Jump to content
Placeholder image for header
School of Medicine discoveries

Main

Featured archives

21
2016

Kelley Dodson named first female president of the Virginia Society of Otolaryngology

I think my presidency definitely reflects the change in traditionally male dominated surgical specialties to now being more representative and inclusive of women as a whole.

“I think my presidency definitely reflects the change in traditionally male dominated surgical specialties to now being more representative and inclusive of women as a whole.”

Housestaff alumna and School of Medicine faculty member Kelley M. Dodson, M.D., was installed as president of the Virginia Society of Otolaryngology on June 4. She is the first female president in the society’s nearly 100-year history.

It’s a milestone that Dodson says has special meaning for her.

“I think my presidency definitely reflects the change in traditionally male dominated surgical specialties to now being more representative and inclusive of women as a whole.”

Dodson has been involved with the society for a half dozen years. She served as president-elect last year and before that as vice president.

Through her service, she says, “I have gained significant insight especially into legislative issues facing the commonwealth of Virginia, as we have been very active in the legislative process on issues affecting our specialty.”

Kelley M. Dodson, M.D.

Kelley Dodson, M.D.

The Virginia Society of Otolaryngology was chartered in 1920. It provides continuing medical education for its members and addresses political and regulatory challenges affecting practice issues. Each spring, the society holds an annual meeting, which was held this year in McLean, Va.

Dodson has a clinical interest in pediatric otolaryngology as well as in congenital and genetic hearing loss. On the research front, she is interested in language and speech outcomes in children with hearing loss and has been involved with genetic studies of tinnitus and different forms of hearing loss. She also studies pediatric chronic rhinosinusitis and the mask microbiome in cystic fibrosis.

After completing her residency in the Department of Otolaryngology on VCU’s MCV Campus, Dodson joined the medical school’s faculty in 2005. She is now director of the department’s residency program.

By Erin Lucero
Event photography by Susan McConnell, Virginia Society of Otolaryngology

05
2016

All time high for Medical Student Research Day

Medical Student Research Day

The Class of 2018’s Stephanie DeMasi took first place at Medical Student Research Day. The judges reported that the quality and quantity of her research was exceptional given the limited time period in which the research was conducted, and particularly so given that this was her initial experience with a bona fide research project.

The 2016 Medical Student Research Day featured poster presentations from both the basic and clinical sciences, with students tackling topics as diverse as dengue and chikungunya viruses, surviving melanoma and hand hygiene in the operating room. There were also several research projects that examined medical education topics like encouraging compassion and learning to place intravenous catheters.

With 49 medical students participating, Jan Chlebowski, Ph.D., associate dean for graduate education, noted it was the largest number of presenters in the event’s three-year history.

“Having M.D. students gain some type of research experience during their training has been a point of emphasis by the medical school’s dean, Dr. Jerry Strauss, and also by the LCME, the accrediting body for the M.D. program,” said Chlebowski.

Student interest in research has been steadily growing over the past eight years, and the introduction of the M.D. program’s new curriculum has provided more opportunities for students to build research experience over the course of their training.

Dean of Medicine Jerry Strauss III, M.D., Ph.D., was on hand to review the research and speak with the presenters.

“It was an impressive show of talent! The research projects were diverse, and the students who walked me through their posters were extremely knowledgeable,” said Strauss. “This was a truly exceptional year in terms of the number of participants, and the quality of the work presented. I am particularly grateful to the research mentors who invested significant time and effort in making these research experiences productive and rewarding.”

The posters presented at Medical Student Research Day are eligible for prizes of $1,000, $500 and $250. A panel of judges reviewed the presentations’ originality, understanding, clarity and discussion.

Stephanie DeMasi with Jack Haar, professor emeritus of anatomy and neurobiology, who established the James D. Popp Summer Research Fellowship that made DeMasi’s research possible.

Stephanie DeMasi with Jack Haar, professor emeritus of anatomy and neurobiology, who established the James D. Popp Summer Research Fellowship that made DeMasi’s research possible.

This year’s winning entry was the Class of 2018’s Stephanie DeMasi, New Platinum Agents, Triplatin and Triplatin NC, Suppress Advanced Breast and Pancreatic Cancer. With financial support from the James D. Popp Summer Research Fellowship, she conducted the research under the guidance of Kazuaki Takabe, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of surgery.

“The judges felt that the quality and quantity of the research achieved by the winner was exceptional given the limited time period in which the research was conducted,” Chlebowski said. Their interactions with DeMasi during her presentation provided convincing evidence of her immersion and understanding of the complex nature of the study..

“This was compounded by the report that this was her initial experience with a bona fide research project.”

The judges also awarded:
– Second place to the Class of 2017’s Mashya Abbassi and Reza Nabavizadeh, co-presenters and classmates, and
– In a tie for third place: the Class of 2018’s Christopher Bednarz and the Class of 2018’s Imran Khatri.

Many of the research findings described in the poster presentations were products of the Medicine Student Summer Research Fellowship Program. The student-initiated eight-week projects take place between the students’ first and second years of medical school.

“Students submit a proposed project and have to identify a faculty mentor on their own,” explained Chlebowski. If the project is approved, students receive a $2,500 stipend to support their research.

By Erin Lucero

14
2016

Alumni representing three decades make the case for mentoring and engagement

J. Thomas Ryan, M'72, H’75, kicked off a session on leadership and engagement for the fourth-year students at their capstone course.

J. Thomas Ryan, M’72, H’75, kicked off a session on leadership and engagement for the fourth-year students at their capstone course.

J. Thomas Ryan, M’72, H’75, MSHA’99, returned to the MCV Campus in April to speak to the fourth-year students at their capstone course. Taking the theme of physician leadership and engagement, the family medicine physician encouraged them to be willing to spend the time and energy it takes to volunteer for committees and to serve their organization and profession, even during the busy years of residency.

“If you do, you will be offered opportunities for leadership, and you can decide whether you want to seize those opportunities.”

Ryan gave the students an overview of his own career’s trajectory that included a choice to return to VCU in the 1990s for a master’s in health administration. “For two years, I was a full-time clinician, a full-time student and a part-time administrator,” he said. “It was worth it.”

His M.S.H.A. degree led to a 16-year tenure as chief medical officer at Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg, Va. He stepped down three years ago to take on the next opportunity. He’s now a consultant with the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, focusing on emergency preparedness and mentoring young physicians.

“When I came out of medical school, there were doctors and nurses. Now there are all kinds of care providers as well as business people. Modern health care is a team sport. It’s important for you to have a say in steering our hospitals and country in a direction that is patient-centered.”

Also on hand were Rebecca Bigoney, M’79, and M. Stephen Mandell, H’85. The two medical school alumni also hold leadership positions at Mary Washington Hospital.

Bigoney, an internal medicine physician, credited Ryan as a mentor who encouraged her to volunteer for leadership assignments. That translated into Bigoney being named Ryan’s successor as CMO when he stepped down three years ago.

As she described that relationship, she emphasized that because Ryan knew her well, he could see leadership qualities in her that even she had not recognized. “If a mentor tells you that you are needed in a role – and equipped to fill it – trust that advice and take a chance that you might not have taken on your own.”

Bigoney in turn mentored Mandell, who is an internal medicine physician with Virginia Primary Care Associates and the senior medical director at Mary Washington Hospital. Having served as its president in the past, he also serves as chairman of several of key clinical committees.

Representing three decades of MCV Campus training, the trio of alumni are a case study in how engaging with junior and senior colleagues is essential for career development.

By Erin Lucero