Medical Student E-newsletter
December 12, 2018 · Volume 7, Issue 21


On Dec. 11, the Student Interest Group in Neurology (SIGN) hosted a Botulinum Toxin clinic.Read more in the SIG Highlight, below.

BocciaBoccia Receives $10K Scholarship from VT Medical Society Foundation

Medical student Jennifer Boccia '20 received a $10,000 Scholarship from the Vermont Medical Society’s (VMS) Education and Research Foundation(VMSERF) at the VMS’s 205th annual meeting on October 27. Each year, VMSERF awards a scholarship to a Larner College of Medicine medical student or students who are committed to practicing medicine in Vermont and caring for Vermonters. Prior to medical school, Boccia earned a master’s degree in nursing from UVM’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences and a BA in psychology from Goddard College. She lives in Moretown, Vt. with her spouse and four children and is hoping to both complete a residency and practice in Vermont after graduation. Boccia says the state's commitment to public health is a driving force behind her desire to establish a practice in the state. Read more here.


Class of 2021 - Save the Date for your Foundations Awards Celebration on Thursday, January 24, 2019!


APHA_GoldbergMartin_studentabstractawardeesClass of ‘20 Students Present Public Health Projects – and Receive Awards! – at APHA

Did you know the Public Health Projects course is 15 years old? Since it first launched in 2004, Larner College of Medicine students have completed 233 projects in partnership with the United Way of Northwest Vermont and dozens of community collaborators and published a total of nine papers and 123 peer-reviewed abstracts. At this year’s American Public Health Association Annual Meeting in San Diego, Calif., an impressive 11 Class of 2020 Public Health Projects were accepted for presentation. Additionally, two project presenters received honorable mentions in the Student Abstract Award category – Eli Goldberg for the “Radon, From the Ground into Our Schools: Parent/Guardian Awareness of Radon Levels in Vermont” project, and Kirsten Martin for the “Needs Assessment of Suicide Prevention in Vermont Middle and High Schools” project. 

Projects presented as posters included “Vermont Opioid Prescribing Rules: Prescriber Attitudes” (Zara Bowden); “Engagement and Disengagement in Art Interventions with Memory Impairment” (Lauren Gaffeney); “Role of the Dental Community in HPV Vaccination Promotion” (Laura Till); “Patient Perspectives of the Doctor-at-Home Service” (Russell Himmelstein); and “Health Professionals and Public Awareness of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Vermont” (Lee Hiromoto).

In addition to Martin and Goldberg’s presentations, students who delivered oral presentations included James Rowher, who discussed his group’s project, “Farm to Early Care and Education in Vermont;” Caleb Watkins, who presentedon “Assessing Barriers to Health Care Access for New Americans;” Caroline Vines, with “Barriers Encountered by Syringe Exchange Clients in Vermont;” and Harris Syed, who discussed “Transportation Barriers to Healthcare in Adults 65+.”


Class of 2021 - Vote for Foundations Awards Celebration awards winners by Friday, December 14, 2018!  Click here to vote.


Deepak Gupta, M.D.Meet the New Course Director: Deepak Gupta, M.D., Neural Science

Where are you from originally?

I grew up in Delhi, India.

Where did you attend medical school and complete your residency and fellowship?

I graduated from the University of Delhi and completed a neurology residency at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. I then finished a two-year fellowship in movement disorders at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City.  

What attracted you to your specialty?

Neuroscience was always a passion in medical school, and I had planned to pursue a Ph.D. in neuroscience. However, the personal experience of seeing a close family member get diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease reignited my interest in continuing to practice medicine. Ultimately, I decided to reconcile my long-standing passion for neuroscience with the newly-found personal motivation of becoming a movement disorders neurologist. Fortunately, I have been able to do so through my neurology residency, which included a dedicated research track, and a fellowship in movement disorders, and now as a physician-scientist.

What do you like about teaching future medical students?

The most exciting aspect of teaching future medical student is to be able to feel like a medical student again! In every day clinical practice, we get so used to the principles and facts of medicine that we forget how amazing it was to get to know the structure and function of the human body, and translate it to understanding and treating diseases, in medical school. Teaching medical students gives me an opportunity to relive those moments and reminds me of the reason why medicine still remains relevant.

What are your goals as a Neural Science course director?

My ultimate goal as the Neural Science (NS) course director is to make NS one of the most exciting and interesting courses to take for all medical students at the Larner College of Medicine. My priorities will be to maximally convert the NS curriculum to active learning style of teaching, and align the NS curriculum activities even better within the Vermont Integrated Curriculum (VIC) framework. I also would like to ensure that the course has a distinct focus on preparing medical students for the USMLE Step 1 examination, and that the independent learning material is not too burdensome on students. To this end, I look forward to engaging with the medical students in the coming months for planning of the NS course in 2019.

What else should we know about you?

I live in South Burlington with my wife, Rashmi Gupta, and our three-year-old daughter, Anika.

Social Justice CoalitionOn the blog: Social Justice and Health Equity in Medical Education 

Hear from three students from the Class of 2021 who have been actively involved in shaping the College’s Social Justice Coalition.  Their goal is “to foster critical self-inquiry among students and physicians so that we may be better equipped to build equitable and preventative systems of health.” Read the entire post on the blog.


Class of 2019 - Order your regalia for Commencement starting on January 8, 2019! More info to come.


Michael WeberSIG Highlight: Student Interest Group in Neurology

The Student Interest Group in Neurology (SIGN) is part of a network of more than 150 medical school chapters across North America. The group aims to disseminate knowledge about various neurological pathologies and the most up-to-date research in neurology, as well as function as a liaison between UVM medical students and the American Academy of Neurology. On December 11, the group held an educational session designed to expose members of SIGN to procedural work commonly performed by neurologists in their outpatient clinics, including the administration of botulinum toxin, aka Botox. During the clinic, students took part in simulations identifying how Botox can be used to treat spasticity, dystonia and chronic migraines. Group co-leader, Michael Weber ’21, was most interested in learning about the “different muscle groups that botulinum toxin can be used on,” he said. “I knew botulinum toxin had been used for migraines, but [I] didn’t realize how effective it was for other neurological conditions, such as dystonia or spasticity.” Weber added that he finds neurology to be a particularly exciting field because its providers often work with their patients long-term. He said, “Most patients who have a neurological disorder usually require long-term therapy and treatment to improve or maintain their quality of life. I hope to be apart of that journey with my future patients.” To learn more about the Student Interest Group in Neurology please contact Michael Weber and Connor Scagnelli.

View all Student Leadership Opportunities


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  • Tuesday, December 18: Careers in Medicine Specialty Panel Series - Private Practice with Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry Robert Emmons, M.D., 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm, Sullivan Classroom (Med Ed 200) 
  • Wednesday, December 19: Inaugural Student Leadership Town Hall, 6:00 pm, Reardon Classroom (MedEd 300)
  • Monday, December 24 – Tuesday, January 1: UVM Holiday - Offices Closed
  • Thursday, January 24: Class of ’21 Foundations Awards Celebration, 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm, Hoehl Gallery (HSRF 100)

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