School of Medicine honors 2023 Take Wing Award recipient, Richard Barohn, M.D.
Richard Barohn (M.D. `80) was a 17-year-old high school senior when he was accepted to the UMKC School of Medicine, still in its infancy at the time.
“I really do believe that being accepted into the UMKC School of Medicine is like winning the lottery,” Barohn said. “And I believe I won the lottery very early in life. Then it was up to me come through and take advantage of that opportunity.”
His time at the School of Medicine has served the 2023 E. Grey Dimond, M.D., Take Wing Award honoree well, leading to a 20-year military career serving in the U.S. Air Force and becoming a recognized leader and research scientist in neurology and neuromuscular research. Following a stop at the University of Texas Southwestern, where he dove deep into his research interest, he spent another 20 years at the University of Kansas Medical Center, leading the neurology department as well as a team that developed Frontiers, a clinical and translational science institute that includes UMKC as one of its partners.
Today, he serves as the executive vice chancellor for health affairs at the University of Missouri and dean of the University of Missouri School of Medicine, with oversight of the university’s entire health care and medical education system.
In his May 12 Take Wing address to students, faculty, friends and colleagues, Barohn discussed his own career path and provided advice for younger physicians, outlining the career paths available to them.
“So now you’ve finished medical school, you’ve finished your residency, you’ve finished your fellowship, what the heck do you do next?” he said.
Barohn offered an outline of career options, from clinical practice to teaching, research and academic administration. Each have been a part of his career, and Barohn said the foundation for that career was laid during his time at the School of Medicine.
“Perhaps I have used my lottery ticket to become a successful physician and, in my case, a successful academic leader, teacher and researcher and more recently an academic administrator,” he said.
Just prior to the Take Wing presentation, Jada Ohene-Agyei, a fifth-year student, received the 2023 Excellence in Public Health Award from the U.S. Public Health Service Physician Professional Advisory Committee.
The national award, presented to Ohene-Agyei by Lt. Cmd. Catherine Olguin of the U.S. Public Health Service, recognizes medical students who help address public health issues in their community and protect, promote and advance the health and safety of our nation.
Ohene-Agyi has been active in many volunteer programs and organizations, serving as a leader with the student chapter of the American Medical Association and as president of the local Student National Medical Association chapter. Last summer, she led a team of nearly 70 student and faculty volunteers from UMKC’s health sciences schools in a one-day community health and wellness fair at the Kansas City Health Department.
Sophie Bernstein, a fifth-year medical student, received the award in 2022.