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Resident Opportunities and Recognition

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 Nov.  1.   

For a full description of the Program for Away Rotation program,  download the guidelines.

Program  2019-2020 Rotation Site
Internal Medicine India
Internal Medicine Panama
Family Medicine Panama
Otolaryngology Sydney
Pediatrics Belize
Gastroenterology Belize


Program 2018-2019 Rotation Site
Family Medicine Belize
Family Medicine Honduras
Internal Medicine Kenya
Internal Medicine Belize
Maternal-Fetal Medicine China
Otolaryngology Spain


Program 2017-18 Rotation Site
Emergency Medicine Thailand
Otolaryngology Nigeria
Radiology Kenya


Program 2016-17 Rotation Site
Neurology India


Program 2015-16 Rotation Site
Otolaryngology Spain
Maternal-Fetal Medicine Congo


Program 2014-15 Rotation Site
Orthopaedic Surgery Malawi
Internal Medicine Belize
Internal Medicine Puerto Rico
Internal Medicine New Dehli/Rishikesh


Program 2013-14 Rotation Site
Family Medicine  South Africa
Orthopaedic Surgery Malawi
Internal Medicine  India
Emergency Medicine China


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.

Program Structure
Each academic year, selected residents will be allowed to engage in training outside of the Saint Louis University affiliated sites for a maximum of four weeks each. This is a competitive process which requires an application, approval and supporting documentation. A committee will review the application and determine if funding and support will be provided by the GME office for this experience. Applications must be received at least two months in advance of the expected training period.
Funding Support

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.

Program Requirements

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.

Selection Process

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.

2021 Results

Bryce Stash, M.D., Andrew Jilwan, M.D., Julie Gammack, M.D., Yusuf Agamawi, M.D., Nishika Moradia, M.D.

View 2021 Posters 

Oral Competition

  • First Place: Nishika Moradia, M.D., Surgery 
  • Second Place: Yusuf Agamawi, M.D., Otolaryngology
  • Honorable Mention: Bryce Stash, M.D., Plastic Surgery
  • Honorable  Mention: Andrew Jilwan, M.D., Ophthalmology 

At-Poster Discussion

  • Quality Improvement: Jasmin Meinke-Zhao, M.D., Internal Medicine
  • Research: Najib El Tecle, M.D., Neurosurgery
2019 Results

View 2019 Posters (PDF)

Oral Competition:

William Perez, maternal-fetal medicine: First place
Cara Buskmiller, obstetrics/gynecology: Second place
Alyssa Higgins, pathology: Honorable mention
Elias Ghossoub, forensic psychiatry: Honorable mention

At-Poster Discussion:

Rebecca Rimsza, M.D., obstetrics/gynecology: Best At-Poster Discussion
Thomas Fay, M.D., pathology: Best Quality Improvement Poster

2018 Results

View 2018 Posters (PDF)

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. 

2021 Caring Physician Award Winner

2021 SLUH Caring Physician Award Winners

  • Grace Wang, M.D., Department of Internal Medicine
2021 Caring Physician Award Nominees
  • Dakota Dreher, M.D.
  • Caleb Overfelt, M.D.
  • David Owens, D.O.
  • Michelle Mangold, D.O.
  • Jay Desai, M.D.
  • Grace Wang, M.D.
  • Keric Lickerman, M.D.
  • Zachary Kisley, D.O.
  • Tanner Wallen, M.D.
2020 Caring Physician Award Winners

2020 SLUH Caring Physician Award Winners

Congratulations to Drs. Julie Gammack , Farzana Hoque , Elsayed Abo Salem, Peter Shawki, and Caitlin Francoisse from SLU Department of IM for being the recipients of 2020 SSM Health SLUH Caring Physician Awards.

  • Elsayed Abo-Salem, M.D.
  • Caitlin Francoisse, M.D.
  • Julie Gammack, M.D.
  • Farzana Hoque, M.D.
  • Peter Shawki, M.D.
2020 Caring Physician Award Nominees
  • Caitlin Francoisse, M.D.
  • Varun Halani, M.D.
  • Lemuel Sibulo, D.O.
2019 Caring Physician Award Nominees
  • 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.
2018 Caring Physician Award Nominees
  • 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.
2018 Caring Physician Award Winners
  • Neil Evans, M.D., Department of Internal Medicine
  • Krishna Patel, D.O., Department of Internal Medicine
2017 Caring Physician Award Nominees
  • 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.
2017 Caring Physician Award Winners
  •  Jonathan Chica, M.D., Department of Surgery
  • Andrew Kichura, M.D., Division of Cardiology
2016 Caring Physician Award Nominees
  • 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. 
2016 Caring Physician Award Winners
  • 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.

Third Quarter 2021 Winner

Dr. Megan Ottomeyer (Neonatology): Dr. Ottomeyer consistently goes above and beyond for her patients.  She is respectful of patient/family autonomy and will always root for the underdog.  Not only does she strive to save lives, but in the event that she cannot, she tactfully and compassionately prepares the families for the unthinkable.  In a recent situation regarding care for a patient fighting for his life; Megan advocated for the family's end-of-life wishes, was a leader in his palliation, and was even asked to speak at his funeral.  Dr. Ottomeyer is both a fantastic physician and wonderful human being.

Second Quarter 2021 Winner

Dr. Luke Momper (Orthopedic Surgery): Dr. Momper has demonstrated compassion, empathy, and active listening when providing care. In a tough situation regarding care for a critically ill patient, he sat with and listened empathetically to the family as they expressed their wishes.  He also demonstrated intense listening as one of the family members shared stories about the patient and their current state prior to hospitalization.  Luke's compassion and empathy while navigating through some of the most difficult parts of medicine should be applauded.

First Quarter 2021 Winners

Dr. Jordan Hendrickson (Internal Medicine): Dr. Hendrickson goes above and beyond for her patients and families, calling families and ensuring they are updated and staying late to meet with families when they are available. She recently cared for an elderly veteran with metastatic lung carcinoma who had a very poor prognosis. His second hospital day was his birthday and all he wanted was chicken noodle soup. Dr. Hendrickson went out and purchased quality chicken noodle soup and a cupcake and coordinated with the nursing staff as they sang him "Happy Birthday." She also coordinated with our house supervisor to get him visitation approval so his wife could come see him on his birthday, as well.  

Dr. Eric Marin (Neurology):
Dr. Marin has repeatedly demonstrated both compassion and empathy when having discussions with families. But more importantly he listens to the families – to their stories about their loved ones under his care, and how much they mean to them. He skillfully navigates them through the possible next steps in their care and supports them with whatever decision they make. Dr. Marin was recently involved in a case involving a young patient with an unexpected severe brain injury with little-to-no chance of meaningful recovery. Dr. Marin reviewed the findings of the patient’s exam and imaging, and afterward  he sat with family and offered his support.

Fourth Quarter 2020 Winners 

Dr. Tejas Sangoi (Internal Medicine): Dr. Sangoi goes above and beyond to make sure that his patients receive everything they need. If given permission, and if the patient wishes it, he will call families multiple times a day to ensure that they know everything that is happening with their loved ones in these rough times. He will make sure to read about his patients hours before scheduled visits to ensure he doesn’t waste time by asking questions that he should already know the answer to. Before COVID, he received many hugs from patients for exceptional care he had provided.  

Dr. John Capelle (Orthopaedic Surgery): Dr. Capelle takes time to explain to patients their diagnosis and treatment plans in a manner that is understandable and reassuring. He treats his patients in a very respectful demeanor, asking about both their physical and mental wellbeing. In addition to going above and beyond for his patients, Dr. Capelle is always willing to help his fellow workers around the hospital and has done this consistently for the past five years.

Third Quarter 2020 Winners

Dr. Jon George (Pediatrics): Jon is eager to go to the bedside. He never turns away from an opportunity to interact with patients. When you call with concerns, he is there immediately to assess the patient. When the unit is busy at night he is walking around room to room making sure everyone is doing okay. He offers to help anyone that needs it, and has even been seen stocking bedside carts.  He is an asset to Cardinal Glennon and has the “Glennon” touch.   

Dr. Raymond Okeke (General Surgery):  Ray cares so much about his patients and makes the nurses feel like a valued part of the care team.  There is a level of mutual respect with him that I do not see with other physicians. He came to the beside multiple times for a patient who was anxious about surgery and returned multiple times to check afterward. He does all of this with a positive attitude and he greets and acknowledges everyone in the morning when he is rounding with his team. It is truly a privilege to work with him.    

Second Quarter 2020 Winners

Dr. Lemuel Sibulo, D.O., anesthesiology resident, is empathetic and caring for all his patients. He is a fierce advocate for ensuring the highest quality of care they can receive. During his obstetrics anesthesia rotation, he took his time explaining the risks and the benefits of an epidural blood patch and calmly allayed not only the patient's fears about the situation but also her husband's. He performed such a smooth epidural block on a mother with multiple traumatic epidurals in the past that she was considering naming her child after him. He is a stellar human being - patients and staff love him. 

Dr. Claire Murray, D.O., a neonatal perinatal fellow, respects her patients, listens to them and validates their concerns. She engages her team to ensure everyone is held to the same standard of care and is always prepared to help someone with patient care. Dr. Murray provided great anticipatory guidance to expectant parents of a child with Trisomy 13. Her empathetic communication allowed for seamless care when the child was delivered. Dr. Murray led a resuscitation of an infant with several anomalies who was not expected to survive after birth. She was purposeful and sensitive to avoid unnecessary pain and suffering and allow the infant die with dignity.

First Quarter 2020 Winners

Dr. Paul Eckerle, M.D., a pulmonary disease and critical care fellow, consistently demonstrates the highest ideals of humanistic medical care and is a role model to other providers. Whether it was making sure to call all the patients families on the MICU to update them regarding care due to constraints of visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic, consoling and helping with decision-making for a family member whose loved one was not likely to survive COVID-19, or making sure his patient's wife was able to see her dying husband via Facetime, Dr. Eckerle always shows compassion and his thoughtful approach to medical care is tailored to each patient.

Dr. Victoria Hayes, M.D., an OB/GYN resident, always puts the patients needs first and works hard to ensure they are well taken care of. In a tough case where a young patient had been sexually assaulted by a family member and delivered at home, Dr. Hayes showed incredible leadership and compassion. She led the multi-disciplinary group in regards to the case, established excellent rapport/trust with the patient, helped educate the patient on the process that was unfolding, and ensured the patient was placed in a safe environment upon discharge. Dr. Hayes showed a truly amazing display of exceptional, humanistic, patient-centered care.

Fourth Quarter 2019 Winners

Luke Chong, M.D., a cardiology fellow, always holds himself to a great standard, morally and ethically. After completing a 36-hour shift that involved a critically ill ICU patient, Dr. Chong opted to work for a few more hours to speak with the family who was scheduled to arrive later in the night. While the family meeting could have been reserved for the on-call fellow, Dr. Chong chose to stay because he was in the best position to speak about the patient’s condition and have a goals-of-care discussion. Dr. Chong went out of his way, taking time out of his personal life to ensure there were no loose ends in patient care. This is just one of the many examples that Dr. Chong has gone the extra mile for his patients and their families.

Cole Burkhartsmeier, M.D., an emergency medicine resident, is empathetic and caring for all his patients and works with everyone as a team. Dr. Burkhartsmeier worked with a patient that had come into the ED after a suspected OD and cardiac arrest. He spent time talking to the patient’s family regarding the prognosis and condition. Later, the patient was transferred to another unit and had coded again. The family requested that Dr. Burkhartsmeier come up to the unit because per the family, “he was able to explain things so I could understand”. The family felt comfortable making difficult decisions because he took the time to help them understand things along with making them feel that he cared about the patient and their family.  

Third Quarter 2019 Winners

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.

Second Quarter 2019 Winners

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.

First Quarter 2019 Winners
Caitlin Francoisse, M.D., a plastic surgery resident, is a compassionate healer of medicine that advocates for patients when they cannot do so for themselves. While working in the Burn ICU, Dr. Francoisse worked with a patient that was 70% burned. When this patient took a turn for the worst, Dr. Francoisse offered comfort, reassurance, and an active listening ear, that the family much appreciated. Although the patient succumbed to her injuries, Dr. Francoisse was there 100% of the time. She was kind, compassionate and considerate to the family during this hard time of withdrawing care and letting their loved one pass on in peace.

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.
Fourth Quarter 2018 Winners

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.

Third Quarter 2018 Winners

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.

Second Quarter 2018 Winners

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.

First Quarter 2018 Winners

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.

2020 SLUSOM Awards 

  • Passion For Education Award: Dr. Carole Vogler
  • Humanism in Education Award: Dr. Fred Rottnek
  • Pillar of Professionalism Award: Dr. Chad Miller
  • Excellence in Mentorship Award: Dr. Sarah Barnett
  • Cynthia Fairchild Award for Outstanding Staff: Debbie Crisler
2020 M1-M2 Preclinical Awards
  • Outstanding Small Group Facilitator:  Dr. Adam Merando

  • Outstanding First Year Course: Anatomy

  • Outstanding Lecturer in a First Year Course: Dr. David Brink

  • Outstanding Second Year Course: Renal

  • Outstanding Lecturer in a Second Year Course: Dr. James Deckert

2020 M3-M4 Clinical /Clerkship Awards

  • Outstanding Faculty Member in the Family Medicine Clerkship: Dr. Matthew Breeden

  • Outstanding Resident in the Family Medicine Clerkship: Dr. Randy Jackson

  • Outstanding Faculty Member in the Psychiatry Clerkship: Dr. Anjan Bhattacharyya

  • Outstanding Resident in the Psychiatry Clerkship: Dr. Amy Gallop

  • Outstanding Faculty Member in the Neurology Clerkship: Dr. Sean Goretzke

  • Outstanding Resident in the Neurology Clerkship: Dr. Ronald Jones

  • Outstanding Faculty Member in the Pediatrics Clerkship: Dr. Anne Beck

  • Outstanding Resident in the Pediatrics Clerkship: Dr. Nora Olson

  • Outstanding Faculty Member in the Internal Medicine Clerkship: Dr. Adam Merando

  • Outstanding Resident in the Internal Medicine Clerkship: Dr. Neil Evans

  • Outstanding Faculty Member in the Surgery Clerkship: Dr. Kaitlin Farrell

  • Outstanding Resident in the Surgery Clerkship: Dr. Annie Mooser

  • Outstanding Faculty Member in the Ob-Gyn Clerkship: Dr. Michael Thomure

  • Outstanding Resident in the Ob-Gyn Clerkship: Dr. Hannah Kert

  • Outstanding Faculty Member in an Elective Rotation: Dr. Tina Chen

  • Outstanding Resident in an Elective Rotation: Dr. Zachary Farwood

  • Outstanding Clinical Educator Award for a Community Preceptor: Dr. Amy Zimmerman


Resident Awards

2021 Resident Award Winners

Outstanding Clinical Educator Award for a Resident in:

  • Family Medicine: Marco Garcia, D.O.
  • Internal Medicine: Aditya Suresh, M.D.
  • Neurology: Eric Marin, M.D.
  • OB/GYN: Victoria Hayes, M.D.
  • Pediatrics: Charlie Boyle, M.D.
  • Psychiatry: Allison Montgomery, D.O.
  • Surgery: Raymond Okeke, M.D.
  • Elective Rotation: Michael Gasser, M.D.
2019 Resident Award Winners

Outstanding Clinical Educator Award for a Resident in:

  • 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.
  • Elective Rotation: Elizabeth Billquist, M.D.
           Pillar of Professionalism Award for a Resident: Jennifer Keller, M.D.
2018 Resident Award Winners

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.
  • Elective Rotation: Peter Boor, M.D.
2018 Resident Award Nominees

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. 

OPO Excellence in Professionalism Award

The Office of Professionalism Oversight seeks to highlight and celebrate the positive attributes in our learning environment.

2021 Awardee

Amy Gallop (Psychiatry):
“Even during busy inpatient rotations she makes time for teaching the med students vital psychiatry topics, making the experience fun, engaging and always looking out how to help a student improve their work and convince them to apply to psychiatry!  Dr. Gallop is always looking to promote stronger interdisciplinary resident connections.”

 “Dr. Gallop has shown me what it means to be a leader, someone who translates vision into reality. She is a psychiatrist who cares deeply for each patient and will be a psychiatrist leader who will move the field forward.“


Top Banana Resident Award

2020 Winner of the Top Banana Award Dr. Amy Gee (OB/GYN):  

“I would like to nominate Dr. Gee for this award for her exceptional dedication to medical student education and involvement in patient care. Despite her busy schedule, Dr. Gee always makes time to teach her students on a clinically unique case currently on service and/or on a high-yield topic. She also actively engages students in patient care, meeting each student where they are in their skills and knowledge base and helping build them up from there. She is always supportive, encouraging, and patient with her students (and she was incredibly patient and supportive of my education). She is fantastic with patients; her bedside manner is one that I aspire to. She is truly a wonderful resident to observe and learn from. She is not just the top banana; she’s the best of the bunch!”

“Great resident, loved by students, kind and friendly, wants to make students feel included and give them opportunities to learn.”

2020 Nominees

Dr. Vatche Melkonian (Surgery): "Straight-forward, encourages students to work through ideas, will help anyone indiscriminately, always improves himself, has fun."

Dr. Bachir Zoghbi (Radiology): "Bachir could always be found in the neuroradiology reading room with several medical students circled around him, listening to him teach. He always taught at each persons individual level and engaged them with questions and clinically relevant knowledge. While it is often difficult to teach radiology to medical students who are not interested in the specialty, Bachir was able to engage each student he taught and leave them with knowledge relevant to their future field. With those students interested in radiology, he went above and beyond to get them experience with both imaging and procedures to prepare them for their future."

Dr. John Kelly (Anesthesiology): "Dr. Kelly was an incredible teacher during my one month rotation with him at Cardinal Glennon. He consistently taught anesthesia theory, provided feedback and tips on skills and encouraged me to be involved in patient care. He was always receptive to answering questions and I particularly enjoyed his penchant for asking about "what if" scenarios as a jumping off point for his teaching. He is a strong resident with great work ethic and stayed cool and professional in stressful situations in the OR."

Dr. Shane Grace (Dermatology): "I would like to nominate Dr. Shane Grace for the Top Banana Resident Award for his dedication toward serving the medical student community.  Myself and many other medical students have been mentored by Dr. Shane grace over the past two to three years, during which time Dr. Grace has always been there to offer encouragement, kind words, and support in navigating clerkships, research, board exams, and residency applications. No matter the day or time, Dr. Grace is always responsive to the questions and concerns of students, and acts as a daily role model for students by demonstrating leadership amongst his fellow residents, compassion, kindness, teamwork, and devotion to selflessly help others succeed."

Dr. Scott Akridge (Psychiatry): "Scott goes above-and-beyond to teach students, provide resources, answer questions, and meet with them to discuss their concerns."

Dr. Nada Zmeter (Internal Medicine): "Nada shows compassion to all her patients and goes out of her way to teach medical students. She is so kind and supportive to students and makes sure that we don’t get left behind! I appreciated that she shared patient updates with medical students to help us stay in the loop and better contribute to the team."

Dr. John Buck (Nephrology): "Dr. Buck is an exceptional resident (now fellow). He sets a wonderful example through his tireless work ethic and dedication to his patients. He is an exceptional team leader, making sure everything runs smoothly while still finding time to teach and encourage medical students. He is truly and empathetic and patient-centered physician and role model."

Dr. Bryan Beck (Internal Medicine): "Dr. Bryan Beck did an outstanding job helping medical students on a regular basis. He consistently went over pre-rounding strategies with students and helped guide them through the daily tasks of an internal medicine workday. Additionally, he went above and beyond to provide extra guidance and leadership in the afternoons after rounds. He always made sure that students had an excellent understanding of their clinical materials and was a role model in the internal medicine field because of his dedication and commitment to the team. I would highly recommend working with him again!"

Dr. Michael Baltes (Family Medicine): "For his demonstration of conscious and non-judgmental care of patients. For his patience and generosity in sharing time and energy with students even in the midst of all other existing responsibilities."

Dr. Randy Jackson (Family Medicine): "Awesome dude. Personable. Goes above and beyond."

Dr. Samkon Gado (Otolaryngology): "Great teacher, so much fun to work with ! A role model."

Dr. Annie Mooser (Surgery): "Dr. Mooser pushed me to become a high functioning and useful member of the medical team very early in my third year. While it took a few days to adjust to her style, I quickly came to appreciate that she expected a lot from students in order to help us realize our potential. In a setting where medical students are often looked over, Dr. Mooser repeatedly made sure we were actively included in every aspect of the Trauma service. As a student who did not go into a surgical field, my time on arrive with Dr. Mooser remains some of my most memorable experiences of medical school. I learned to push myself and really work hard for the good of patients in large part due to the attitude and guidance of Dr. Mooser and I am grateful for it."

Dr. Divya Mani (Pediatrics): "Divya inspires me in so many ways. She inspires me as a Pediatrician, as a friend, as a human being, as a mother. She looks at the best in everyone and makes everyone around her feel appreciated and calm. The way Dr. Mani holds herself is how I hope to one day hold myself as a future resident - calm and steady but strong and supportive for her colleagues and peers in the face of any challenge. I will never forget my time with Divya on the Blue Team at Cardinal Glennon. Thank you Divya for making my Pediatric rotation even more special and meaningful!"

Dr. Jennifer Keller (Surgery): "Overall role model in surgery. Talented, great leader, enthusiastic about her job, and offers to give advice as well."

Dr. Courtney Kaar (Pediatrics): "There are few residents that support medical students as much as Courtney does. She always provides opportunities to offer medical students constructive feedback on oral presentations, notes, and day-to-day work. She is always supportive, encouraging, and uplifting. Her personality and leadership skills always drives the team to perform better. From what I observed, she was great at providing guidance to the interns on her team. She is a fantastic person to work with and left a great impression of pediatrics on me, even though I’m going into a different field."

Dr. Zarir Ahmed (Internal Medicine): "He offered the most helpful feedback I've received from a resident as a student, and I was able to develop my skills more readily afterwards. Truly a fantastic resident and chief."

Dr. Amir Mohebbi (Psychiatry): "Dr. Mohebbi is one of the best teachers I’ve met- and he does it all with a relaxed and chill attitude.  He makes students excited about psychiatry, ties together complex neuroscience and psycho-social theory."

Dr. Shannon McAllister (Pediatrics): "Shannon is the epitome of a phenomenal resident. I was fortunate enough to work with her during my sub-internship which was a true blessing. She was always compassionate, encouraging, and willing to help in any way she could. She would always take the time to ensure every patient on the team was getting the absolute best care, and always answered any questions or concerns that I had. Even after the rotation, she went above and beyond and kept in contact with me - asking about the residency application process and always willing to help with any questions I had. She is the person I strive to be this year as an intern."

Dr. Paul Kunnath (Internal Medicine)

Dr. Allison May (Urology)

Dr. Cynthia Morris (Pediatrics)

Dr. Vikas Mandadi (Psychiatry)

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.

2020 Winners
  • Kimbell Kornu, M.D., Internal Medicine and Hospice & Palliative Medicine
2019 Winners
  • Naila Ahmad, M.D., Pediatric Anesthesiology
  • Stephen Cagle, M.D., Family Medicine
2018 Winners
  • Oscar Cepeda, M.D., Hospice & Palliative Medicine
  • Muhammad Ali Javad, M.D., Critical Care Medicine
2017 Winners
  • Gabriela Espinoza, M.D., Ophthalmology
  • Jason Keune, M.D., Surgery
2016 Winners
  • D. Gregory Ward, M.D., Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Kimberly Spence, M.D., Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine

Alpha Omega Alpha 

Resident-Fellow Induction Class of 2018
  • Jennifer Aleshire (pediatrics)
  • Sarah Horn (internal medicine)
  • Nicholas Rockefeller (OB/GYN)
  • Samkon Gado (otolaryngology)
  • Anne Mooser (general surgery)
Resident-Fellow Induction Class of 2017
  • 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 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