June 2017 | Vol. 10 | No. 2

From the Desk of the Associate Dean

While this time of year is very bittersweet, it is especially so this year as the two medical schools split the GME programs. We have come a long way in the 10 years since I started as DIO. Many people have worked very hard behind the scenes to make our progress a reality and definitely should be thanked.

  • Gail Smith and Jeannie Hudson who ensure all agreements and contracts are created and implemented.
  • Matt Milone and Mistee Arias-Galacia from legal who not only review agreements, but also help when there are various issues that need to be addressed or problems to be solved.
  • The various folks over the years from budget and finance who work closely with the GME office to bill our teaching partners and collect funds for resident/fellow salaries.
  • Our colleagues in human resources and pay administration along with Veronica Shearin and Tim McFarling from human resources who have assisted in challenging situations, generated contracts, signed people up for benefits and handle a variety of important details.
  • Thomas Schwenk, MD the dean of the school of medicine whose constant support and advice have been invaluable.

There are also lots of people who might be identified as “first responders” who have contributed to the success of GME over the years and deserve a huge thank you!

  • The residency and fellowship program coordinators who essentially keep all of the programs in line and the residents/fellows towing the line.
  • Not to be left behind, the residency and fellowship program and associate program directors who ensure that all training programs are in substantial compliance with the accreditation requirements and devote more time than I can describe to educate the next generation(s) of physicians.
  • Finally, the GME Office Staff who work tirelessly to not only address institutional requirements, but also track duty hours for reimbursement as well as a monitoring process and make events like Intern Orientation, Resident Research Day, the Goodman Competition, Retreats and Resident Forum, etc. occur seamlessly.

I would also like to acknowledge the now almost 400 residents/fellows who work with us to create educational programs of the highest caliber. Many have served as leaders in their programs and many have served as representatives of their programs to a whole host of institutional committees. Your commitment to making things better for your peers and for future trainees is admirable.

As I recognize residents, I want to first refer you to the “In the Spotlight” to see the outcomes of resident research day both in Las Vegas and in Reno. Further, there are other resident accomplishments listed in this section that are examples of their achievement.

This year marks the first graduates from our relatively new internal medicine fellowships – cardiology and gastroenterology. These fellowships fulfill the need in the community as we begin to address the sub-specialty shortage in Nevada. Heartfelt congratulations to these five fellows as they begin their careers as subspecialists in the field of medicine.

As I conclude, I especially want to congratulate all of the residents and fellows completing their training or at least this chapter of their training with us. Many of the graduating residents/fellows will be embarking on the path of employment – some in Nevada; many of those finishing at UNR Med will be pursuing additional training in the form of fellowships both here and away. As the residents/fellows reach this next step in their formation as specialty or subspecialty physicians, we wish them only success and happiness. Continue to be life-long learners; be curious and ask questions. Strive to have a work-life balance that meets your needs and incorporate wellness as part of your daily activities. We are proud of you and what you have achieved.

With the transition of the Las Vegas programs to UNLV and the Reno programs remaining with UNR Med, GMEmail will reappear in new formats at each respective institution. I hope that over the years, this publication has provided information to the medical school about GME and to the individuals involved in GME a source of faculty development as well as relevant updates. As this publication sunsets, I want to extend thanks to Kevin Murphy and his team for serving as the publisher.

Have a great summer, stay cool and may the transition be smooth for all involved.



Miriam Bar-on, MD
Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education and DIO

From the ACGME

A letter from Thomas J. Nasca, MD, MACP the Chief Executive Officer for the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. In his letter, Dr. Nasca discusses the need to address physician well-being and the efforts being done by the ACGME and the Association of American Medical Colleges under the umbrella of the National Academy of Medicine.

Best Practices

In the April 2017 issue of Journal of Graduate Medical Education, the Rip Out article follows on the theme of the last best practice from GMEmail. The theme last time was on team based peer review, this article also focuses on peer review. The article, Developing Your Expertise as a Peer Reviewer by Barbara G. Jerico, MD; Deborah Simpson, PhD; Gail M. Sullivan, MD, MPH is short and timely. Remember – peer review is one of the categories of scholarship or scholarly activity for faculty.

In the Spotlight

Each May the GME Office organizes and implements a Resident/Fellow Research Day for both Las Vegas and Reno. This year the events were held on May 12 and 15 respectively. There were 30 presentations in Las Vegas (some even skyped from Australia) and 9 in Reno. Winners from the different categories are as follows – Congratulations to all of the Winners!!!

Las Vegas

Resident Research:

  • First: Krystle Tuano, surgery
  • Second: Ashish Francis, plastic surgery
  • Third: Christopher McNicoll, surgery

Fellow Research:

  • First: Allison McNickle, surgical critical care
  • Second: Patrick McGrew, acute care surgery

Resident quality improvement:

  • First: Senthil Bhoopalan, pediatrics
  • First: Krystle Tuano, surgery
  • Second: Shawna Kleban, plastic surgery

Resident clinical vignette:

  • First: Rachel Campbell, psychiatry
  • Second: Vonita Chawla, pediatrics
  • Third: Scott Ogley, plastic surgery


Resident clinical vignette:

  • First: Daoud Majid, internal medicine

Fellow clinical vignette:

  • First: Erin Klinkman, hospice and palliative medicine
  • Second: Mordechai Lavi, geriatrics
  • Third: Traci Biondi, hospice and palliative medicine

Congratulations to second year pediatrics residents who matched for fellowships in the spring pediatric fellowship match:

  • Kaushal Dosani – Pediatric Cardiology at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, Cleveland, Ohio
  • Senthil Bhoopalan – Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee

Congratulations to Douglas Fraser, the associate program director for Acute Care Surgery fellowship for being selected for the outstanding fulltime professor-Las Vegas by the medical student class of 2017. His award was presented at the Dean’s Dinner in May.

Also at that dinner, awards were presented to outstanding residents:

  • Krystle Tuano – Third year surgery resident – Outstanding Resident Las Vegas
  • Travis Walker – Third year family medicine resident – Outstanding Resident Reno

Congratulations to Mustafa Al-Shammari – third year internal medicine – Las Vegas resident, and upcoming Chief Medical Resident for being selected as an Early Career Investigator Winner of the AGA’s Poster Judging Competition at Digestive Disease Week 2017 in Chicago.

Congratulations to Christopher McNicoll fourth year surgery resident for being selected as the Outstanding Physician in Training by the Nevada Oncology Society at their Spring Conference in Las Vegas in May 2017. He presented his research titled: Analysis of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project in Hospitalization Outcomes for Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Nevada Compared to the United States.

Krystle Tuano

Congratulations to third-year general surgery resident Krystle Tuaño who presented a poster in Houston, TX at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons, titled Cholecystocutaneous fistula following hepatic angioembolization for complex liver injuries: A case report.

Christopher McNicoll

Congratulations to general surgery resident Christopher McNicoll who presented a poster in Miami Beach, FL at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Americas Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association, titled Inpatient Mortality, Total Charges, and Length of Stay Disparities Exist for Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Nevada Compared to the United States.

Surgical Conference Attendees

Congratulations to members of the department of surgery who presented at the Academic Surgical Congress meeting in Las Vegas, NV on February 7-9, 2017.

  • Acute Care Surgery fellow Purvi Patel presented her research titled A very unhappy birthday, which described the incidence and risk factors of patients who presented to the UMC trauma center on their birthday.
  • General Surgery resident Christopher McNicoll presented his research on Surgical trainees as teachers: A self-reflection exercise using the teaching perspectives inventory.
  • Fourth-year Otolaryngology resident David Kim presented his research, titled Can a change in surgical technique decrease postoperative hypocalcemia after total thyroidectomy?

Drs. Annabel Barber, Robert Wang, and Douglas Fraser were also in attendance to support the presenters.

Congratulations to third year GI Fellow Margie Tang whose paper Prophylactic Endotracheal Intubation Prior to Urgent Endoscopy in Patients with Suspected Variceal Hemorrhage: An Evaluation of Outcomes and Complications was published in the peer reviewed Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Research in April 2017.

Jay Fisher, Medical Director of the Department of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at UMC, has released a pediatric emergency medicine app, PEMRadio. It features pediatric emergency medicine references and resources as well as podcast interviews with leaders in the field conducted by Dr. Fisher.

"We Are Vegas" won the 8th annual USACS Video Contest. Directed by Omar Ahmed (PGY-2), it features an inside look at our emergency medicine residency.

Skaggs, Zhao, McKay, Walker
(Left to Right) Drs. Zachary Skaggs (PGY-2), Bailey Zhao (PGY-3), Megan McKay (PGY-3), and Tiffany Walker (PGY-2) pictured before the Washington Monument. They were in Washington, D.C. to attend the Nevada ACEP Leadership and Advocacy Conference.

Bailey Zhao (PGY-3), Megan McKay (PGY-3), Tiffany Sigal (PGY-2), and Zachary Skaggs (PGY-2) attended the Nevada ACEP Leadership and Advocacy Conference in Washington March 13, 2017. They also met with Sen. Cortez-Mastro (D-NV) and the staff of Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) to emphasize the importance of preserving the health safety net.

Congratulations to all of the Family Medicine-Las Vegas PGY 3 Residents who passed the American Board of Family Medicine Certification Exam. We are proud of all of them and of the Program Directors, faculty and staff who created the excellent learning environment to support them through training.

  • PGY 3's Las Vegas Residency (Program Director -Kate Martin):
    • Jonathan D Brown
    • Paul Hepworth
    • Scott A Isbell
    • Harsh Patel
    • Meilong (Jack) Yang
  • PGY 3 Rural Residency (Program Director - Elissa Palmer, Site Directors LV Kate Martin and Rural Brad Granath):
    • Samaan Sattarzadeh

Congratulations to Patrick McGrew, Acute Care Surgery fellow whose abstract entitled IMPLEMENTATION OF A CT SCAN PRACTICE GUIDELINE FOR PEDIATRIC TRUMA PATIENTS REDUCES UNNECESSARY SCANS WITHOUT IMPACTING OUTCOMES has been accepted for oral presentation at the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma (AAST) annual meeting.

GMEmail is a service of the Office of Communication, University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine. Miriam Bar-on, M.D., Editor, Office of Graduate Medical Education. Copyright © 2017 University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine.