College Hosts 23rd Academic Excellence Day
The 23rd annual Academic Excellence Day, which took place on May 1 at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix, was a unique opportunity for the community to come together to focus on the clinical and bench research being done by residents, fellows, medical students, graduate students, clinical allied health staff and physician staff from seven Phoenix-area hospitals.
“I think it’s fantastic what you’ve all done today,” said Steven Lieberman, MD, senior associate dean of Undergraduate Medical Education at the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix. “Thank you all for your effort. The fact that you took the time to conduct research and understand it is promising for us who will be in you care in the future.”
The event included 118 poster presentations and 23 oral presentations. Participating hospitals included Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Maricopa Integrated Health and HonorHealth.
“Academic Excellence Day showcases the amazing productivity of our learners across the city,” Brigham Willis, MD, associate professor in the Department of Child Health said. “It is also an amazing opportunity for all the learners to interact and see what other residents and fellows are doing across institutions.”
Dr. Willis moderated the event with Richard Gerkin, Jr., MD, an associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at the college and medical director of Graduate Medical Education Research at Banner – UMC Phoenix.
Academic Excellence Day started nearly 23 years ago under the direction of Michael Grossman, MD, professor emeritus at the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix. He said that the concept started as a way to gather all of the community teaching programs across the Valley and encourage residents to conduct research and present their findings.
“It is designed to be a non-stressful way to learn how to delve into the academic endeavors in medicine,” Dr. Grossman said. “You can’t practice medicine without understanding research and how those facts apply to the patients you are seeing.”
Terrence Stull, MD, senior vice president and chief research officer at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, was the keynote presentation. He discussed his own research journey and interests in pediatric infectious diseases. Specifically, Haemophilus influenza, which is a common cause of ear infections in children. Dr. Stull’s research uses tools of reverse vaccinology, protein structure and immunoprotection to identify the protective proteins of Haemophilus influenzae with the long-term goal of vaccine protection.
New this year, Dr. Stull donated his honorarium of $1,000 toward a conference travel award. It can be used within the next academic year by the awardee to attend a national meeting, so they can present the findings of their research from Academic Excellence Day. This year’s winner was Cortney Eakin, MD, an obstetrics and gynecology resident at Maricopa Integrated Health System. Her research was on the cervical cancer screening beliefs and prevalence of precancerous lesions among a university-based population in Cameroon.
“I really want to celebrate the trainees,” Dr. Stull said. “What you are doing is remarkable, you are remarkably well trained. You are trained in dimensions that my generation never had training in and you are ready to tackle the world.”
|Clinical Research, 1st Place: $325||Cortney Eakin, MD, Maricopa Integrated Health System||Sarabdeep Mann, MD, UA College of Medicine – Phoenix|
|Clinical Research, 2nd Place: $225||John Stamm, MD, Pediatrics, Phoenix Children’s Hospital||Rachel Smith, DO, UA College of Medicine – Phoenix|
|Clinical Research, 3rd Place: $175||
Charles Runyan, MD, Maricopa Integrated Health System
|Aline Branca, MD, Phoenix Children’s Hospital|
|Case Report/Series, 1st Place: $225||
Naomi Habib, MD, St. Joseph’s Hospital & Medical Center
|Case Report/Series, 2nd Place: $175||Christie Kesserwani, DO, Maricopa Integrated Health System|
|Clinical Research, 1st Place: $225||Kathleen Powers, MD, Maricopa Integrated Health System||Pooja Thimmappa, MD, Phoenix Children’s Hospital|
|Clinical Research, 2nd Place: $175||Dih-Dih Huang, MD, St. Joseph’s Hospital & Medical Center||
Michelina De La Maza, MD, Phoenix Children’s Hospital
|Clinical Research, 3rd Place: $125||Maryam Gilpatrick, MD, Phoenix Children’s Hospital||Keyvahn Steck-Bayat, MD, UA College of Medicine – Phoenix|
|Case Report/Series, 1st Place: $125||Alex Shen, DO, Maricopa Integrated Health System||Joseph Yang, DO, UA College of Medicine – Phoenix|
|Case Report/Series, 2nd Place: $100||Bonnie Lee, MD, St. Joseph’s Hospital & Medical Center||Umesh Narayanan, MD, UA College of Medicine – Phoenix|
Academic Excellence Day was sponsored by the Mutual Insurance Company of Arizona.
About the College
Founded in 2007, the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix inspires and trains exemplary physicians, scientists and leaders to optimize health and health care in Arizona and beyond. By cultivating collaborative research locally and globally, the college accelerates discovery in a number of critical areas — including cancer, stroke, traumatic brain injury and cardiovascular disease. Championed as a student-centric campus, the college has graduated 500 physicians, all of whom received exceptional training from nine clinical partners and more than 2,000 diverse faculty members. As the anchor to the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, which is projected to have an economic impact of $3.1 billion by 2025, the college prides itself on engaging with the community, fostering education, inclusion, access and advocacy.