Tag Archives: Students

Journey begins for UMKC School of Medicine Class of 2028

The UMKC School of Medicine Class of 2028 participated in the annual InDOCtrination Ceremony.
Second-year medical student Samuel Kim received the 2022 Richard T. Garcia award from Bridget Jones, M.D., assistant academic dean for student affairs.

Samuel Kim, a second-year medical student at the UMKC School of Medicine, spoke from experience when offering words of advice to the incoming Class of 2028 Friday morning during the school’s annual InDOCtrination Ceremony.

People need people, Kim said, reflecting on his time as a first-year medical student.

“Even if you forget everything else from day to day, remember you need each other,” Kim said.

Kim shared his message as this year’s recipient of the annual Richard T. Garcia Award. The honor is given annually to a second-year student for outstanding leadership, compassion toward fellow students and first-year academic performance.

With a packed auditorium of family and friends looking on, the School of Medicine introduced a class of 105 new students who are beginning their journey toward becoming physicians. One of the morning event’s highlights was the introduction of the annual Garcia Award winner.

In receiving the award, Kim related how instrumental his classmates were during his first year of medical school.

“You all voted me as this award recipient because you thought I was the best in you, but honestly, you’re the best in me,” Kim said, speaking to the second-year class. “Every day I can smile, I can fail, I can succeed and I can study because you make it worth it. You remind me what goodness, patience, intelligence, prudence, love and wisdom look like. You’re my support.”

School of Medicine Dean Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., echoed Kim’s encouragement for the first-year students to look to one another and others around them for the support they will need in navigating the school’s six-year program.

“Your friends, your family, your medical school peers and all of the staff and faculty here today and those you meet along the way will bring you support in times of distress and rejoice and celebrate with each of your accomplishments,” Jackson said. “It will be a wild ride at times.”

The first-year class is comprised of students from across the United States, from Massachusetts to California and come from small towns of 2,000 to metropolitan areas of more than 9 million people. It is also a diverse group with nearly one-fourth of the class made up of racial groups underserved in medicine.

Each of the students was introduced with their Year 1 docent units. The class then listened to a reading of the Oath of Physicians. It is the same oath the class will recite in six year upon graduation.

Jackson left the group with one final encouragement.

“Keep your passion, keep your focus and boundless energy. That is my hope and my vision for you today as you start your medical school journey,” Jackson said. “I promise you, the time is going to fly by.”

Student National Medical Association welcomes UMKC student to BOD

Fifth-year medical student Josephine Nwankwo has joined the Student National Medical Association Board of Directors (SNMA) as academic affairs co-chair.

She was elected to the role this spring during the 2022 SNMA Annual Medical Education Conference, the largest gathering of minority medical students in the nation. In her new position, she will work to further the SNMA mission of supporting current and future underrepresented minority medical students by helping provide academic resources and opportunities to members.

Nwankwo has been active in the SNMA throughout her medical school career. She previously participated the organization’s National Future Leadership Program that provides training in leadership skills, networking and project development.

At the School of Medicine, Nwankwo has served as a mentor and assisted with the Saturday Academy and Summer Scholars programs. She is also is a member of the school’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion Council and serves as vice president of the UMKC chapter of the American Medical Women’s Association.

The SNMA is the nation’s oldest and largest independent student-run organization. With more than 7,000 members, it serves to focus on the needs and concerns of medical students of color.

White Coat Ceremony marks next step for UMKC med students

Medical students at the UMKC School of Medicine’s campuses in Kansas City and St. Joseph participated in the annual White Coat Ceremony on August 6 and 7, an annual rite of passage as they begin a more intensive part of their clinical training.

The physician’s white coat, one of the most recognizable symbols of the medical profession, signifies a growing set of responsibilities such as the development of a formal relationship between physicians and their patients. It is also a reminder of the physician’s obligation to practice medicine with clinical competence and compassion.

“I encourage you to wear your coat with pride and integrity,” Jill Moormeier, chair of the Department of Internal Medicine, said during the ceremony for students on the Health Sciences Campus in Kansas City.

During the ceremony, students entering their third-year of the School of Medicine curriculum were coated by their new Year 3-6 docents.

Sharing how medicine has evolved over the years, Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., School of Medicine dean, called this a remarkable time in medical history for students to receive their white coats and continue their quest to become a physician.

“There is a constant over time, and that is, you affirm your commitment to medicine and embrace your coat as a symbol of compassion, of your professionalism and the honor and privilege of caring for patients,” she said.

At Mosaic Life Care, home of the School of Medicine’s St. Joseph campus, Jackson shared her message as family and dignitaries looked on while 21 students received their white coats. The students were coated by individuals they had identified as a supportive mentor or loved one in their pursuit of a medical career.

In addition to Jackson, the class received encouragement from Mosaic Life Care Chief Executive Officer Mike Poore and Edward Kammerer, Chief Medical Officer and Clinic President at Mosaic Life Care.

James Shackelford, manager the school’s admissions office, presented a special School of Medicine St. Joseph Campus award for Outstanding Community Engagement to the Missouri Northwest Area Health Education Center. The award is given to an outstanding individual or entity that has dedicated efforts to the betterment of the future academic medical community in Missouri and to the medical school in St. Joseph.

On the Kansas City Campus, the school recognized Valerie Rader, M.D., ’05, as this year’s Outstanding Years 1 and 2 Docent. A cardiologist at Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City, Rader has served as a docent for first and second-year students for 11 years, is a lecturer for the School of Medicine’s physician assistant program and in 2020 received a teaching award from the Department of Internal Medicine.

School of Medicine alumni Michele Kilo, M.D., ’84, and Barry Gubin, M.D., ’84, also presented the Marilyn McGuyre scholarship to third-year student Krish Sardesai. The scholarship honors McGuyre, who served as long-time director of student affairs and career counselor.

Students at both campus ceremonies were read a compilation of their class reflections on the Philosophy of Medicine as well as the UMKC version of the Hippocratic Oath that they will recite when they graduate.

The School of Medicine conducted its first White Coat Ceremony for third-year students in 2003. The program is sponsored by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation to emphasize the importance of compassionate care for patients and proficiency in the art and science of medicine.

School of Medicine celebrates 2022 graduates

UMKC Chancellor Mauli Agrawal congratulates the School of Medicine’s Russell Brown during the university’s 2022 Commencement ceremony at the Kansas City Royals’ Kauffman Stadium.

SOM-50-YRS-1971-2021The UMKC School of Medicine returned to Kansas City’s Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts on May 13 to celebrate the graduating class of 2022, following a two-year absence due to the COVID pandemic.

Almost 150 students participated in the Achievement Ceremony that recognized nearly 100 doctor of medicine graduates and those earning their master’s degrees or graduate certificates in the anesthesia assistant, bioinformatics, health professions education and physician assistant programs.

Two days later, School of Medicine graduating students were part of the more than 2,300 UMKC graduates who participated in the university’s Commencement ceremony at the Kansas City Royals’ Kauffman Stadium.

During the Achievers Event, School of Medicine Dean Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., ’78, congratulated and sent the class off with encouragement to make difference in the lives of those they will be caring for.

“I know from experience that the investment you make in caring for patients, engaging in research and service will fuel and inspire you throughout your careers,” Jackson said. “The world needs you. Go out and change the world.”

Jackson also recognized Scot Ebbinghaus, M.D., ’79, this year’s recipient of the prestigious E. Grey Dimond, M.D., Take Wing Award. Ebbinghaus, the vice president of clinical research at the pharmaceutical manufacturing company, Merk, said the graduates entering the health care professions have a unique opportunity to have a positive impact on the lives of their patients.

“Patients are the center of everything we do,” he said.

2022 Senior Awards and Recognitions

Samar Azzaidani | Dean of Students Honor Recipient
Avleen Kaur Bhandal | Dean of Students Honor Recipient
Michael Ryan Brancato | Dean of Students Honor Recipient
Anna Elizabeth Davis | James F. Stanford, M.D., Patient Advocate Scholarship; Dean of Students Honor Recipient
Kartik Depala | Bette W. Hamilton Memorial Award for Excellence in Immunology
Courtney Dorris | Dean of Students Honor Recipient
Lauren Gresham | Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation
Anna Yung-hua Hwang | Dean of Students Honor Recipient
Shubhika Jain | Thomas R. Hamilton, M.D., Memorial Award for Excellence in Pathology; Thomas R. Hamilton, M.D., Memorial Award for Excellence in Microbiology; Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation
Anya Joyo | Dean of Students Honor Recipient
Morgan Kensinger | Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation; Dean of Students Honor Recipient
Valerie Rita Louise Kirtley | Outstanding Senior Partner
Eshwar Kishore | Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Award; Richardson K. Noback Founders’ Award for Clinical Excellence
Caitlyn Marie Kohake | Master of Science in Anesthesia Program Student Ambassador
Vijay Letchuman | Friends of UMKC School of Medicine Award for Research
Milan Ravidev Malhotra | Ratilal S. Shah Medical Scholarship Fund
Laura Katherine Mann | Laura L. Backus Award for Excellence in Pediatrics
LeiLani N. Mansy | Pat D. Do, M.D., Matching Scholarship in Orthopaedics; Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation
Abigail M. Murphy | Dean of Students Honor Recipient
Caroline Grace Olson | Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation; Dean of Students Honor Recipient
Dakota James Owens | Dean of Students Honor Recipient
Michael Adebowale Oyekan | Friends of UMKC School of Medicine Basic Science Award
Andrew Michael Peterson | Friends of UMKC School of Medicine Award for Research; Lee Langley Award for Academic Excellence; UMKC School of Medicine Alumni Association Endowment Fund: Excellence in Medical Education; Merck Manual
Geethanjali Rajagopal | ACP Senior Student Book Award; Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation
Casey E. Rose | J. Michael De Ungria, M.D., Humanitarian Award; Dean of Students Honor Recipient
Benjamin Spector, M.D. | Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics Award for Excellence
Elizabeth Hartanti Theng | J. Michael De Ungria, M.D., Humanitarian Award; Friends of UMKC School of Medicine Harry S. Jonas, M.D., Award
Sejla Turnadzic | Malhotra Family Scholarship for Academic and Clinical Excellence; Merck Manual
Isabelle Bruner Ulloa | Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics Award for Excellence
Megan Anne Weber | Malhotra Family Scholarship for Academic and Clinical Excellence
Jacob T. Williamson | Pat D. Do, M.D., Matching Scholarship in Orthopaedics

Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society
Alaya Bodepudi
Kartik Depala
Lauren Gresham
Rishabh Gupta
Shubhika Jain
Varsha Kandadi
Morgan Kensinger
Valerie Rita Louise Kirtley
Vijay Letchuman
Milan Ravidev Malhotra
LeiLani N. Mansy
Caroline Grace Olson
Michael Adebowale Oyekan
Andrew Michael Peterson
Geethanjali M. Rajagopal
Megan Anne Weber
Jacob T. Williamson

Gold Humanism Honor Society
Jessica Anyaso
Kartik Depala
Jason Egberuare
August James
Frank Adam Habib
Varsha Kandadi
Morgan Kensinger
Eshwar Kishore
Shruti Rani Kumar
Jordan Jean Longabaugh
Caroline Grace Olson
Nikhila Pokala
Casey E. Rose
Laraib Sani
Elizabeth Hartanti
Theng Kabir
Antonio Torres
Jacob T. Williamson

Pi Alpha Honor Society
Molly Ray Arand
Samar Azzaidani
Stephanie Kathryn Rieger

Hospital Hill Run organizers need medical volunteers

School of Medicine students should sign up now to help race participants in the medical tent at the 49th annual Hospital Hill Run. Come rain or shine, the event is slated to take place on June 4 with the start and finish lines at Kansas City’s Crown Center.

Volunteers will be stationed at the finish line to watch for race participants that need medical attention. Some will help check participants into the medical tent and others will triage participants.

To help with the medical tent, go to the website at https://hospitalhillrun.volunteerlocal.com/volunteer/?id=60720, enter the password “medical,” and complete the requested information. Those wishing to volunteer may also contact Alison Troutwine, UMKC Health Sciences District program manager, directly at alison.troutwine@uhkc.org.

All volunteers will receive a free race t-shirt and food.

The medical staff typically treats 50 to 100 race participants during the event that includes three different races – a 5K, a 10K and a half marathon. Meg Gibson, M.D., director of the UMKC sports medicine fellowship, serves as medical director for the race.

School of Medicine celebrates 9th annual Quality Patient Safety Day

Mamta Reddy, M.D., endowed chair of patient safety (left), and Betty M. Drees, M.D., dean emerita, present a quality and patient safety lifetime achievement award to Lawrence Dall, M.D.,assistant dean of student research.

Quality care and patient safety took center stage as Julia Snodgrass and Wes Weske received the top honors from among students and Drs. Erica Wee and Jeremy Beyer earned the top resident/fellow awards with their research abstract submission at the UMKC School of Medicine’s 9th annual Vijay Babu Quality and Patient Safety Day.

Judges selected the winners from among 23 medical student and 17 resident/fellow research submissions. The four were chosen to give oral presentations of their research during the day-long event.

The annual patient safety day program provides students, residents and fellows an opportunity to display their work in quality improvement and patient safety to the entire medical school community.

Thirty students, residents and fellows also participated in a poster presentation showcase. A panel of judges selected presentations by Snodgrass and Fahad Qureshi as the top student posters, while Drs. Thomas Cochran and Rueben Joaquim Ricardo De Almedia were recognized for the top poster presentations among residents and fellows.

School of Medicine faculty members Lawrence Dall, M.D., and Rana El Feghaly, M.D., were also recognized for their contributions to quality improvement and patient safety mentorship. Dall, who a docent who also serves as assistant dean of medical student research, received the QIPS Lifetime Achievement Award. El Feghaly, associate professor of pediatrics, received the QIPS Faculty Mentor of the Year Award.

Christopher Moriates, M.D., assistant dean for Health Care Value at the Dell Medical School, University of Texas in Austin, gave a keynote address, speaking “Leading for Where You Stand.” Moriates created a Choosing Wisely STARS program that has spread throughout the United States to generate student-led initiatives in advancing health care value in medical education. He also oversaw the creation of the Del Med Discovering Value-Based Health Care online learning platform used by medical professions throughout the United States.

To view a complete list of student, resident and fellow oral and poster presentation, go online to Vijay Babu Rayudu Quality & Patient Safety Day.

Eight inducted to SOM chapter of AOA honor society

The School of Medicine chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha welcomed eight new members into the medical honor society as the Class of 2022 inductees.

This year’s inductees include junior members Joe Bean, Sidharth Ramesh, Neal Shah and Kevin Varghese. The senior members are Alaya Bodepudi and Milan Malhotra. Two residents/fellows were also selected, Ain Ejaz, M.D., and Erin Murray, M.D.

The AOA officers include Andrew Peterson, student president, Kartik Depala, student vice-president, Madhavi Murali, student secretary, and Yen Luu, student treasurer. John Foxworth, Pharm.D., serves as the School of Medicine’s AOA counselor and David Wooldridge, M.D., is the faculty officer.

Selection to AOA membership is 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.

Match Day fills UMKC medical students with thrills, excitement

A few minutes before 11 a.m. on Friday, UMKC School of Medicine student Pradeep Kandula stood and paced anxiously in front of a table full of family and friends.

“I’m nervous, but also very excited,” Kandula said as he waited for the Match Day letter that would reveal where he will spend the next three years doing his medical residency training. Moments later the nervous tension building throughout UMKC’s Swinney Recreation Center exploded into cries of joy and elation.

Among those cheering was Kandula, who discovered he had matched with his first choice of residencies, a position in internal medicine at the prestigious Cleveland Clinic.

“I’m so excited right now for everyone,” he said. “I’m excited for all of my friends.”

Watch a replay of MATCH DAY 2022 and check out this year’s match list at: https://med.umkc.edu/MatchDay/

From anesthesiology to urology, nearly 100 UMKC students matched in 21 different medical specialties. More than a third of the class elected to go into one of the primary care specialties of family medicine, internal medicine, medicine/pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology or pediatrics.

Internal medicine was the most popular specialty with 19 students matched, followed by anesthesiology, general surgery, psychiatry and preliminary medicine, each with eight matches.

The class will also be spreading out across the country going to 24 different states from California to New York, Florida to Michigan. Thirty-nine graduates will remain in Missouri and 22 will be staying in Kansas City for their training in UMKC residency programs.

Throughout the United States, graduating medical students learned their residency fates at the same time on Match Day, filling more than 36,000 first-year residency positions.

“There is no more memorable day for medical students than Match Day,” said School of Medicine Dean Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., a 1978 graduate of the medical school. “This is the most exciting day for you, your staff and faculty. The wait is over. This next phase defines the rest of your lives.”

For the first time in the school’s 50 years, the School of Medicine’s Match Day event was moved from the school’s UMKC Health Sciences Campus location to the Swinney Center on the university’s Volker Campus. This allowed all of the participating students’ family and friends to take part in the celebration in a single indoor location. In one corner of the crowded room, Sejla Turnadzic proudly held up a cardboard sign that said she had matched in anesthesiology and would be heading to Stanford for residency training.

“I can’t put it into words how happy I am right now,” Turnadzic said.

This was a special time for Turnadzic and the family members with her. Born in Bosnia, Turnadzic moved to the United States with her parents when she was just a year old to escape the war-torn country. Many of her family members remain in Bosnia.

“I’m going to the be first doctor in my family,” she explained. “This is a very big day for us.”

Next to Turnadzic stood Kaylea Gunn, who also matched in anesthesiology and will be going to Vanderbilt University for her residency. The two have been roommates for six years, since the beginning of med school.

Gunn was particularly thrilled with the day because her brother Brady, a graduating student at A.T. Still University osteopathic medical school in Kirksville, Missouri, had just matched as well and attended the Match Day festivities with his sister in Kansas City.

“I didn’t get any sleep last night,” Gunn said. “It has all been so exciting.”

School of Medicine announces Student Research Summit winners

UMKC students presented 46 posters during the 2022 Health Sciences Student Research Summit.

The annual UMKC Health Sciences Student Research Summit returned to an in-person event on March 2 at the UMKC Student Union after two years as a virtual event. Students from the schools of medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, biological and chemical sciences, and computing and engineering presented 46 research posters.

Four students from the School of Medicine and one each from the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences and the School of Pharmacy received awards for their presentations.

In the undergraduate division, third-year medical students took the top two awards. Suman Manek won first place in poster presentations. Nikitha Damisetty placed second and second-year med student Cooper Bassham placed third.

Fifth-year medical student Joseph Bean placed first in the graduate division. Jon Bell, from the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences was second, and sixth-year medical student Nicholas Yeisley placed third with his presentation.

A panel of faculty judges selected the top presentations.

The summit promotes collaborations across disciplines and schools to produce economic, health, education and quality of life benefits for the Kansas City community in a forum that brings the UMKC health sciences community together to highlight student research.

2022 UMKC Health Sciences Student Research Summit

Top Scoring Posters and Presentations

1st Place – Suman Manek BA/MD Student: Multivariate Prognostic Biomarkers of Covid-19: The Relationship Between Patient Demographics and Presenting Signs and Symptoms.
Mentor: Dr Wail Hassan, School of Medicine

2nd Place – Nikitha Damisetty, BA/MD Student: Modulating Glucocorticoid Function In-Utero to Reduce Complications of Pre-Term Birth.
Mentor: Dr. Paula Monaghan-Nichols, School of Medicine

3rd Place – Cooper Bassham, BA/MD Student: Glucocorticoid and Cannabinoid Signaling Interactions: Implications for Neural Stem Cells.
Mentor: Dr. Paula Monaghan-Nichols, School of Medicine

Winners by Category

Undergraduate Posters

1st Place – Suman Manek BA/MD Student: Multivariate Prognostic Biomarkers of Covid-19: The Relationship Between Patient Demographics and Presenting Signs and Symptoms.
Mentor: Dr Wail Hassan, School of Medicine

2nd Place – Nikitha Damisetti, BA/MD Student: Modulating Glucocorticoid Function In-Utero to Reduce Complications of Pre-Term Birth.
Mentor: Dr. Paula Monaghan-Nichols, School of Medicine

3rd Place – Cooper Bassham, BA/MD Student: Glucocorticoid and Cannabinoid Signaling Interactions: Implications for Neural Stem Cells.
Mentor: Dr. Paula Monaghan-Nichols, School of Medicine

Graduate Posters

1st Place – Joseph Bean, BA/MD Student: Active Targeting of Glioblastoma Through Phage Display.
Mentor: Dr. Kun Cheng, School of Pharmacy

2nd Place – Jon Bell, PhD Student: Foxg1a is Required for Hair Cell Development and Regeneration in the Zebrafish Lateral Line.
Mentor: Dr. Hilary McGraw, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences

3rd Place – Nicholas Yeisley, MD Student: Characterizing Social Determinants of Health of TMC ED Patients with Chronic Disease.
Mentor: Dr. Stephanie Ellison, School of Medicine, University Health