-standing tradition of outstanding alumni of the School of Medicine, the graduates heard from two of those alumni.
Interim Dean Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., a 1978 graduate, told the graduates to view what they do in patient care as both an honor and a privilege.
“Be passionate and persistent,” she said. “And work for the greater good of your patients.”
Arif Kamal, M.D., ’05, MBA, MHS, winner of the 2019 E. Grey Dimond, M.D., Take Wing Award, encouraged the graduates that more than care providers they will also be clinicians, healers and compassionate.
The quality and outcomes officer for the Duke Cancer Institute in Durham, North Carolina, Kamal gave the graduates one final charge.
“Stop asking people what’s the matter with them,” Kamal said. “And start asking what matters to them.”
2019 Senior Awards
Master of Science in Anesthesia Kayla Hickey – Student Ambassador Award Hector Sierra Escobedo – Student Ambassador Award
Master of Science Bioinformatics Frances Grimstad, M.D. – Dean of Students Honor Recipient Award
Doctor of Medicine Naman Agrawal – Friends of UMKC School of Medicine Basic Science Award Joseph Bennett – UMKC School of Medicine Alumni Award Association Outstanding Senior Partner Deven Bhatia – Richardson K. Noback Founders’ Award for Clinical Excellence; Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Award Lauren Bulgarelli – Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation Taylor Carter – Dean of Students Honor Recipient Award Ahmed Elbermawy – Merck Manual for Outstanding Achievement in Medical Education Ella Glaser – Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation; Malhotra Family Scholarship for Academic and Clinical Excellence Jonah Graves – Missouri State Medical Association Honors Graduate Luke He – Missouri State Medical Association Honors Graduate; Richardson K. Noback Founders’ Award for Clinical Excellence Cindy Jiang – Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation Christian Lamb – Merck Manual for Outstanding Achievement in Medical Education Megan Lilley – James F. Stanford, M.D. Patient Advocate Scholarship John Logan – Malhotra Family Scholarship for Academic and Clinical Excellence Haley Mayenkar – Missouri State Medical Association Honors Graduate Niraj Madhani – Bette Hamilton, M.D. Memorial Award for Excellence in Immunology; Thomas R. Hamilton, M.D. Award for Excellence in Pathology Raksha Madhavan – Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation Rebecca Maltsev – J. Michael de Ungria, M.D. Humanitarian Award Imran Nizamuddin – Lee Langley Award; Thomas R. Hamilton, M.D. Award for Excellence in Microbiology; ACP Senior Student Book Award; Dean of Students Honor Recipient Award Carlee Oakley – Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation; UMKC School of Medicine Alumni Association Award for Excellence in Medical Education; Friends of UMKC School of Medicine Award for Research Sarah Pourakbar – Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation Grace Rector – Friends of UMKC Harry S. Jonas, M.D. Award; Laura L. Backus, M.D. Award for Excellence in Pediatrics Mitchell Solano – Pat. D. Do, M.D., Matching Scholarship in Orthopaedics
Physicians carry the responsibility of serving as a patient advocate as well as a care giver, Sam Page, M.D., FASA, told students and faculty at the UMKC School of Medicine during the 2019 Vijay Babu Rayudu Quality Patient Safety Day.
“Being an advocate is part of your duty, it’s an obligation of being a doctor,” said Page, a 1992 med school graduate and former state legislator. “You have to advocate for the patient in front of you. And you’re obligated to advocate for patients at the population level.”
The former Missouri state representative was elected to the St. Louis County Council in 2014. An anesthesiologist at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis, he currently serves as St. Louis County Executive.
Page was the keynote speaker for the sixth-annual event. He spoke on professionalism through advocacy for patient safety, encouraging students to become involved in by engaging their elected officials and working with their state and national medical organizations.
“Everyone here who graduates from medical school, you have an obligation to engage your elected officials and communicate with them,” Page said. “If you are really interested in changing the world around you, there are things you can do.”
The day included student and resident/fellow poster presentations and oral presentations on research conducted in quality and patient safety. A series of morning faculty development workshops and discussions looked at topics surrounding transitions of patient care.
“We have seen some projects that have made an impact in the quality of care,” said Betty M. Drees, M.D., dean emerita, one of the Patient Safety Day organizers. “We feel we’re not only preparing physicians for the future, but these projects are making a direct impact during the time the students, residents and fellows are doing them.”
A record number of 47 abstracts were submitted. The top two student and top two resident/fellow abstracts were selected for oral presentations. The remaining submissions were included in poster presentations from which two students and two residents/fellows were selected as winners.
Taylor Carter, a sixth-year medical student, and Colin Phillips, a physician assistant student, were chosen to give oral presentations. Carter presented on “Cultivating culturally aware medical students: An analysis of the effectiveness of a two hour interactive course.” Phillips presented “Failing our youth: Under-documentation of electronic nicotine use in adolescents.”
In the resident/fellow category, Laith Derbas, M.D., was chosen to present “Improving Resident Confidence in ACLS,” and Thomas Odeny, M.D., presented “Improving documentation of meaningful smoking history at Truman Medical Center: a quality improvement project.”
Fourth-year medical student Sahaja Atluri and fifth-year student Chizitam Ibezim were chosen as the student poster presentation winners. Atluri presented the research poster on “Does Intensivist Management of Brain Dead Organ Donors result in Increased Organ Yield?” Ibezim presented a poster focused on “Fracture Liaison Service (FLS) in Safety-Net Hospital.”
Resident/fellow winners of the poster presentations were Robin Imperial, M.D., and Kathryn VanderVelde, M.D. Imperial presented a poster on “Improving interdisciplinary communication on general medicine wards through the use of a two-way HIPAA-compliant text messaging app.” VanderVelde presented “Optimization of Surgical Prophylaxis in Penicillin-Allergic Labeled Patients.”
The School of Medicine chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha welcomed 22 new inductees into the medical honor society during a banquet on May 2 at Diastole.
This year’s list of new members includes 17 students, four junior members and 13 senior members, three residents, one alumna and one faculty member from the med school.
Two senior student members, Sara Pourakbar and Vidhan Srivastava, were elected this spring to join the class. Senior members elected to this year’s AOA class last fall include: Ahmed Elbermawy, Julia Esswein, Ella Glaser, Usman Hasnie, Cindy Jiang, Niraj Madhani, Raksha Madhavan, Grant Randall, Grace Rector, Kale Turner and Vivek Vallurupalli.
Junior student members who were elected this Spring are Karen Figenshau, Komal Kumar, Daniel O’Toole and Anthony Oyekan.
Also elected to the AOA this spring were School of Medicine alumna Emily Volk, M.D., a 1993 graduate; faculty member Julie Banderas, Pharm.D., chair of graduate studies; and residents/fellows Omar Abughanimeh, M.D., internal medicine, Mohamed Omer, M.D., cardiovascular medicine, and Katelyn Smelser, M.D., internal medicine.
Selection to AOA membership is considered an honor recognizing one’s dedication to the profession and art of healing. It is based on character and values such as honesty, honorable conduct, morality, virtue, unselfishness, ethical ideals, dedication to serving others and leadership. Membership also recognizes excellence in academic scholarship.
This year’s AOA student officers are Jonah Graves, Imran Nizamuddin, Taylor Carter and Miracle Amayo. Fohn Foxworth, Pharm.D., professor of medicine and associate dean, and David Wooldridge, M.D. ’94, internal medicine residency program director, serve as faculty officers.
Michael Bamshad, M.D., a 1989 graduate of the School of Medicine, was the keynote speaker at this year’s AOA lecture on May 3. Division chief and a professor of genetic medicine at the University of Washington, Bamshad spoke on the genetic basis of Mendelian conditions.
Kizhan Muhammad knows an opportunity when she sees one. The fifth-year medical student used a particularly rare case that appeared during her critical care rotation in the hospital’s intensive care unit to produce a research poster for the annual UMKC Health Sciences Student Research Summit.
Muhammad was one of 59 students from the School of Medicine who presented a record 66 posters at the research summit on April 17 at the UMKC Student Union. Both medical students and students from the school’s graduate programs — bioinformatics, anesthesiologist assistant, physician assistant and health professions education — participated in the summit.
“I always have my eyes and ears open for an opportunity to do research,” Muhammad said. “We happened to have a case with a rare syndrome. My mentor had me read about previous cases. My role was to do a literature review, extrapolate the data and then write a manuscript on our own patient.”
The patient, a 73-year-old man, had come to the hospital with a rapid heartbeat. When mild electrical shock, or cardioversion, was applied to bring the heartbeat to a normal rhythm, the man experienced Takotsubo cardiomyopathy. Also known as broken-heart syndrome, the condition is a ballooning of the left ventricle that produces chest pain and shortness of breath. It’s typically a stress-related condition seen in older women.
“It’s a very benign disease that can be very scary,” Muhammad said. “It’s pretty rare, not something you’d typically see when you’re rounding.”
Muhammad produced a case report that compared her patient’s case with other recorded cases of the disease. The report was published in the Society of Critical Care Medicine journal and presented at the organization’s national convention.
She said her experience provided a good learning experience in the basics of conducting medical research as well as how to create and publish a manuscript and present the findings in a public forum such as the research summit.
“Research is a vital part of medicine,” Muhammad said. “It’s what gives us the potential to do better for our patients. I’m looking forward to doing more in our research program.”
The research summit also included students from the health sciences schools of dentistry, pharmacy, nursing and health sciences, as well UMKC’s School of Biological Sciences. This year’s summit drew a record 100 research posters.
A team of medical school faculty served as judges for the medical student posters and will select the top three poster presentations among medical students for awards and the top graduate student presentation.
The UMKC Health Sciences District is once again pleased to serve as an event sponsor for one of the oldest and most-storied races in Missouri: the 46th Annual Hospital Hill Run, which returns to Kansas City on Saturday, June 1.
This year’s race event will take place on one day, with the starting and finishing lines for all three race distances – 5K, 10K, and half marathon – set up at Kansas City’s Crown Center.
Through the sponsorship, all UMKC running enthusiasts, faculty, staff, students and alumni may receive a 20 percent discount on registration for any race distance. Just use the code: UMKCDISC19. Register here.
Over the years, more than 170,000 athletes of all levels from across the world have participated in this event. Originated by UMKC School of Medicine founder Dr. E. Grey Dimond, M.D., the Hospital Hill Run served as host to the first USATF National Championship half marathon in 2002. In 2013, the race was recognized by Runner’s World Magazine as the 11th best half marathon in the United States.
UMKC faculty, staff, students and alumni who aren’t participating in the races may serve in one of many volunteer roles. Volunteers are the backbone of the Hospital Hill Run. Individuals and groups are needed to help unwrap medals; pack post-race food packets; sort, stack, and pass out t-shirts; distribute race bibs; set up and staff aid stations; cheer and steer participants on course; award medals; hand out wet towels, food, and hydration at the finish line; and help with event clean up. Volunteers may register here.
The brisk morning wind couldn’t cool the excitement and enthusiasm of Match Day 2019 at the UMKC School of Medicine. Residencies were announced for 93 students who are headed toward graduation in May. Family and friends cheered them on as they learned where they will write the next chapter in their medical careers.
Just more than half of the class will be headed to a primary care residency. Interim dean Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., said this year’s class exceeded the national average of students matching to primary care positions. Many, she added, are headed to notable programs throughout the country.
The students won assignments in 28 states and the District of Columbia, from Vermont to Hawaii and California to Florida. Some are headed to the top names in medicine, including Mayo, Stanford, Emory, Baylor, Yale and UCLA. A baker’s dozen will stay at UMKC and its affiliate hospitals; 22 will be elsewhere in Missouri and Kansas.
Internal medicine was the top category with two-dozen placements, followed by 14 in pediatrics or medicine-pediatrics, eight in psychiatry, seven each in family medicine and anesthesiology, and six each in emergency medicine and general surgery.
Just minutes before 11 a.m., Ryan Lee stood at the back of Theater A surrounded by friends. He was trying to remain calm as everyone waited for the appointed time when students could receive their Match envelopes and discover their residency destinations.
“Right now, I’m just feeling relieved because I know I have a job somewhere,” Lee said.
Moments later, he learned that he would remain in Kansas City for a preliminary medicine year at the School of Medicine before heading to St. Louis and Barnes-Jewish Hospital for a three-year anesthesiology residency.
Meanwhile, Amaka Ofodu was still gasping for breath and accepting a long line of hugs after receiving her first choice of residencies — medicine-pediatrics at Greenville Health System, University of South Carolina, Greenville.
“I can’t believe it. I’m still freaking out,” Ofodu said. “It’s a blessing. My family is here and my friends are all here. There’s just so much love and some much appreciation.”
Chris Favier held a letter in his hands as his father recorded the moment with a cell phone. His brother, Ben, a 2012 graduate of the UMKC School of Medicine, stood nearby watching with friends and family.
“And the survey says,” Favier said as he opened the letter. “Oh my gosh, Mizzou!”
A St. Louis native, Favier will be heading closer to home for his first residency choice of emergency medicine at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
“At first you’re really nervous and anxious but as time progresses, you look around at your family and friends and the excitement keeps building,” he said. “This was one of the residencies I was expecting so I’m very happy to go. And, I’ve got a job for next year, so I’m pumped.”
Four teams of students from the UMKC health sciences schools took part in the third-annual UMKC Interprofessional Education (IPE) Healthcare Reasoning competition on March 2 on the health sciences campus.
The team of pharmacy student Anthony Spallito, nursing student Becca Stockhausen, and medical students Louis Sand and Dylan Schwind took home the first-place award. The second-place team was made up of pharmacy students Ashley Ragan and Andrew Yates and medical students Diana Jung and Sahaja Atluri.
This year’s event had teams manage a patient case in which they had to decide what tests to order, then use the test results to answer clinical questions. The teams were judged on interprofessional teamwork, communication, case progression/problem-solving, diagnosis and treatment.
“It was a close competition and every team did very well,” said Stefanie Ellison, M.D., School of Medicine IPE coordinator. “I was impressed with their ability to manage the patient case interprofessionally.”
Deans from the UMKC health sciences schools, Russ Melchert, School of Pharmacy, and Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., School of Medicine, served as judges in the final round. Faculty members from the health sciences schools also served as judges throughout the competition.
The event is planned each year by a group of UMKC pharmacy and medical students. School of Pharmacy students Michael Scott and Joseph Bredeck, and School of Medicine students Jordann Dhuse and Paige Charboneau planned this year’s event and the patient cases.
Organizers work to modify the competition each year to improve the overall experience for students. The group modified this year’s cases and developed Google Classroom as an electronic medical record for students to receive test results and images.
At least two different schools were represented on each team in the two-round, case-based competition. Eight medical students, seven pharmacy students, one nursing and one dental student took part in the competition.
One team from Washington University in St. Louis withdrew at the last minute because of weather concerns. Ellison said event organizers hope to expand the competition into a local and even a regional event in the future with local teams from outside of UMKC as well as beyond Kansas City.