Tag Archives: Students

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

School of Medicine students recognized as Dean of Students Honor Recipients

Five sixth-year School of Medicine students have been recognized as fall semester Dean of Students Honor Recipients for their scholastic performance, community leadership and service.

Because of the ongoing pandemic, students were recognized online with short videos introducing the recipients and those who nominated them.

“Every semester, it is our pleasure to host a breakfast in celebration of the accomplishments of the Dean of Students Honor Recipients,” co-interim Dean of Students Keichanda Dees-Burnett said in an online presentation. “While this semester has been a bit different, we wanted to continue this tradition by virtually celebrating your achievements.”

The program distinguishes exceptional students who maintain high scholastic performance while actively participating in University and community leadership and service activities outside of the classroom.

This semester’s School of Medicine recipients include:



School of Medicine welcomes new Years 1-2 Education Team Coordinator

Carline Bruton has joined the School of Medicine’s Office of Student Affairs as an Education Team Coordinator in the Years 1 & 2 Office. She will be part of the office’s mission to provide comprehensive support and assistance to ensure the academic and professional success of students in the program.

Bruton earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of West Florida in Pensacola, Florida. Moving to Kansas City, Missouri, shortly after graduation, she began investing her time providing mentorship, support and leadership to youth and young adults in the Kansas City metro area. While working in the mental health field, Bruton pursued her graduate studies at UMKC. She holds a master’s degree in social work and is licensed to practice in the state of Missouri.

In her spare time, Bruton enjoys reading, spending time with her husband and friends and long-distance running. She became a long-distance runner in 2016 and says her goal is to run 50 half marathons by the age of 50.

New program supports School of Medicine’s Latinx students

Latinos in Medicine, a new program for the School of Medicine’s Latinx students, held an early meeting on Zoom.

A new organization at the UMKC School of Medicine is designed to support and encourage Latinx students to help them succeed in medical school and as physicians.

Raquel McCommon, coordinator of strategic initiatives in the school’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, said Latinx students are paired with physician mentors who can meet with and help the students through the challenges of life as an underrepresented minority in medical school and beyond.

Latinos in Medicine, established a year ago, gives the students the opportunity to meet and see successful Latinx physicians.

“That in itself is supportive, motivating and inspiring,” McCommon said. “It’s a way of making them feel a sense of belonging, connected, that they have people who are looking out for them, who understand where they’re coming from to help them have better success.”

McCommon said most of the students participating in the program are also involved in the school’s STAHR (Students Training in Academia, Health and Research) program. Supported by a grant from the United States Health Resources and Services Administration, that program also helps prepare students from disadvantaged backgrounds entering health care programs.

However, McCommon said, the STAHR program currently does not have any Hispanic mentors for students.

What we were hearing from our Latinx students was ‘we need mentors and we need mentors that look like us,’” she said. “Part of the challenge is finding physicians who come from the same background and experiences as our Latinx students.”

As a result, School of Medicine Dean Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., reached out to Liset Olarte, M.D., a pediatrician at Children’s Mercy Kansas City, where Jackson is also on staff. Olarte leads the hospital’s Latinx Employee Resource Group, which includes several Hispanic physicians.

Olarte and her colleagues agreed to serve as physician mentors for the School of Medicine’s Latinos in Medicine program, which also partners with UMKC’s Avanzando program for Hispanic students campus wide.

“Not all of our students are going to go into pediatrics, but this is a stepping stone,” McCommon said. “Here is a physician that does look like you, who might speak the same language as you, that might have experienced a similar background or struggles as you.”

Ten students actively participate in the program, which is open to all Latinx students at the School of Medicine. In addition to one-on-one mentoring, the plan is for the Latinos in Medicine students to meet at least twice a year, including a welcoming program at the beginning of the school year.

McCommon said the broader goal is to offer more group meeting opportunities such as in-person study sessions where students and mentors can come together in an informal setting.

“Often students feel intimidated. There’s a level of hesitancy or reluctance,” McCommon said. “We want them to have what they need when they need it, not when it’s too late.”

InDOCtrination ceremony welcomes first-year students to School of Medicine

The UMKC School of Medicine recognized a new class of 103 first-year medical students during the school’s annual InDOCtrination ceremony on Aug. 20 at the UMKC White Recital Hall.

The ceremony has been a long-standing tradition for the School of Medicine. Brenda Rogers, M.D., associate dean for student affairs, told students and their families that this was a special day to remember. 

This ceremony affirms for each of you that you are entering the challenging and exciting world of medicine – a world that will demand a lot from you, but will reward you greatly for your efforts, Rogers said. 

Demi Elrod was announced as this year’s Richard Garcia Memorial Award recipient. The honor is presented annually to a student entering the Year 2 class who best exemplifies the qualities of compassion, concern and academic excellence. The recipient is selected by classmates. 

Speaking to the Year 1 class, Elrod said, “In a few days you will start one of the most difficult journeys of your life. I know it may seem daunting, but I can promise you it’s worth it.” 

Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine, also spoke to the class, describing how it is entering the field of medicine at unique time as the world continues to battle the COVID pandemic. She said the responsibility of medical professionals is a duty of care with an ethical duty to place patient’s health first. She encouraged the students to be role models in helping families and loved ones emerge from the pandemic. 

Each student was recognized individually as they were introduced as members of their Year 1 docent teams.  

School of Medicine begins new tradition of White Coat Ceremony on two campuses

Students at the UMKC School of Medicine Mosaic Life Care campus in St. Joseph were recognized during the White Coat Ceremony on Aug. 8.

UMKC School of Medicine recognized students at the school’s two campuses in a rite of passage that marks the next step along their journey to becoming physicians.

An inaugural class of 16 students from the school’s new Mosaic Life Care in St. Joseph, Missouri, campus participated in that campus’ first White Coat Ceremony on Aug. 8. The event, sponsored by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, emphasizes the importance of compassionate care for patients and proficiency in both the art and the science of medicine.

UMKC School of Medicine students at the Kansas City campus participated in the annual White Coat Ceremony at the university’s White Recital Hall.

In Kansas City, the School of Medicine welcomed 125 new third-year students during the annual White Coat Ceremony one day earlier at the UMKC White Recital Hall.

The White Coat Ceremony has been a tradition at the School of Medicine since 2003. For UMKC medical students, it marks a transition in training from an emphasis on classwork to the final four years of more intensive clinical training.

UMKC opened its medical school campus at Mosaic in January with a focus on rural primary care medicine. Davin Turner, M.D., chief medical officer for Mosaic and associate dean for the St. Joseph campus, addressed the students, faculty and guests and spoke about the need for physicians in rural areas.

School of Medicine Dean Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., and Steven Waldman, St. Joseph campus dean, also spoke about becoming a physician and the significance of the physician’s white coat, symbolizing professionalism, caring and the trust between physicians and their patients.

Jessica Halla, a medical student at Mosaic, also announced the Dr. Kanga Friends of UMKC School of Medicine Outstanding Community Engagement Award, which was presented to Missouri state Rep. Brenda Shields, who played an integral role in obtaining the grants to open the school’s St. Joseph campus.

On the Kansas City campus, third-year medical student Audrey Otwell also honored William Ritter, M.D., a staff cardiologist at AdventHealth Shawnee Mission, with this year’s Outstanding Years 1 and 2 Docent Award. Each third-year class nominates a Year 1-2 docent for the award based on their pursuit of teaching excellence in medicine.

Students at both campus ceremonies were read a compilation of their class reflections on the Philosophy of Medicine and were each individually recognized and presented their white coats by their docents.