As they prepare to begin the next stage of training, 20 physician assistant students at the UMKC School of Medicine participated in the program’s fourth White Coat Ceremony on April 14. It took place at the UMKC Student Union.
Students receive their white coats as they begin their fifth semester of the seven-semester program. The ceremony signifies their transition from the classroom to the clinical phase of training.
Beverly Graves, M.D., clinical assistant professor, who served as the program’s first medical director, and Kathie Ervie, M.P.A.S., P.A.-C., program director, led the presentation of the white coats.
The day before the White Coat ceremony, students from all three years of PA program heard remarks from Gail Curtis, president of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. Curtis visited the School of Medicine while in Kansas City to take part in a Kansas Academy of Physician Assistants meeting.
She told the UMKC students that this is a good time to be joining the physician assistant profession.
“We have so many great opportunities right now for our profession,” Curtis said. “You’re very lucky to be getting into the profession at the time you going into it.”
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the physician assistant profession. It is ranked third on the U.S. News and World Report’s list of 2018 Best Jobs.
“One thing that I think is good about where we are right now is that we’ve accomplished a lot in those first 50 years,” Curtis said. “We’ve gone from one program in North Carolina to having almost 235 PA programs, and more are coming every day.”
She also applauded the UMKC program that welcomed its inaugural class in January of 2014.
“You’re still a baby program,” Curtis said. “But I hear you have a 100-percent pass rate on your board exams. So, you’re also a great program.”
The School of Medicine currently has about 60 students enrolled in the physician assistant program. Its first two graduating classes have produced 34 physician assistants.
A team students from the UMKC School of Medicine showed its mettle in winning an interprofessional education reasoning competition at Creighton University on March 24 in Omaha, Nebraska.
Fourth-year students Diana Jung and Saber Khan, and third-year students Yicheng Bao and Becky Kurian teamed with Creighton pharmacy students Amy Cimperman and Caressa Trueman to present the winning case in the 2018 Regional Interdisciplinary Clinical Reasoning Competition.
Teams were comprised of a mix of medical, pharmacy and nurse practitioner students.
Each team was presented a patient case, similar to a real-life encounter. They then had two and a half hours to evaluate the chief complaint and medication list, make a working diagnosis, and order needed lab tests and treatments. Teams that advanced to the final round then presented their case to a panel of judges to defend their reasoning and gain feedback.
The UMKC team ranked first among four competing schools in team work and collaboration, concise and professional presentation, and demonstration of appropriate clinical judgement and management.
“I attribute this largely to the early exposure that we get in patient interaction and the presentations we get during our curriculum through clinic, rotations and DoRo,” Jung said. “It was fun and a great learning opportunity.”
Jung said the experience drove home the need for teamwork among health care providers in giving patient care.
“Being able to rely on our pharmacy students for their expertise, played a huge role,” she said. “And having medical students in different years of study allowed us to approach the patient case in a broader point of view.”
Sixth-year medical student Rahul Maheshwari and fourth-year medical student Diana Jung have been selected to take part in national initiatives with the American College of Physicians.
Maheshwari has been chosen to participate in a four-week ACP Health Policy Internship. Jung has been selected to the ACP’s national Council of Student Members. The appointments were announced by the ACP Missouri Chapter following its inaugural Advocacy Day at the Missouri state capital in Jefferson City in March.
At the end of April, Maheshwari will travel to Washington, D.C., where he will work directly with ACP staff. The internship provides medical students learning opportunities in health policy and advocacy.
Interns also learn about the legislative process as they assist in the research and analysis of current health and medical issues and policies. Part of Maheshwari’s role will be that of advocate, attending Congressional hearing and coalition meetings and working with government affairs staff in lobbying efforts with members of Congress. He will also be part of leading the ACP’s Leadership Day to discuss medical issues of particular interest to medical students and residents/fellows.
Jung was selected to an at-large position with Council of Student Members. The group works closely with the ACP Board of Regents and Board of Governors to review programs, products and services. It also promotes internal medicine as a career, the value of ACP membership to medical students, and aligns council activities with the ACP’s strategic plan.
ACP is a national organization of more than 150,000 internists, internal medicine subspecialists, medical students, residents and fellows. It is the largest medical-specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States.
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.
More than 100 people showed up on a warm February afternoon to take part in a golf outing that raised more than $9,000 to support the UMKC School of Medicine’s Sojourner Health Clinic.
Sponsored by the school’s National Board of Alumni and Partners, the Swinging for Sojourner event on Feb. 25 drew a broad group of supporters and golf enthusiasts.
“Our School of Medicine Alumni Board did a fantastic job creating this event,” said Fred Schlichting, School of Medicine Director of Advancement. “It was great to see UMKC alumni, students, friends and family swinging the clubs and having fun. It was a picture perfect day for an incredible cause.”
Participants filled 19 playing bays at the Top Golf facility in Overland Park, Kansas, and the banquet room after the golf competitions. A number of individuals and community partners, as well as UMKC athletics, UMKC Foundation and UMKC Charter Schools, pitched in to host teams or serve as event sponsors.
Tracy Stevens, M.D., president of the School of Medicine alumni association, welcomed the participants during the banquet. Merriam Massey, program assistant for Sojourner Clinic, also addressed the crowd. Second-year student Mrudula Gandham, one of the more than 200 student volunteers who help to operate the clinic, also spoke about the impact of Sojourner Clinic on the community and the education of UMKC students.
Sojourner Clinic opened in 2004 in downtown Kansas City to provide free health care for the inner-city homeless population. Each year, volunteers provide more than 1,500 hours of service to treat some of the city’s most vulnerable patients.
Since its founding, the clinic has expanded to include volunteers and services of students from the School of Medicine’s physician assistants program, the UMKC dental school, the physical therapy program at Rockhurst College and others.
“One of the major assets of Sojourner is collaboration. Our School of Medicine students had the foresight to include other schools and community partners to create and sustain a first-class clinic,” Schlichting said. “We need to take this same approach to this event. It will be a point of emphasis to invite all of our partners in the UMKC Health Sciences District to get involved with Swinging for Sojourner next year.”
Schlichting and tournament organizers offered a special round of thanks to tournament and team sponsors.
Dr. Corey Iqbal ’03
Dr. Diana Dark ’80
Dr. Tracy Stevens ’90
Dr. Ahmed Awad ’89
Dr. Valerie Rader ’05
Team Sponsors Dr. Susan Storm ’85
Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick ’92
Dr. Steven Waldman ’77
Dr. Julie Brown-Longly ’00
UMKC Charter Schools Center
Truman Medical Center/University Health
Truman Medical Center Lakewood
Department of Community and Family Medicine
Students interested in emergency medicine took part in a day-long conference at the School of Medicine Clinical Training Facility, learning and practicing a variety of emergency procedures in the Youngblood Skills Lab.
The fifth-annual Emergency Medicine Interest Group Skills Conference drew 33 medical students who participated in work stations that included chest tubes insertions and Intraosseous infusion, lumbar punctures, suturing, emergency ultrasound, airway management, and emergency radiology.
Emily Hillman, M.D., assistant professor and emergency medicine clerkship directory, organized the conference with the help of interest group student officers Caroline Baghdikian, MS6, Joseph Bennett MS5, Deven Bhatia MS5, Jordann Dhuse, MS4, Brendan Kurtz, MS6, and Alie Reinbold, MS6.
A number of emergency medicine faculty members participated in leading the training sessions as well.
“The medical students truly value this experience,” Hillman said. “They put immense time and effort into planning this event. We will begin planning for next year soon.”
Six medical students from the School of Medicine are co-authors of research abstracts or posters that have been accepted for presentation at the 2018 Experimental Biology meeting this spring in San Diego.
Experimental Biology is an annual invitation-only meeting of five scientific societies made up of more than 14,000 scientists who focus on anatomy, biochemistry and molecular biology, investigative pathology, pharmacology, and physiology.
Elizabeth Onishchenko, fourth-year student, is the second author of an abstract selected for a poster and oral presentation. The abstract is Minimal Effect of Aliskiren on Mast Cells Count and Renal Vascular Damage in Acute Rat Model of Triolein Induced Pulmonary Fat Embolism. Authors are Farnaz Khalafi, Onishchenko, Mohammad Pour, Daud Arif, Paula Monaghan, Alan Poisner and Agustino Molteni.
Fourth-year students Thomas Haferkamp and Taylor Lind are co-authors of the poster, Mast Cell Heterogeneity in Rat Lungs in a Model of Fat Embolism After Treatment with Drugs Related to the Renin Angiotensin System. Authors are Ahsan Siddiqi, Saba Siddiqi, Dauod Arif, Haferkamp, Lind, Mohammad Pour, Paula Monaghan, Soheila Hamidpour and Agostino Molteni.
Michael Van Dillen and Ariana Fotouhi are fourth-year students who co-authored Pulmonary Cell Stained in a Rat Model of Fat Embolism for Renin and Prorenin are Increased After Aliskiren Treatment, Which Ameliorates the Fat-Induced Inflammatory Process. Poster authors include Ethar Al-Husseinawai, Jordan Dane Colson, Van Dillen, Fotouhi, Mohammad Asan, Lucille White, Mohammed Pour, Daud Arif, Paula Monaghan, Alan Poisner, Agostino Molteni.
Abigail Spaedy, fourth-year student, is a co-author of the poster, Mast Cell Numbers of Rat Lungs in an Acute Model of Fat Embolism are Reduced by Aliskiren and Losartan But Not By Captopril. Authors of the poster include Dauod Arif, DayneVoelker, Spaedy, Soheila Hamidpour, Alan Poisner, Mohammad Pour, Paula Monaghan, Farnaz Khalafi, Agostino Molteni.
Experimental Biology takes place in San Diego, California, on April 21-25.
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.”
Eight School of Medicine students, double the number from last year, will receive awards from the 2018 UMKC Women’s Council Graduate Assistance Fund.
Across UMKC, 67 women received support gifts totaling $78,212.
The School of Medicine winners, their field of study, and their projects:
— Kelly Anderson, anesthesiology, will attend the annual American Academy of Anesthesiologist Assistants conference in St. Petersburg, Florida, with help from the Charles W. Nielsen Award in honor of Georgia Pierson Nielsen.
— Priyesha Bijlani, medicine, will present at the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition, with help from the Presidents and Past Presidents General Assembly of Greater Kansas City Award II.
— Taylor Carter, medicine, received funding for her Step 2 Clinical Knowledge and Clinical Skills medical licensing exams through the Soroptimist International of Kansas City Award and the Clarence and Shirley Kelley Award.
— Frances Grimstad, bioinformatics, received support to compensate transgender patients participating in radiology imaging as a part of her master’s thesis project, through the Curtis J. Crespino Award and Dorothy A. Stubbs Charitable Trust Award.
— Anna Grodzinsky, cardiology, received support to attend the Cardiac Problems in Pregnancy Conference from the Mary Kay McPhee and Bill Pfeiffer Award.
— Jessica Kieu, obstetrics and gynecology, received support to present research at the 16th World Association for Infant Mental Health World Congress through the Women’s Council Annual Fund Donors Award and Planned Parenthood of Kansas City Award.
— Grace Rector, medicine, received support for an out-of-country elective to provide care to the African pediatric population, through the Zonta Club of Kansas City, Missouri, II Award and the Harriette Yeckel Friendship Across Borders Award.
— Nyaluma Wagala, medicine, received support for her Orthopedic Research and Abstract Presentation through the Marilyn McGuyre and Frances Nelson Office of Student Affairs Award.