Produced by the Office of Communications // May 17, 2012
John Freeman Faculty Teaching Award
Joanne Oakes, M.D.
Dr. Joanne Oakes, associate professor of emergency medicine, has been named the 2012 John Freeman Faculty Teaching Award winner.
The award is chosen by the senior class each year to recognize the Medical School’s outstanding basic science faculty member. The recipient of this award, which is made possible by university funds named in honor of John Freeman, must exemplify enthusiasm and drive toward effective teaching, have a personal interest in students' problems and their educational goals, and set an example that serves as a high standard for students.
Oakes said she was humbled and surprised by the award.
“I feel honored that the students chose me, particularly since I am a clinician teaching in the basic science years of our curriculum,” she said. “I am very happy that our students received my message: our basic science curriculum is integral to their pursuit of excellent clinical practice. It all matters.”
Oakes teaches the MS1 Introduction to Clinical Medicine and, along with basic science colleagues, also teaches the MS1 Clinical Applications course. She wrote the “Boards and Wards” clinical pearls for the Biochemistry syllabi. For the second-year students, she teaches in the Physical Diagnosis and Pharmacology courses.
Oakes joined the Medical School in 2002, graduating from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in 1996 and completing the American College of Emergency Physicians' Teaching Fellowship in 2006. She is the 2008 recipient of the National Faculty Teaching Award from the American College of Physicians (ACEP).
“I would describe my teaching style as ‘integrative,’” Oakes said. “Each learner wants to know why material is relevant. Students want to know how new information builds on what they've known before and how they will use new information. I try to make those connections for them.”
Oakes added that teaching is not about a lone person standing before an auditorium.
“Teaching is a team sport, and I thank Dr. Allison Ownby, Dr. Patricia Butler, Dr. Brent King, and Dr. Philip Orlander for their ongoing support and guidance. Our basic science course directors work extremely well together and have focused on continual curriculum improvements, which is reflected in our students' overall excellent performance.
“I am grateful to Drs. Bill Seifert, Norm Weisbrodt, Roger Bick, Len Cleary, Jeff Actor, Chris MacKenzie, Dan Felleman, Phil Carpenter, Rebecca Cox, Nachum Dafny, and Mike Hines, who have made up our Clinical Applications team through the years,” she said. “Most of all, I thank our students for this consideration and am thrilled for their success.”
Previous winners include Margaret Uthman, M.D., 2011, 2009, 2005, 2001, 1999, 1997; Elizabeth Hartwell, M.D., 2007; Han Zhang, M.D., 2010, 2008, 2006; Kent Heck, M.D., 2004, 2002; Norman Weisbrodt, Ph.D., 2003; Barry Van Winkle, Ph.D., 2000, 1998; Marsha L. Eigenbrodt, M.D., M.P.H., 1996; Ron C. Philo, Ph.D., 1995; Harley D. Sybers, M.D., Ph.D., 1994, 1992, 1990; Frank W. Booth, M.D., 1993; and Karmen L. Schmidt, Ph.D., 1991.
— Darla Brown, Office of Communications, Medical School
Achor recognized for teaching skills with Rosen Award
In honor of his outstanding teaching skills and laboratory techniques, Dr. Timothy Achor, assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery, recently received the Howard Rosen Table Instructor Award at an educational meeting in Dallas.
The award was created in 2000 by the AOTrauma of North America Education Committee to commemorate Howard Rosen’s life-long dedication to teaching. Achor received the award at the AO Basic Principles and Techniques of Operative Fracture Management meeting.
Achor was chosen for the award by his peers, who felt that his laboratory performance exemplified many of the same teaching skills and devotion attributed to Howard Rosen, whose passion for education are well known in the orthopaedic community.
“While patient care has always been paramount, resident education can be just as important and rewarding,” Achor said. “Our orthopaedic trauma faculty is very involved with teaching efforts, not only at our own institution, but also nationally and internationally. It's great to be recognized for our clinical efforts, but it's important not to forget the impact we can have on young physicians. I was delighted to win this award and to be recognized for my enthusiasm in ‘paying it forward’ to the next generation of surgeons.”
After receiving his medical degree from Medical College of Ohio in Toledo, Achor completed a residency in orthopaedic surgery at New York Medical College. He completed a fellowship in orthopaedic traumatology at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.
His area of specialty care is trauma, which includes high-energy injuries, complex fractures and dislocations, and post-traumatic deformities. Achor practices with the UT Physicians Orthopaedic Office on Fannin. He is currently in Santiago, Chile, where he was invited to lecture on pelvic and acetabular fractures.
AOTrauma is an organization that fosters directed regional and national teams to run their own educational, research, and community development activities and that creates leadership opportunities for senior trauma surgeons, while nurturing opportunities for younger future leaders.
— Darla Brown, Office of Communications, Medical School
Medical School psychiatry residents bring home another Mind Games championship
Amid all the Super Bowl-esque hoopla of this year’s annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association was the final round of a national competition among residency programs to demonstrate superior psychiatric knowledge. The several month competition, MindGames, pitted program against program on timed multiple choice exams on a diverse range of psychiatric topics, including theory, psychopharmacology, psychotherapy, geriatrics, addictions, and forensics. The highest performing three programs on the multiple-choice exams were invited to participate in a live competition on Tuesday May 8 in the Grand Ballroom Salon of the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
With the rock band composed only of psychiatrists and aptly named Pink Freud playing, the finalists took the stage in front of several hundred audience members. Not only did the competition take place at psychiatry’s biggest meeting, one of our profession’s greatest minds, Dr. Glen Gabbard, moderated the competition.
This year, two of the three finalist programs would not be surprising to most people familiar with the psychiatric landscape: Cornell and Columbia. The programs at both medical centers would immediately be included in anyone’s list of top residencies. The third team in the competition, the University of Texas at Houston, may be a surprise to some. UT Houston’s appearance in the finals in Philadelphia certainly provoked images of America’s most beloved underdog who hailed from the host city, Rocky Balboa.
Before the competition, I wanted to learn more about UT Houston’s team to see if they had any chance of winning the 2012 MindGames Championship. When I called the residency program director, Dr. Vineeth John, I could hear the smile all the way across the phone as he described how proud he was of his team. “Everyone gets their 15 seconds and this is our 15 seconds! I am so proud of how hard all of the residents work here, and I am glad that our residents are getting such positive attention.”
Given the obvious excitement, I had to hear how he found out that his team had made the finals. He told me, “I was at AADPRT (American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training) in San Diego. I was sitting in one of the aisle seats, and as soon as I got the news, I ran out to call the team. I managed to speak with all three of them within the next 10 to 15 minutes before coming back to my seat. It was a truly a grand experience.”
The three women who make up the Texas team are Drs. Garima Arora, Connie Zacijek, and Melissa Allen. Arora is the lone PGY3 on the team, and John says she is a “quick thinker gifted with a photographic memory, also blessed with many many eclectic interests.” Per her training director, “a consummate scholar and a quiet genius,” Zacejik, a PGY4, has fast-tracked into being a Child and Adolescent Fellow. Team captain Allen is chief resident and will be joining the faculty of her program following her graduation in June. Her program director describes Allen as “a natural leader with extraordinary tacit awareness.”
When I asked all of the team members directly if “Don’t Mess with Texas” is the message they wish to project during the competition, Arora who grew up in India responded, “Well, after three years of residency, and my first pair of cowboy boots, I can safely say, yes.”
Allen, the only member who was born and raised in the Lone Star State, answered, “Absolutely! Texans are bred for competition, and we can’t wait to show how tough we can be.”
If Louisianan Zacijek finds a career in psychiatry unsatisfying, she likely would make a very successful diplomat because when I posed the same question to her she answered, “Well, we work hard and will be as prepared as possible… We’re up against strong teams and certainly do not underestimate them.”
They credit their success to the work they’ve been doing at the Harris County Psychiatric Center, a 200-bed free-standing inpatient hospital in Houston—an environment where skillful application of psychiatric knowledge is demanded. The team members also mentioned their opportunities for interdisciplinary research, department-wide enthusiasm for learning, as well as the diverse patient population as factors that have furthered their training.
Given the focus on developmental theory in the competition, there is no doubt that Allen’s commitment to parenting—she noted her frequent use of “Freud, Erickson, and Mahler” to ensure that her 19-month old daughter is meeting developmental milestones—also helped the team during the preliminary competition.
When asked for a brief description of the residents in his program, John responded that the team is a representative sample. “The residents are a fun-loving, hard-working, very authentic group” who “blend compassion and intellectual curiosity.”
So, who won? All the teams competed in a way that was a credit to their programs and their faculties—they answered complex questions with blazing speed. At the end of the night, to the delight of the audience, the three women bedecked in football jerseys from UT Houston took home the MindGames Champions trophy. Of course, in retrospect maybe the victory of the UT Houston team could have been predicted: Zacijek shared that her team had a decided advantage as she is expecting her first child and says that therefore her team “technically had four members.”
—Dr. Howard Forman, article originally appeared on www.PsychiatricTimes.com
Huffington Lecture Series set for May 21
Geriatrics will be the focus of two lectures presented by Dr. Janice Knebl, professor of internal medicine at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, May 21.
As part of the Huffington lecture Series, Knebl will present “To Artificially Feed or Not To Feed… Ethical Dilemmas in Dementia” at noon in MSB B.500. Lunch will be served on a first-come, first-served basis.
She will then present “(SAGE) Seniors Assisting in Geriatrics Education: Utilizing a Successful Senior Mentoring Program to Train Medical Students in Geriatrics” at 5:30 p.m. that evening in MSB 1.006.
A light dinner will be served after the lecture.
The lectures are funded in part by the Phyllis Gough Huffington Lecture Series and by a grant from the D.W. Reynolds Foundation.
For more information and/or to register for the presentation, contact Rhonda Bailes.
New center for UTHealth
Events to know
Clergy/Physician Colloquium: Dr. Kenneth Pargament (Bowling Green) presents, “Vital Signs: Spiritual Assessment and Spiritually Integrated Interventions.”
8 a.m.–3 p.m., Dun Rio Grande Conference Room, The Methodist Hospital.
Register by May 14.
Research Coordinator Forum: Karen Parsons, assistant vice president and chief compliance officer, presents, “Institutional Compliance: Top 10 Things You Should Know.”
11:30 a.m.–1 p.m., MSB 2.135.
Lunch will be available for the first 50 attendees. Registration is not required.
Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences Grand Rounds: Dr. Sanjay Adhia, resident, presents, “Treatment Resistant Depression.”
Noon–1 p.m., HCPC Auditorium.
Family & Community Medicine Grand Rounds: Dr. Andres Pardo, PGY III, presents, “Case Presentation.”
1–2 p.m., MSB 2.135.
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Grand Rounds: Lex Frieden, professor of Biomedical Informatics and Rehabilitation, presents, “Texas Disability Technology Initiative: Raising the Bar.”
Noon, MSB B.605.
Commencement for the Class of 2012
4 p.m., George R. Brown Convention Center.
Dr. Denton Cooley to give the keynote address.
Memorial Day Holiday
Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences Grand Rounds: Dr. Huiping Xu, resident, presents, “A Complicated Case.”
Noon–1 p.m., HCPC Auditorium.
Family & Community Medicine Grand Rounds: Kate Wilson, genetic counselor, presents, “Genetic Counseling.”
1–2 p.m., MSB 2.135.
Department of Surgery Grand Rounds: Dr. Shahid Shafi (Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas) presents, “Measuring Quality of Care in Trauma.”
7 a.m., MSB 3.001.
CME credit is available.
Neurobiology and Anatomy Seminar Series: Dr. Constance Cepko (Harvard Medical School) presents, “Teaching an Old Virus a New Trick: VSV as a Tracer of Connected Neurons.”
4 p.m., MSB 2.135.
Spine Study Group: Dr. John France (West Virginia University) and Dr. Rex Marco, associate professor of orthopaedic surgery, present, “Adult Scoliosis” and “Leaving the OR: Are You Really Happy?”
Hotel ZaZa, 5701 Main Street.
Update in Obstetrics and Gynecology 2012.
Houstonian Hotel, Club and Spa.
First Annual LoneStar LEND Conference: Leadership Education in Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities.
Camp Ailihpomeh is seeking volunteer camp counselors for its camp for boys with hemophilia. The camp is held July 14–20 in Meridian, Texas. Nursing students, medical students, child life students, social work students 18 years old and up are welcome to apply to gain experience working with children with a chronic condition.
For more information, contact Sabrina Farina, 713.500.8360, or visit the website.
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