Chris Hill, left, accepts the Standardized Patient award from Class of 2021 Student Council member Davina Tolbert. (Photo: David Seaver)
The numbers are staggering – since beginning medical school in August 2017, students in the Class of 2021 “have completed 27 secure exams, 8 to 9 anatomy practicals, at least one CSE for every course, 47 TBLs, and 191 Readiness Quizzes,” reported Class of 2021 Student Council member Cameron Burke in his opening remarks at his class’ Foundations Awards ceremony on January 24.
The celebratory event, which marks the completion of the first level of the Vermont Integrated Curriculum – Foundations – provides an opportunity for second-year medical students to join with faculty and staff and express their gratitude for the contributions of these Larner College of Medicine community members to their medical education journey.
“Please join me . . . to thank all those people who have given so much to advance our education thus far; the faculty, standardized patients, office staff, and other people too numerous to name who have helped us all reach this point in our medical education,” said Cameron to his classmates. “We wouldn't be here today without them, their dedication to teaching, or their devotion of so much time and energy, all of which has helped cultivate the growth of a class of fledgling medical students and prepared us to enter the hospital, where we will begin working with patients every day.”
In addition to Burke, key players in the event were Foundations Director Karen Lounsbury, Ph.D., who played her inaugural role as host; Dean Rick Page, M.D., and Interim Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education and Associate Dean for Students Christa Zehle, M.D., who each presented congratulatory remarks to the students; and Class of 2021 student leaders Jenna Dafgek, Sarah Sherman, Naira Goukasian, Sidika Kajtezovic, and Evan Lowry.
The Class of 2021 recently completed an exam for Convergence – the final course in the Foundations level of the curriculum. They will take a National Board of Medical Examiners practice exam on January 28 in preparation for their U.S. Medical Licensing Examination Step 1 exam, which they’ll do in February or March before starting the Clerkship level of the curriculum in mid-March.
The following Foundations awards were presented by the Class of 2021:
AMWA Gender Equity Award: Rebecca Wilcox, M.D., Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. This award honors a male or female faculty member who promotes a gender-fair environment for the education and training of physicians and gender diversity in the field.
The Dean Warshaw Integration Award: William Raszka, M.D., Course Director, Attacks & Defenses, and Professor of Pediatrics. This award recognizes the faculty member whose teaching best captured the spirit of the VIC.
The Silver Stethoscope Award: Ronald Bryant, M.D., Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. This award recognizes the faculty member who had few lecture hours, but made a substantial contribution to students’ education.
Above and Beyond Award: Ellen Black, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Neurological Sciences. This award recognizes the faculty member who went above and beyond the call of duty to help the students in their learning objectives.
Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award: Patrick Mullen, Ph.D. student, Neuroscience Graduate Program
Best Support Staff (Non-teaching) Award: Mike Cross, Custodial Maintenance Worker. This award recognizes the staff member who best supported students in areas besides teaching.
Standardized Patient Award: Chris Hill
Foundations Course Director Award: Rebecca Wilcox, M.D., Course Director, Nutrition, Metabolism and Gastrointestinal System (NMGI), and Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Foundations Teaching Award: Ellen Black, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Neurological Sciences. The recipient of this award will be hooding the Class of 2019 at their graduation and will be recognized with other Teachers of the Year from the past.
Additional awards presented to members of the Class of 2021 included:
Wellness Award – presented by Class of 2021 Wellness Committee members Lexi Churchill, Olivia Larkin, Elizabeth Lynch, and Jordan Munger to Sarah Sherman ‘21
CVRI Summer Research Fellowship Merit Award – presented by Marilyn Cipolla, Ph.D., professor of neurological sciences and obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences, to Juan Conde, Ph.D. ’21
Exemplary Clinical Exam Skills Award – presented by Shirley McAdam to Susan Campbell ’21, Michael Chmielewski ‘21, Jenna Dafgek ‘21, Van Hoang ‘21, and Ellen Seyller ‘21
LCOM Summer Research Fellowship Merit Awards – presented by Renee Stapleton, M.D., Ph.D., director of medical student research and associate professor of medicine, to Garrett Chan ’21 (mentor: Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D.), Collin Love ’21 (mentor: Patrick Bender, M.D.), Kenneth Palanza ’21 (mentor: Daniel Weiss, M.D., Ph.D.), and Shae Rowlandson ’21 (mentor: Jay Gupta, Ph.D.)
Durwood Smith Award for Excellence in Pharmacology – presented by Dr. Lounsbury to Meri Lackie ‘21
Ephraim Woll Award for Excellence in General Pathology – presented by Dr. Wilcox to Trina Thornburgh ‘21
B. Albert Ring, MD, Memorial Grant Award for best exemplifying compassion, humor, humility, and devotion to family and friends, and intellectual curiosity – presented by Dr. Lounsbury to Michael Weber ’21, Rio Beardsley ’21, and Lauren Struck ’21
Helen and Phyllis Wasserman Phorplus Prize for excellence in the Basic Sciences – presented by Dr. Lounsbury to Joy Benner ’21, Meri Lackie ’21 and Shae Rowlandson ‘21
The awards ceremony was followed by a welcome to Clerkship from Associate Dean for Clinical Education Tania Bertsch, M.D.