Program For Away Rotation Sites
The Saint Louis University School of Medicine Graduate Medical Education Office provides support for a limited number of away electives for resident training. These rotations are intended to enrich the educational experience of a resident and the residency training program, expand SLU's visibility locally and internationally, and create unique opportunities for residents to provide care to the underserved.
Applications are reviewed twice each year and must be received by May 1 or November 1.
For a full description of the Program for Away Rotation program, download the guidelines.
|Program||2019-2020 Rotation Site|
|Program||2018-2019 Rotation Site|
|Program||2017-18 Rotation Site|
|Program||2016-17 Rotation Site|
|Program||2015-16 Rotation Site|
|Program||2014-15 Rotation Site|
|Internal Medicine||Puerto Rico|
|Internal Medicine||New Dehli/Rishikesh|
|Program||2013-14 Rotation Site|
|Family Medicine||South Africa|
The financial structure of Medicare Graduate Medical Education training requires residents to work physically within the hospital system that provides the financial support for the educational experience. Resident rotations away for special educational activities, volunteering for underserved populations and international experiences are not supported through traditional GME cost report funding. It is difficult to arrange away rotations, even within the same city, without dedicated financial support.
Many Saint Louis University faculty volunteer clinically outside of the United States and would welcome resident participation but lack a financial mechanism for such rotations. Prospective residents often ask about international or away electives during the interview process and indicate that the Saint Louis University mission of service is a reason for selecting our school and residencies. Many desire the opportunity to provide additional care to the underserved, generally outside of the United States, as a part of the training program. Some residents also desire specialized educational opportunities that are not available at our School or affiliated training hospitals. These rotations away require external stipend support not available through the current hospital or GME training budgets.
Up to 28 days (approximately $5,000) per resident will be covered through the GME office for stipend, benefits and malpractice coverage (if U.S.-based rotation) during the away rotation. An additional travel allowance of up to $1,000 will be provided to offset a portion of the cost of airfare/transit to an international location and up to $500 to a U.S.-based location. Trainees remaining in St. Louis will not receive a travel allowance.
When partial existing funds are available for a rotation or travel, partial support may be provided by GME to offset unfunded expenses. The resident or program will be responsible for lodging, meals, required vaccinations or prophylactic medications, incidental costs, and fees associated with processing, licensing or credentialing at the away site, purchasing of international health insurance (mandatory) or additive malpractice coverage (optional).
The resident's training program will be responsible for any programmatic costs associated with the trainee's absence. International health insurance is available for a minimal cost through Saint Louis University via the SLU Marketplace website.
This program will neither replace established funding mechanisms for resident away rotations, nor fund experiences that are a required component of the residency training program. This program is intended to provide support for unique opportunities, resident-initiated experiences, or initial development of international training partnerships for resident education. This program is not intended to fund established or annual "senior year" away rotations for a department/program. External or departmental support is expected for recurring away experiences. Denial of funding through this GME-supported program does not imply denial of approval by the GME office for the away experience; other funding mechanisms should be pursued.
Each training program may submit up to two applications for consideration during an academic year. Applications and supporting documentation must be completed before being considered by the review committee. Applications must clearly demonstrate the educational benefit to the trainee and program and the support of the program director and department. Upon return from the rotation, the trainee will be required to provide an educational presentation of the experience, complete a post-rotation report for the GME office and serve as a resource for other trainees who may be interested in away rotation experiences.
A local faculty advisor and an off-site supervisor must be identified for each away experience. The advisor will be responsible for assisting the resident with the application process, obtaining necessary supporting documentation, monitoring the resident's participation in the away rotation and ensuring an evaluation of the resident takes place. The off-site supervisor must complete an end-of-rotation evaluation and agree to the term established for the away rotation. The resident, faculty advisor and program director are responsible for all planning, paperwork and travel arrangements.
A rotation description including goals and objectives, clinical responsibilities, and the supervision and evaluation process must be created by the program director, and an evaluation of the trainee must be performed at the end of the experience by the supervising clinician. When required, the program director must submit a program letter of agreement between Saint Louis University and the away site which outlines the resident responsibilities, educational activities, and supervision structure of the away rotation. The program director must complete any paperwork required by the away rotation site at least one month in advance of the start of the rotation.
The away rotation must not place undue clinical or service stress on other trainees or compromise patient care. Participating residents must not be required to extend residency training by participating in the away rotation. The away rotation must provide a certifiable educational experience as outlined in the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Resident Review Committee Program Requirements for the trainee's specialty.
Applications will be reviewed for merit and priority by the Program for Away Rotation Review Committee comprised of resident, faculty and GME members. Applications will be reviewed for approval/funding twice each year (May 1 and Nov. 1). A resident must be in good standing with the training program and the school and is eligible to participate in a GME supported away rotation only once while in training at Saint Louis University. Priority will be given to those trainees who:
- Are a PGY-2 or higher
- Utilize the full four-week rotation period
- Engage in clinical activities accompany a Saint Louis University faculty on the rotation
- Provide care to an underserved population
- Work internationally
- Participate in a well-established governmental educational or philanthropic program/organization
- Engage in an educational activity that is not available at Saint Louis University affiliated training sites
The away rotation cannot take place in a restricted location, site of military conflict or area which would place the trainee in physical danger.
House Staff Poster Competition
Each year, residents/fellows are encouraged to participate in our annual House Staff Research Symposium Poster Competition. Prizes are awarded to the four oral semifinalists, best at-poster discussion, and best quality improvement poster.
The research on which the submitted poster is based may have been conducted over the last two years; and may also have been presented outside the University, but may not have been presented at a previous SLU House Staff Poster Competition.
2019 ResultsRebecca Rimsza, M.D., obstetrics/gynecology: Best At-Poster Discussion.
- William Perez, maternal-fetal medicine: First place
- Cara Buskmiller, obstetrics/gynecology: Second place
- Alyssa Higgins, pathology: Honorable mention
- Elias Ghossoub, forensic psychiatry: Honorable mention
- Rebecca Rimsza, M.D., obstetrics/gynecology: Best At-Poster Discussion
- Thomas Fay, M.D., pathology: Best Quality Improvement Poster
Oral Competition Winners:Courtney Crider, dermatology: First place Oluwasayo Adeyemo, internal medicine: Second place Peyman Dinarvand, pathology: Honorable mention Manish Malkar, pediatric cardiology: Honorable mention
At-Poster Discussion Winners:Martin Schoen, hematology/oncology: Best At-Poster Discussion Pujan Patel, pulmonary disease/critical care: Best Quality Improvement Poster
Caring Physician Award
Physician recipients and nominees live out the ideals of our mission in their practice. All attending physicians, fellows and residents who practice at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital and who have not received the award in the last seven years are eligible for nomination.
- Steven Abboud, M.D.
- Zach Berg, M.D.
- Aakash Bodhit, M.D.
- Amber Bokhari, M.D.
- Michael Diffley, M.D.
- Peter Everson, M.D.
- Samkon Gado, M.D.
- Noam Grysman, M.D.
- Aniruddh Kapoor, M.D.
- Jen Lobb, M.D.
- Vatche Melkonian, D.O.
- Brian O’Byrne, M.D.
- Amith Reddy, M.D.
- Amanie Salem, M.D.
- Neha Sarvepalli, M.D.
- Jonathan Ben-Zev, M.D.
- Neil Evans, M.D.
- Gabrielle Navon, M.D.
- Krishna Patel, D.O.
- Garrett Rampon, M.D.
- Zachary Urick, M.D.
- Brandon Wojcik, M.D.
- Neil Evans, M.D., Department of Internal Medicine
- Krishna Patel, D.O., Department of Internal Medicine
- Jonathan Chica, M.D.
- Mudasir Kamal, M.D.
- Maheen Khan, M.D.
- Andrew Kichura, M.D.
- Jonathan Lebovitz, M.D.
- Aaron Miller, M.D.
- Zachary Oman, M.D.
- Amith Reddy, M.D.
- Douglas Snyder, M.D.
- Jonathan Chica, M.D., Department of Surgery
- Andrew Kichura, M.D., Division of Cardiology
- Jonathan Chica, M.D.
- Michael Cooper, M.D.
- Najib El Tecle, M.D.
- Christine Henderson, M.D.
- Sam Kuchinka, M.D.
- Kate Shoemaker, M.D.
- Irum Yaqub, M.D.
- Matthew Pierson, M.D., Department of Neurological Surgery
- Annie Mooser, M.D., Department of Surgery
Humanistic Healer Award
Saint Louis University wants to recognize residents and fellows that deliver exceptional, humanistic patient-centered care. The Humanistic Healer Award will be given to house staff who are recognized by others for the care provided to patients and families. Evidence of exceptional care includes single or repeated events within the past three months in which the physician went above and beyond expectations by demonstrating:
- Advocacy and respect for everyone as a sacred human being
- Respect for a patients' right to life and to a dignified death
- High quality of care for our patients
- Holistic, innovative and spiritual care
- Contributions to the hospital, University or community at large
Nominations can be sponsored by residents, fellows, medical students, program directors/coordinators and clinical staff. Repeated nominations will be accepted, however prior awardees are not eligible for repeat awards during the same academic year. Nominations will be reviewed and selected at least quarterly by members of the Graduate Medical Education Committee and will receive recognition and a monetary award.
Ashley Boerrigter, M.D., an obstetrics/gynecology resident, continually goes above and beyond the call of duty for her patients. One in particular had a very terminal diagnosis, with not much time left, and was supposed to get married in October of this year. Once the oncology team had determined that the patient's disease was terminal, Dr. Boerrigter did everything in her power to ensure this patient made it to her wedding. She spent an entire afternoon on the phone with various offices to get an expedited marriage certificate, facilitate family travel for the patient, and literally brought the wedding to the hospital. That night, the patient was married and finally got to live a happily ever after that she'd always desired all thanks to Dr. Boerrigter and her dedication to this patient. Not only did she help plan this marvelous wedding, but she also acted as a strong advocate for the patient during difficult decisions about patient code status and treatment options. Dr. Boerrigter was constantly at the patient's bedside, answering questions and talking through various options with the family. In this situation, she showed an incredible amount of humanism and compassion for her patient above and beyond the ivory tower of medical care. This incredible act was also captured by Channel 5 KSDK and aired on the nightly news.
Abbey Rocco, M.D., a pediatrics resident, is a fierce advocate for all of her patients ensuring the highest quality of care and comfort. She takes the time to explain plans of care, test results, or other updates with patients and their families in a way that is approachable and conversational. She builds great relationships with her patients and it is evident that she cares deeply about not only helping them through their illness, but about their well-being in general. On her most recent rotation on the Hem/Onc service, Abbey had a variety of challenging encounters, including new cancer diagnoses, high acuity complications in well-known oncology patients, and a particularly challenging patient death. Abbey met each of these challenges head on, and took them as opportunities to walk with patients and their families through difficult times. She would stay late to talk to families and provide them updates to ensure they had continuity, at the expense of her own time, and would often stay in touch with the night float team covering her patients throughout the night to get updates and provide help and advice based on what she knew about the patients. Her down to earth demeanor and sense of humor help alleviate the heavy weight that is felt when caring for children with cancer and its complications, and are an exceptional gift that she uses fully to help heal those around her.
Samuel Roberto, M.D., a cardiology fellow, has consistently proven his true commitment to the service of medicine, patient care, and professional integrity. While on the elevator to leave after a long day, post-call, there was a CCU CODE BLUE called for one of his patients. Dr. Roberto ran out of the elevator immediately to care for this complicated patient. Dr. Roberto had a calm, reassuring demeanor and handled the situation exceptionally well. In this extremely tough circumstance, Dr. Roberto showed his exceptional skills and under his leadership, the team was able to work in harmony which led to a very positive outcome. The patient started to talk and asked for help whereas earlier she was unresponsive. When asked later why he was running for the code when he was "off-duty", Dr. Roberto responded, “I knew the patient more than any other physicians as I followed the patient during the admissions. I felt it’s my responsibility to go and help the code team as I have solid information on the patient, which could be crucial during the code. To me patient’s come first and it does not matter how long I have been working or if it is not my responsibility or others". He could have easily avoided the code and went home hours before his shift ended that post-call day. Undoubtedly, he holds great clinical expertise, has a very high moral, is faithful in the most tiresome circumstance, and has an approachable attitude which makes him very distinguishable.
Melissa Hager, D.O., a rheumatology fellow, provides support, compassion, and exceptional care for her patients. One of her patients, who used to sing professionally, developed myositis and was at one point unable to perform daily activities or sing for 1 year. Once this patient recovered, Dr. Hager attended the patient's comeback performance on a Friday evening at a local bar on her own personal time. The patient had tears in her eyes when she saw her doctor in the audience supporting her. More patients deserve and need caring physicians like Dr. Hager.
Krishna Patel, D.O., an internal medicine resident, exemplifies what it means to be a good doctor through her professionalism, knowledge, and charisma. She is always happy to take consults and assist colleagues in managing patients. When consulting with Dr. Patel on a patient with metastatic breast cancer, she provided same-day recommendations, and even went ahead to talk with oncology and pharmacy to determine if one of the patient’s cancer medications could be held to allow for wound healing. Dr. Patel always makes a point to make sure consults are handled expediently and in a professional manner.
Sara Henen, M.D., a pediatric gastroenterology fellow, cares tirelessly for her patients and is very attentive to their needs. One of her patients with IBD had a hard time staying in compliance with a non-solid food diet. Dr. Henen promised the patient that she would drink Pedialyte for the entire 10 days to show that it could be done. She was so committed to this that, even when she had to go out of town for the weekend for a prior commitment with friends, she did not eat any food either. Her example was great for the patient, and it made it easier for the patient to adhere to the diet. The patients spirits were much higher because Dr. Henen made the extra effort to do the best she could to comfort and be a good model for her patient.
Thomas Heitker, M.D., an internal medicine resident, goes above and beyond for each and every one of his patients and their families. In working on a tough case where a patient coded and eventually resuscitated, Dr. Heitker spent extensive time with the patient's father. The father needed a phone charger to charge his phone but no one in the area had one that was compatible. Dr. Heitker left for 10 minutes and came back with a brand new phone charger that he bought personally from the gift shop to give to the father. Dr. Heitker went the extra mile to ensure that the patient's family had everything they needed.
Daniela Hermelin, M.D., a blood banking and transfusion medicine fellow, demonstrates exceptional patient advocacy that extends well beyond the immediacy of the patient-physician interaction. With a patient who had a difficult-to-manage condition, she advocated for the well-being of the patient by addressing complicated transportation issues, making sure the necessary medications are always available at the patient’s preferred pharmacy, and serving as the interface with the patient and neurologist on multiple occasions. Her caring disposition has had a tremendously positive impact on this patient’s complicated clinical situation. Dr. Hermelin is an unparalleled system navigator for her patients.
Douglas Snyder, M.D., an internal medicine resident, is a strong advocate for his patients and always goes the extra mile. When Dr. Snyder was called to assist a co-resident with a difficult patient situation regarding insurance, he learned that the patient had tested positive for HIV earlier in the day. He spent nearly two hours providing support and comfort to the patient assuring the patient that the diagnosis of HIV was not a death sentence. Not only did Dr. Snyder put the patient at ease about the diagnosis but stayed after hours to help tailor the patients other medical condition for insurance. He was able to find a regimen for the patient that was $0 out of pocket cost.
Mudasir Kamal, M.D., a psychiatry resident, goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure quality patient care. He is effective at using the patient-centered approach to connect with patients even the most challenging personality disordered patients that others find difficult and has created extra patient slots outside his regular work hours to help patients in dire need. In addition, Dr. Kamal helped establish the first student-run psychiatry clinic and was instrumental in helping patient without insurance obtain treatment for mental illnesses. He takes challenges with a smile and provides a positive patient experience.
Aliza Machefsky, M.D., an obstetrics/gynecology resident, provides exceptional, compassionate care to all our patients. She always puts the patient's values, needs, and desires first. She takes the time to talk with her patients in a professional manner that the patient can easily understand. Dr. Machefsky spent many hours with a mother who was delivering premature twins. This was an emotionally difficult time and the mother asked Dr. Machefsky to continue caring for her in the hospital. Dr. Machefsky put the patient's needs ahead of everything else to spend additional time with this mother.
Samkon Gado, M.D., an otolaryngology resident, is a true advocate for each patient he sees. He has excellent bedside manner and delivers holistic, innovative, and spiritual care through his outreach to Nigeria and for the patients of our community. Dr. Gado saw a patient with nasal complaints and not only took the time to provide the routine care, but also to explain the dangers of chronic daily opioid use. He personally accompanied a patient to the hospital for admission and took additional time to speak with the family of a disabled patient who needed extra attention for recurrent nosebleeds.
Ashley Meyr, M.D., a family medicine resident, is not satisfied unless every stone has been turned to get answers and appropriate care for her patients. She is thorough, thoughtful and diligent and will track down patients who do not come to appointments. Dr. Meyr guided a non-English speaking immigrant patient through a complex and confusing medical illness that required multiple biopsies to determine the final diagnosis. She did not stop looking for the correct diagnosis despite initial negative testing. The patient's husband is also now coming to Dr. Meyr for his primary care.
Jenna Fine, D.O., a pediatric critical care resident, consistently provides life-saving care to children and families in crisis with thoughtful concern, kindness and consideration. Even when challenged by urgent, life-threatening problems she takes the time to discover a family's true needs and identify their wishes and fears regarding their children. Dr. Fine has assisted families of children with severe genetic conditions to understand the medical decisions that must be made and to guide families in making difficult decisions.
Joannie Ivory, M.D., an internal medicine resident, is always going the extra mile to establish a rapport with patients. She cares deeply for their well-being, and she will go out of her way to make sure that their stay in the hospital is as pleasant as possible. Dr. Ivory has bought games, books, and coffee to patients who were hospitalized for long periods of time and may not have stayed to complete much-needed medical treatments.
Nathan Wilgus, M.D.: Nathan Wilgus, M.D., a pathology resident, has done a tremendous job for one of his recent patients. Wilgus and his attending went down to the operating room to perform a frozen section evaluation for a possible lung tumor. After looking at the slides it was determined that there was no cancer, but the sample was worrisome for a rare infection. He went to the bedside, introduced himself to the patient and his family, and obtained additional information that suggested the patient had an infection that could be treated with antibiotics. Wilgus went above and beyond to help make this diagnosis and reassure the family and patient.
Jinhua Piao, M.D.: Jinhua Piao, M.D., is a pathology resident who is highly respectful, treating each patient, and their family members, as individuals worth of our service. She has gone above and beyond expectations to know our patients and explain how we are impacting their care. She has also been a strong advocate for vulnerable patients in complicated medical situations for which the proper therapeutic way forward is unclear. One weekend, Piao was responsible for two therapeutic plasmapheresis procedures and did a marvelous job of supporting the patients and the nurse performing the procedure, staying at the patient's bedside to assure a safe, comfortable and successful experience.
Pujan Patel, M.D.: Pujan Patel, M.D., is a pulmonary critical care fellow who provides the very best care to his patients. We breathe a sigh of comfort whenever we know Patel is working in the ICU. He always says to us that he looks after patients as if they were our own family members and this shows by the respect and attention he gives the patients and families. Patel is always calm and collected, which makes both the patient and staff feel reassured. He remains humble and approachable and always listens to the nurses concerns regarding the patients. In caring for a very sick cancer patient, Patel made a point to regularly sit down with the family at the bedside to explain everything and how things were going every few hours. He also assisted a blind patient with a tracheostomy in getting resources to better communicate with her care providers.
SLUSOM Awards Banquet
2019 Resident Award Winners
- Family Medicine: Ashley Meyr, M.D.
- Internal Medicine: Nikhil Malhotra, M.D.
- Neurology: Kevin Yeboah, M.D.
- OB/GYN: Amy Gee, M.D.
- Pediatrics: Megan Ottomeyer, D.O.
- Psychiatry: Nathalie Boulos, M.D.
- Surgery: Jennifer Keller, M.D.
- an Elective Rotation: Elizabeth Billquist, M.D.
- Jennifer Keller, M.D.
Outstanding Clinical Educator Award for a Resident in:
- Family Medicine: Steven Song, M.D.
- Internal Medicine: Andrea Ramirez-Gomez, M.D.
- Neurology: Jeff Calvin, M.D.
- OB/GYN: Cara Buskmiller, M.D.
- Pediatrics: Mary Kate Lockhart, M.D.
- Psychiatry: Sohail Nibras, M.D.
- Surgery: Anne Mooser, M.D.
- an Elective Rotation: Peter Boor, M.D.
Outstanding Clinical Educator Award for a Resident in:
- Family Medicine: Dillon Cleary, M.D., Noah Cooperstein, M.D., and Steven Song M.D.
- Internal Medicine: Andrea Ramirez-Gomez, M.D., Garrett Rampon, M.D., and Aaron Schenone, D.O.
- Neurology: Jeff Calvin, M.D., Neel Parikh, M.D., and Arun Solanki, M.D.
- OB/GYN: Cara Buskmiller, M.D., Ionana Marcu, M.D., and Joe Shi, M.D.
- Pediatrics: Mary Kate Lockhart, M.D., Perry Morocco, M.D., and Dajana Sabic, D.O.
- Psychiatry: Vikas Mandadi, M.D., Amir Mohebbi, M.D., and Sohail Nibras, M.D.
- Surgery: Amit Kainth, M.D., Sean Massa, M.D., and Anne Mooser, M.D.
- an Election Rotation: Peter Boor, M.D., Ryan Haskamp, M.D., and Alex Myong, M.D.
GME Faculty Scholarship for ACGME Course
The Office of Graduate Medical Education offers a scholarship for two faculty members to attend the ACGME course on "Developing Faculty Competencies in Assessment" each year. This scholarship is intended for residency and fellowship program directors, associate program directors, chairs and members of the Clinical Competency Committees (CCCs) and any faculty members with major responsibility for the assessment of residents/fellows.
- Naila Ahmad, M.D., Pediatric Anesthesiology
- Stephen Cagle, M.D., Family Medicine
- Oscar Cepeda, M.D., Hospice & Palliative Medicine
- Muhammad Ali Javad, M.D., Critical Care Medicine
- Gabriela Espinoza, M.D., Ophthalmology
- Jason Keune, M.D., Surgery
- D. Gregory Ward, M.D., Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Kimberly Spence, M.D., Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine
Alpha Omega Alpha
- Jennifer Aleshire (pediatrics)
- Sarah Horn (internal medicine)
- Nicholas Rockefeller (OB/GYN)
- Samkon Gado (otolaryngology)
- Anne Mooser (general surgery)
- Christopher Brownsworth
- Sean Massa
- Cassie Shaw
- Kanika Turner
- Melissa Wehrmann
Other Resident Awards
- Juri Bassuner, M.D., Interventional Radiology-Integrated, has been awarded RSNA Roentgen Radiology/Fellow Research Award from Radiology Society of North America (RSNA)
SLU Resident/Fellow Behavioral Health Advisory Board
In 2011, the SLU Resident/Fellow Behavioral Health Advisory Board (BHAB) was established to share feedback and ideas regarding the behavioral health needs of SLU residents and fellows. The BHAB meets 2-3 times per academic year to discuss ideas for raising awareness of services, issues in seeking services, input on issues and relevant behavioral health topics of interest. We welcome new members each academic year! If you are interested in joining the BHAB, please email your interest to StlouisUHPBHP@uhsinc.com. The list will be submitted to the GME office who will request approval from your program director for participating.
Resident/Fellow BHAB Member
Program / Department
|Dr. Brigham Voigt||Anesthesiology|
|Dr. Ritesh Ghandi||Family Medicine|
|Dr. Amber Bokhari||Infectious Diseases|
|Dr. Fernand Bteich||Internal Medicine|
|Dr. Ghassan Daher||Internal Medicine|
|Dr. Cristian Popu||Internal Medicine|
|Dr. Imran Shaikh||Internal Medicine|
|Dr. Rebecca N. Verhaeghe||Neonatal Perinatal Medicine|
|Dr. Ashley Boerrigter||OBGYN|
|Dr. Haley Bray||Otolaryngology|
|Dr. Mary Kate Lockhart||Pediatrics|
|Dr. Gianfranco Frojo||Plastic Surgery|
|Dr. Amir Mohebbi||Psychiatry|
|Dr. Miriam Ruiz||Surgery|
|Dr. Chizoba Ezepue||Vascular Neurology|