Columbia University Medical Center

P&S Class of 2019 Starts Major Clinical Year

P&S Class of 2019 in the Vagelos Education Center. Photo: Amelia Panico

Members of the P&S Class of 2019 started their major clinical year on Jan. 6 with the Steven Z. Miller Student Clinician’s Ceremony. The ceremony marks the transition of second-year students from the classroom to patient-centered training in the hospital and ambulatory settings.

“The major clinical year marks your transition from a pure learner into the very sacred role as a healer, a role that you will gradually grow into over the next year and continue to refine over a lifetime,” said Alyson Fox, MD, assistant professor of medicine at CUMC, in her address to the students.

“As a student, you have the unique privilege of time. Take the time to get to know your patients, not just their past and current ailments, but get to know them as people,” she said. “Ask them about their hobbies, their grandchildren, their pets. Empower them to ask questions. Let them know you are in their corner. If you start doing this now, it will become part of your practice, and you will earn the trust of your patients as well as your colleagues.”

Four students received Karl H. Perzin Excellence in Pathology Awards. Photo: Amelia Panico.

Several students in the Class of 2019 received awards at the ceremony:

  • Michael Brannen’19 received the Greg Grove Award for efforts in promoting activities that provide relaxation for medical students.
  • Four students received the Karl H. Perzin Excellence in Pathology Award: Nikhil Bommakanti’19, Hallie Carol’19, Jacqueline Fox’19, and Matthew Johnson’19.

The Class of 2019 presented the “Fundamentals Outstanding Teaching Award” to Rachel Gordon, MD, MPH, assistant professor of medicine and of epidemiology.

Outstanding Teacher Award winner Dara Matseoane-Peterssen, right, with Lee Goldman, left, and Hilda Hutcherson. Photo: Amelia Panico.

At the ceremony, the Class of 2018, which just finished its major clinical year, honored teachers with three awards.

  • Dara Matseoane-Peterssen, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics & gynecology at CUMC, received the Major Clinical Year Outstanding Teacher Award.
  • Resident Teaching Awards were presented to Judy Ch’ang, MD (Neurology, NYP); Kelly Fellows, MD (Ob/Gyn, Stamford Hospital); Leo Garber, MD (Medicine, NYP); Lisa Gabor, MD (Ob/Gyn, NYP); Adine Kern-Goldberger, MD (Ob/Gyn, NYP); and Eric Venker, MD (Medicine, NYP).
  • Clinician Awards, for non-physician members of the health care team who are instrumental to the medical student experience, were presented to Julie Geiser (nurse practitioner, Stamford Hospital); Thomas Hagerty (nurse, NYP Neuro ICU); Devi Kadakia (physician assistant, NYP Surgery); and Nadeen Robinson (nurse, NYP Oncology).

The ceremony is named for Steven Z. Miller’84, Arnold P. Gold Associate Professor of Pediatrics at P&S, who created the first transition ceremony, held at P&S in 1998. Dr. Miller was a national leader in humanism in medicine; he died in a plane crash in 2004.