Medical School Honors and Awards 2015

Photo by Scott Streble

The 2015 Medical School Honors and Awards Ceremony took place on Wednesday, April 22, 2015, in Mayo Auditorium. During the ceremony, 12 faculty members and over 40 students, fellows, and residents were presented with awards for their outstanding work in 2014. Awards are funded through donations to the University of Minnesota Foundation.

Among these honorees, medical student Besma Jaber was awarded the first ever Therese Zink Student Narrative Award for her story about relating to Muslim patients in the clinic and Robert Kempainen, MD, became the ninth faculty member to receive a Lifetime Distinguished Teaching Award from the Medical School. Congratulations to all of this years winners!

2015 Innovations Research Grant Program

A new Innovations Research Grant Program for investigators at the University of Minnesota Medical School promises to bolster outside-the-box research ideas, originate new technology, and lead to uncommon discovery.

As a means to increase scholarship and give faculty a chance to be imaginative, Dean Brooks Jackson, MD, MBA, designed the new grant initiative to fund high risk/high reward proposals for which little or no preliminary data currently exists.

Each project is scheduled to end within a year. By that time, it is hoped that the investigator will have proof of concept enough to substantiate further investigation and scholarship. Ideally, even attract federal funding to continue the work.

Marla Eisenberg featured in 2015 Health Equity Research Snapshot

The American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) has released their annual Health Equity Research Snapshot for 2015. This year's focus is on mental health research.

Marla Eisenberg, ScD, MPH, faculty member in the Department of Pediatrics' Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health, is featured for her community based research initiative to identify multilevel protective factors for LGBT youth.

Stephen J. Haines, MD, stepping down as head of Neurosurgery

Photo by Sarah Hansen

Stephen J. Haines, MD, plans to step down as head of the Department of Neurosurgery as soon as a new department head assumes the position. Dr. Haines has been professor and head of the department since 2004. He currently holds the Lyle A. French Chair in Neurosurgery and also serves as professor in our Departments of Pediatrics and Otolaryngology.

Dr. Haines has a long history with the University of Minnesota Medical School. His ties to go back to the age of 2 when his father Gerald Haines, MD, PhD, was a neurosurgery resident here. From Minnesota the family settled in Schenectady, NY, where he was raised.

From 1975-76, Dr. Haines was a surgery intern at the University of Minnesota. A testament to the strength of our program at the time, out of his 18 class members, 6 went into academic neurosurgery.

Schulz stepping down as head of Psychiatry, Paller to lead in interim

After leading the Department of Psychiatry for 16 years, S. Charles Schulz, M.D., has decided to step down as head of the department. Schulz will continue to serve as executive medical director and will remain on the faculty. His decision will allow him to focus his time more exclusively on patient care.

Mark Paller, M.D., senior associate dean of the Medical School, has agreed to serve as interim head of Psychiatry until a national search can be completed for the role.

Match Day 2015

Left to right: Casey Yang, Kat Weaver, Sandy Lee, Kristine Anderson, Crystal Bockoven, Eva Lu; photo by Sarah Hansen

On the morning of Friday, March 20, 2015, fourth year medical student Eva Lu is feeling anxious. After a long year of interviewing, it’s finally Match Day.

“You have a job, which is nice. You just don’t know where yet,” Lu explains.

Match Day is a rite of passage shared by medical students across the United States. At 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time students receive their official letter from the National Residency Match Program letting them know which residency, and in what city, they’ll start training this year.

Every school hosts a unique celebration to mark the event. The 2015 University of Minnesota Medical School Match Day event took place at McNamara Alumni Center with breakfast hosted by Fairview Health Systems. Dean Brooks Jackson, MD, MBA, Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education Kathy Watson, MD, and Duluth’s Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Admissions Robin Michaels, PhD, addressed the students with words of encouragement before the envelopes were released. At 11:00 a.m., students were called to the stage in groups by faculty mentor. Faculty mentors then handed out envelopes to their mentees and took group photos with students. Between groups, class president Jesse Klingelhoets gave out prizes.

David Polly awarded Davis Chair

David Polly, Jr., MD, has been awarded the Catherine Mills Davis Land Grant Chair in Biomechanical Engineering in Orthopaedic Surgery. The chair funds a senior faculty member whose distinguished teaching and research career will enable them to enhance the Medical School’s academic reputation.

Polly is a Professor and Chief of Spine Surgery in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and currently holds the James W. Ogilvie Chair. He is an outspoken advocate for research in the area of musculoskeletal disorders and has helped pioneer and innovate current scoliosis therapies.

Summer Program in Medical Education

2014 participants, photo by Miranda Taylor

Student involvement with medical education has traditionally been in the classroom or clinic, but a new program in the Office of Medical Education (OME) aims to change all that.

Since 2014, UMN medical students transitioning between years 1-2 have had the chance to apply for our Summer Program in Medical Education. Students in this program are challenged to take on focused research projects that improve overall understanding of medical scholarship and the continuum of medical education. They also develop existing skills to prepare them for future leadership roles within an academic institution.

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