UQ Ochsner Clinical School honors 2018 graduates at Culmination Ceremony

27 Nov 2018

2018 Culmination Ceremony

The University of Queensland (UQ) Ochsner Clinical School honored the graduating class of 2018 with a culmination ceremony on Saturday, November 17 at the Jefferson Performing Arts Center (6400 Airline Drive, Metairie, LA 70003). The culmination ceremony featured Lawrence M. Opas, MD, Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, as the keynote speaker.

The 105 graduating students successfully completed medical education through a unique four-year training, academic and clinical experience across two continents. Students completed two years of medical school curriculum in Brisbane, Australia at UQ, which is recognized as one of the top universities in the world and ranked 42nd worldwide on the 2019 US News Best Global Universities list. The final two years of clinical study were completed with the Ochsner Health System – one of the largest independent academic medical centers in the United States – in New Orleans, LA at UQ's Ochsner Clinical School.

“Training with our exceptional faculty and residents provides students of the UQ Ochsner Clinical School with a strong foundation to take the next step in their medical careers,” said Leonardo Seoane, MD, Chief Academic Officer, Ochsner Health System. “We are incredibly proud of everything they have accomplished in the past four years and cannot wait to see where the future takes them next.”

During the culmination ceremony several UQ Ochsner Clinical School faculty and residents were recognized with awards of excellence in clinical teaching. The highest individual award of excellence – the Teacher of the Year award – was bestowed upon Lindhe Guarisco, MD (Pediatric ENT). Guarisco has been on staff at Ochsner for more than 30 years and is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Otolaryngology. He earned his undergraduate degree from University of New Orleans, received his medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine and completed both his Pediatrics and Oncology residency at Tulane University School of Medicine.

The following teachers were nominated for the Teacher of the Year Award:

  • Shilpa Amara, MD – Psychiatry
  • Russell Steele, MD – Pediatric Infectious Disease
  • Michael Blanchard, MD – Psychiatry
  • Jason Hill, MD – Hospital Medicine
  • Rajasekharan Warrier, MD – Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
  • Jose Posas, MD – Neurology
  • Brian Young, MD – Pediatrics

Resident teaching awards were awarded to the following physicians:

  • Abdulaziz Joury, MD – Medicine
  • Matthew Ragan, MD – OBGYN
  • Heather Liebe, MD – Surgery
  • Raja Jawad Kiani, MD – Pediatrics
  • Adina Suss, MD – Psychiatry

Post Graduate Research Fellowship Awards were awarded to:

  • Jeffrey Coote – Utilization of augmented reality assistance in medical student lumbar puncture simulation training
  • Lesley Desmond – Pulmonary care of premature neonates and its effect on health outcomes
  • Billie Hsieh – MiRNA-mRNA as novel inflammatory biomarkers of outcome in intracerebral hemorrhage
  • Bonnie Kim – Assessment of the intestinal microbiome and its associated biomarkers with cognitive changes in individuals with liver disease
  • Annandita Kumar – Unplanned SICU admissions: a root cause analysis
  • Diana Vesselinovitch – Adverse events associated with immunotherapy and its effect in prognosis
  • Caroline Yu – The impact of left ventricular geometry on myocardial blood flow and clinical outcomes as assessed by cardiac positron emission tomography

The following students were also recognized with individual awards:

  • Austin West – Internal Medicine- American College of Physicians offer and Excellence Award
  • Alexandra Stanford – Dr. E. Edward Martin, Jr. Family Medicine Award
  • Torunn Sivesind – John Lockwood Ochsner Sr. Surgical Award
  • Joana Nam – Student Excellence Award for OB/GYN
  • Hannah Lively-Endicott – Student Excellence Award for Pediatrics
  • Sahar Derakhshanian –Student Excellence Award for Psychiatry
  • Gage Stuntz – Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Excellence in Emergency Medicine Award
  • Johnathon Collins – American College of Emergency Physicians Medical Student Professionalism and Service Award

The class of 2018 marks the seventh graduating class from the UQ Ochsner Clinical School and will celebrate Match Day in March 2019. Earlier this year, UQ Ochsner Clinical School’s class of 2017 garnered an impressive 95 percent match rate through the National Residency Match Program (NRMP), which is comparable to other medical schools in the U.S. Students from the class of 2017 matched into residency training programs at many prestigious institutions across the country such as Ochsner Medical Center, UCLA, Vanderbilt, Emory University, University of Chicago, Dartmouth University, St. Louis University, Loma Linda University and Icahn SOM at Mount Sinai, as well as the in-state programs at Tulane University and LSU New Orleans and Shreveport.