October 26, 2022 | Volume IV, Issue 21
Medical Class of 2026 Celebrates White Coat Ceremony
The gray skies and rain cleared just in time for the start of the Larner College of Medicine's medical Class of 2026 White Coat Ceremony at UVM's Ira Allen Chapel on October 14, 2022. With the chapel filled to capacity with 121 first-year medical
students, family members, loved ones, faculty, and staff, the event opened with a welcome from Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education Christa Zehle, M.D., who said, "Class of 2026, your White Coat Ceremony is intended as a formal
recognition of your transition from aspirant to participant in clinical medicine."
In his remarks, Larner Dean Richard L. Page, M.D., thanked the newest class of future doctors "for deciding to become a physician, for applying during a pandemic." He added, "There was a fire, and you ran toward that fire. I do believe things are getting better, but we have never needed you more."
Timothy Lahey, M.D., M.M.Sc., professor of medicine, director of clinical ethics, and 2022 Arnold P. Gold Foundation Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Faculty Award recipient, presented an enlightening and entertaining Humanism in Medicine Keynote Address.
Faculty participating in the Presentation of Coats included: Mary Cushman, M.D.’89, M.Sc., professor of medicine and president, Larner College of Medicine Alumni Association; Karen George, M.D., associate dean for students; Ellen Kulaga, M.D., Connecticut Campus assistant dean for students; Karen Lounsbury, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology and level director of Foundations and pre-clinical assessment; and Mariah McNamara, M.D., M.P.H., interim assistant dean for students.
Pictured above: Collage of photos (from left to right): Class of 2026 medical student Kevin Ito walks across the stage at Ira Allen Chapel after receiving his white coat; Shani Legore ’26 dons her white coat with assistance from Dr. McNamara as deans Page and Zehle and UVM Health Network Medical Group CEO Justin Sanders, M.D., M.B.A., look on; Molly Greenblatt ’26 smiles after receiving her white coat.
UVM Health Network & UVM Hold Inaugural Health Equity Summit
The University of Vermont, Larner College of Medicine, and College of Nursing and Health Sciences joined with the University of Vermont Health Network for the inaugural Health Equity Summit, held October 20 at UVM's Davis Center, with many sessions also
Titled "Mending Ourselves, Together" and organized by Marissa Coleman, Ph.D., UVM Medical Center president of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and colleagues, the event was a first step in acknowledging the existence of health disparities and inequities within our local and global communities. It also demonstrated the type of effort needed to dismantle institutional inequities, improve patient experience, and advance health equity. Highlights of the day-long event included keynote presentations and panel discussions by top DEI experts and leaders including Heather McGhee, New York Times best-selling author of The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together (One World, 2021), public policy leader, former president of Demos, a non-profit progressive U.S. think tank, and current chair of the board of Color Of Change, the nation’s largest online racial justice organization.
Among the Larner community members presenting at the conference were medical students Gabriela Bosmenier-Cruz ’24, Michelle Falcone ’25, Stellar Levy ’23, Elise Prehoda ’24, and Erik Zhang ’24; Master of Medical Science degree student Joseph Owuor, M.P.H., and the following faculty members: Benjamin Clements, M.D., assistant professor of family medicine; Anne Dougherty, M.D., M.S., associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences and director for gender equity; Eli Goldberg, M.D., clinical instructor in family medicine; Andrea Green, M.D., professor of pediatrics; Leigh Anne Holterman, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry and assistant director of student wellbeing; Anya Jokela, M.D., assistant professor of family medicine; Anisha Rimal, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics; Aron Steward, Ph.D., clinical assistant professor of psychiatry; Katie Wells, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor, director of international emergency medicine and director of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Department of Emergency Medicine; and Tony Williams, M.D., assistant professor of family medicine. In addition, several Larner medical students presented posters in the Davis Center's Grand Maple Ballroom.
Visit the event website to learn more about the agenda and speakers.
Pictured above: (From left to right) Naomi Wolcott-MacCausland, M.S., migrant health coordinator, UVM Extension; Claire Bove, community health worker program coordinator for migrant health, UVM Extension; Gabriela Bosmenier-Cruz, Class of '24 medical student; Benjamin Clements, M.D. ’15, assistant professor of family medicine; and Javier Rincon, Class of '25 medical student assisting with the “Vermont’s Migrant Farmworker Population during COVID-19 Pandemic and Medical Students Improving Migrant Farmworker Healthcare Outreach in Vermont” session at the Health Equity Summit on October 20.
Chaarani and Colleagues Find Evidence of Better Impulse Control & Memory in Gamers
A study of nearly 2,000 children conducted by University of Vermont researchers found that those who reported playing video games for three hours per day or more performed better on cognitive skills tests involving impulse control and working memory compared
to children who had never played video games. Published October 24, 2022 in JAMA Network Open, this study analyzed data
from the ongoing Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, which is supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and other entities of the National Institutes
Although a number of studies have investigated the relationship between video gaming and cognitive behavior, the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the associations are not well understood. Only a handful of neuroimaging studies have addressed this topic, and the sample sizes for those studies have been small, with fewer than 80 participants.
Bader Chaarani, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry and the lead author on the study, said, “While we cannot say whether playing video games regularly caused superior neurocognitive performance, it is an encouraging finding, and one that we must continue to investigate in these children as they transition into adolescence and young adulthood.”
Through the ABCD Study, researchers will be able to conduct similar analyses for the same children over time into early adulthood, to determine whether changes in video gaming behavior are linked to changes in cognitive skills, brain activity, behavior, and mental health. The longitudinal study design and comprehensive data set will also enable researchers to better account for various other factors in the children’s families and environment that may influence their cognitive and behavioral development, such as exercise, sleep quality, and other influences.
Pictured above: Graphic shows the dark silhouette of a young child holding a gaming controller against a white screen with a brain image superimposed on the child's head to illustrate the neural activation changes during inhibitory control in gamers. (Courtesy of B. Chaarani)
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
- October 31, 10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. (via Zoom - see Larner email for link) - Research Trainee Showcase
- November 1 – 2 (Given Courtyard) - Poster display of post-doctoral research, 2021 award recipient research, and core facilities
- November 1, 4:30 – 6 p.m. (Sullivan Classroom & via Zoom) - State of Research at the College & Research Excellence Awards Presentations presented by Richard Galbraith, M.D., Ph.D., Interim Senior Associate Dean for Research. Reception Immediately following in Hoehl Gallery.
- November 2, 12 – 1 p.m. (Sullivan Classroom & via Zoom) - Research Laureate Lecture featuring Yvonne Janssen Henninger, Ph.D.
Grand Opening and Dedication of the Firestone Medical Research Building
Thursday, October 27, 2022
Firestone Medical Research Building main entrance (closest to the water tower)
Accolades & Appointments
Pictured at left (left to right) Senator Klobuchar, Sydney Cardozo, Congressman Welch.
*The Monthly Scoop meeting follows a new structure with a continuous quality improvement approach and replaced VCHIP's former weekly "CHAMP" calls.
Class of 2025 medical student Kae Ravichandran (pictured at left) finished first in the Green Mountain Marathon in South Hero, Vt., on October 16, with a time of 2 hours, 42 minutes. In addition to their medical studies, Ravichandran is currently a New Hampshire/Vermont Schweitzer Fellow, co-leading a project in collaboration with Outright Vermont that aims to improve transgender youth’s understanding of clinical interventions and common health risks and empower transgender and gender diverse youth in the healthcare setting.
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