September 22, 2021 | Volume III, Issue 18

A collage of photos showing current Larner medical students, faculty, and program participants posing while attending the “Med School Mixer” on September 10. (Upper-right corner of collage) Exume (left) and Sahene (right) introducing Dean Page during a lunch address on the same day

Med Student-Designed "Look at Larner" Program Holds First Event

On September 10 and 11, the Larner College of Medicine welcomed 27 aspiring medical students—from rising college juniors to postgraduates and career changers—from across the country as participants in the first-ever “Look at Larner” program.

Created by Class of 2024 medical students Mialovena Exume and Warrick Sahene and supported by the Offices of Admissions, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and Medical Communications, the program is intended to serve as a pipeline program—providing an opportunity for students from backgrounds underrepresented in medicine (URiM) who have a strong interest in pursuing a medical degree to gain first-hand experience about what it’s like to be a medical student, specifically at Larner. Although participants had to fund their own travel costs, once they arrived, food and housing were provided for them.

As students of color at Larner, Exume and Sahene felt a program like this was particularly important for the College. “Larner has the capacity to really diversify the student population and attract more students of color to apply and matriculate,” says Exume, adding, “Obviously, with a more diverse group of people, you have the opportunity to learn in even greater ways.” 

Program participants were paired with Larner medical student hosts who housed them for the weekend and gave them a tour of Burlington and the surrounding area. The participants also accompanied their medical student hosts to active learning classes and PCR sessions, took tours of the College and University facilities, attended an admissions forum, and participated in a medical student Q&A panel.

They were also able to get hands-on experience through rotations in the UVM Simulation Laboratory—completing a “colonoscopy,” practicing ultrasound techniques, listening to heart and breath sounds, working with Standardized Patients on interview and patient history skills, and even learning how to intubate. 

Learn more about the Look at Larner program and read feedback from program participants.

Pictured above: A collage of photos showing current Larner medical students, faculty, and program participants posing while attending the “Med School Mixer” on September 10. (Upper-right corner of collage) Exume (left) and Sahene (right) introducing Dean Page during a lunch address on the same day.

NL 2

The Vito Imbasciani, Ph.D., M.D.'85 and George DiSalvo LGBTQ Health Equity Lecture series presents

“Evolving Treatment Paradigms for Transgender and Gender Diverse Youth"

Jack Turban, M.D., Medical Fellow, Stanford University School of Medicine

Tuesday, September 28, at 5:00 pm

Class of 2024 & 2025 medical students can attend in Carpenter Auditorium. Faculty, staff, and other medical and graduate students can attend in the Sullivan Classroom. A link to the lecture on Zoom will be provided in a Dean’s Office email next week.

Dr. Kolb (at right) with a patient in an exam room.

Kolb Receives $7 Million Grand to Develop New Treatment for Chemotherapy-Induced Nerve Damage

As a cancer specialist-in-training, Noah Kolb, M.D., noticed a problem—many of his patients suffered significant nerve damage at the end of their chemotherapy treatment, a condition called chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN). Marked by overwhelming pain, sensory loss, and complications like falling, CIPN affects as many as 85 percent of cancer survivors in the United States. While common, it can be complex to treat, particularly in rural areas where providers may lack expertise in treating CIPN symptoms. 

With $7 million in support from the National Cancer Institute, Dr. Kolb, now an associate professor of neurological sciences at the Larner College of Medicine, and colleagues will be evaluating a new intervention that combines technology and science to provide a quick response and more effective treatment for CIPN patients.

Serving rural populations is a critical focus of the UVM Cancer Center under the new leadership of Director Randall Holcombe, M.D., M.B.A., who says that “Programs such as this one directed by Dr. Kolb have the potential to have a significantly positive impact on the quality of life of cancer patients. In addition, this intervention will be easily translatable to rural communities here in Vermont and elsewhere.”

Dr. Kolb will be collaborating with colleagues at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and the University of Utah on the study, which is scheduled to launch in 2022, and aims to enroll 420 patients.

Read the full article about the study.

Pictured above: Dr. Kolb (at right) with a patient in an exam room.
(Photo by: David Seaver)

Graphic featuring a Vermont fall landscape in the background with a blue, gray and white logo in the center with the words 24th Annual Women’s Health & Cancer Conference on it

Register to attend the free, virtual 24th Annual Women’s Health & Cancer Conference on Friday, October 1, 2021. Hosted by the UVM Cancer Center, the event features an intro keynote and COVID update by Vermont Commissioner of Health Mark Levine, M.D., and a keynote address on “The Financial Costs and Burden of Breast Cancer Care” by Rachel Greenup, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of surgery and chief of breast surgical oncology at Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale Cancer Center.

Register for the Women’s Health & Cancer Conference.

View the program agenda.

Pictured above: Graphic featuring a Vermont fall landscape in the background with a blue, gray and white logo in the center with the words 24th Annual Women’s Health & Cancer Conference on it.

VT REACH poster graphic – olive green background with teal and yellow decorative markings, “VT Reach” written in pink font, an icon depicting a female physician with long hair, and the words “Reach, Explore, and Aspire to Careers in Healthcare” in yellow font

UVM Undergrad Alums Launch VT REACH for Pre-Health Career Students 

A positive outcome from the pandemic, the innovative VT REACH program was created by two University of Vermont Class of 2021 undergraduate alums who saw a need for connecting high school, college, and other students interested in healthcare with UVM healthcare professionals when in-person clinical shadowing wasn’t possible.

Co-developed by Gillian Bremer and Lillian Bennett, VT REACH, which stands for Virtual Teleconference: Reach Explore Aspire to Careers in Healthcare, launched in March 2021 and has broadcast six programs so far. To date, the program has hosted six virtual sessions, with 250+ views on the VT REACH YouTube page, says faculty advisor, Bridget Marroquin, M.D., associate professor of anesthesiology.

The program’s success is not a surprise to Cara Calvelli, M.D., pre-health advisor in UVM’s Career Center and a co-leader of the undergraduate Health Professions Interest Group.

“One of the things that is different about VT REACH compared to other panels is how the participants’ personality and variations come through,” and how it “showcases the interprofessional nature of patient care,” says Dr. Calvelli.

Bremer, who recently took the MCAT for medical school application, will be working as a medical assistant at a primary care practice in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and Bennett, who also recently took the MCAT, is starting a position as a mental health specialist at McLean Hospital in Boston, Mass.

“We are so excited to be able to continue VT REACH with the program being completely virtual,” Bremer says.

Read the full article about the VT REACH program.

Watch past sessions on the VT Reach YouTube channel.

Pictured above: VT REACH poster graphic – olive green background with teal and yellow decorative markings, “VT Reach” written in pink font, an icon depicting a female physician with long hair, and the words “Reach, Explore, and Aspire to Careers in Healthcare” in yellow font.

Patrick Clarke

 ‘Can doctors be gay?’ I typed the question into the Google search bar, I held my breath, and clicked search.

It was 2009 and I was sitting at home in small-town Connecticut. I knew exactly zero queer people, had no social connections to any doctors in or out of my family, and could never conceive of the next steps to becoming a doctor, let alone a gay one.

The Google results were disheartening to say the least.” 

Patrick Clarke, Class of 2022 medical student.

On August 4, 2020, University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine Class of 2022 medical student Patrick Clarke posted a tweet on his Twitter profile @PatrickClarke. He wrote “ok so apparently we left fear in July? because I am wearing my @UVMLarnerMed med Pride pin for the first time ever and we’re feelin it” The tweet was accompanied by two photos of Clarke – one, a selfie he took of his reflection in a mirror – dressed in his white coat and business attire with a stethoscope around his neck, and the other, a close up of his white coat with the Pride pin he refers to clipped to his lapel. The tweet has since garnered 21 comments, 12 retweets, and 702 likes.

Read a recent blog post by Clarke, reflecting on his journey from 2009 to today, and what the response to his Tweet meant for him.

Pictured: Patrick Clarke.

Green graphic that reads

The Firestone Medical Research Building Ceremonial Groundbreaking

Come celebrate the progress in the construction of the latest addition to the medical campus:

Thursday, September 30, at 1:30 pm
Hoehl Gallery, Health Science Research Facility

Accolades & Appointments

Harold Dauerman

Professor of Medicine Harold Dauerman, M.D., assumed three new national roles in 2021, including membership on the National Executive Committee for the Medtronic-sponsored EXPAND TAVR trial; membership on the Scientific Output Committee of the Society of Cardiac Angiography and Interventions; and membership on the Scientific Publications Committee Peer Review Task Force of the American College of Cardiology Scientific Publications Committee.

Dr. Kamin Mukaz and Mr. Davidson

At the 2021 Virtual North East Regional IDeA Conference (v-NERIC 2021), held August 16-18, two early-career researchers from the Larner College of Medicine community received awards during the Lightning Talk competition. UVM Cellular, Molecular and Biomedical Sciences graduate student Cole Davidson (a mentee of Frances Carr, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology) received Third Place during the Cancer Session for his presentation, titled “Targeting Glycogen Metabolism as a Novel Therapeutic Approach in Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer.” Department of Medicine postdoctoral associate Debora Kamin Mukaz, Ph.D., (a mentee of Mary Cushman, M.D., M.Sc., professor of medicine and researcher for the REGARDS study) received First Place during the Psych/Health Session for her presentation, titled “D-dimer and the Risk of Hypertension: The Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS).”

Pictured at left: Dr. Kamin Mukaz (top) and Mr. Davidson.

Josh Farkas
Joshua Farkas, M.D., associate professor of medicine in the Division of Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine, received a Gold Foundation Champions in Humanism Award on June 10 at the organization’s 2021 Annual Gala. The award pays tribute to healthcare professionals for the humanistic care they have displayed through the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Jean Dejace
Jean Dejace, M.D., assistant professor of medicine, has been appointed director of the Infectious Disease Fellowship Training Program in the Division of Infectious Disease.

Lidofsky, Steven

Steven Lidofsky, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine, is currently serving as vice chair for the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases Public Policy Committee. His term will end in December 2021.



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Alonso A, Norby FL, MacLehose RF, Zakai NA, Walker RF, Adam TJ, Lutsey PL. Claims-Based Score for the Prediction of Bleeding in a Contemporary Cohort of Patients Receiving Oral Anticoagulation for Venous Thromboembolism. J Am Heart Assoc. 2021 Sep 21;10(18):e021227. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.121.021227. Epub 2021 Sep 13. PMID: 34514806.

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Published by the Office of Medical Communications
The Larner College of Medicine
at The University of Vermont
Copyright 2021