Graduation AwardsAfter Interim Chair Barbara Van de Wiele, MD, welcomed the audience, she turned the podium over to Executive Vice Chair Daniel Cole, MD, for the evening’s first presentation. He announced the vote of the senior faculty to give the Dillon Award, one of our department’s top honors, to Soban Umar, MD, PhD, for “Outstanding Performance by an Assistant Professor”. This award is named in memory of John Bartley Dillon, MD, who was appointed as the first anesthesiology division chief at the newly created UCLA School of Medicine in 1950. Jeffrey Rusheen, MD, representing the faculty at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, presented the “Olive View Resident of the Year Award” to CA-1 resident Paul Helland, MD. Siamak Rahman, MD, then took the stage to present a special Department Service Award to nurse practitioner Tsione Holly, FNP, MSN, ANP-BC, for her diligent and unfailingly cheerful work in support of the Acute Pain and Regional Anesthesiology Service. Residency Program Director Judi Turner, MD, PhD, and Associate Program Director Jack Buckley, MD, then introduced this year’s three chief residents, Albert Feng, MD, Shaishav Shah, MD, and Nicole Yin, MD, with thanks for their countless hours of work in support of the residents this year. The chief residents presented awards to several faculty and staff members on behalf of the graduating class. Michael Wolfe, MD, who specializes in critical care medicine, received the prestigious Teacher of the Year Award with its traditional “golden bear” trophy. Maryetta Ovsepian, MD, a faculty member at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, earned special recognition as Teacher of the Year at a UCLA-affiliated institution. Andrew Disque, MD, MS, and Jason Lee, MD, were honored with Excellence in Resident Teaching Awards. Adrian Nava, one of our invaluable anesthesiology technicians, received the Perioperative Award from the graduating class for his unflagging help in the operating room, always prompt and always with a smile. The chief residents then called to the stage the new chief residents for 2019-20, elected by their peers with the approval of the faculty: Matthew Klekman, MD, Colby Tanner, MD, and Andrew Wu, MD. They received some special “emoji” gifts from the prior chief residents in recognition of the inevitable tribulations they’ll face in the coming year! As their first official action, the new chief residents extended special thanks to the staff of the Education Office – Lucelva Mendez, Susan Kim, Lucine Torosian, and Wayne Hasby – and presented gifts on behalf of their class.
The Residency Class of 2019While we’ll bid farewell to some of our residency graduates this summer, others will remain with us at UCLA. Drs. Myroslav Figura and Derek Hsu will be joining the faculty, while Drs. Jeffrey Jeng and Andrea Poon will stay for fellowships in Pain Medicine. Dr. Pamela Chia will start her fellowship in Regional Anesthesiology, and Dr. Samuel Hong will pursue fellowship training here in Critical Care. Drs. Shaishav Shah and Nicole Yin both will become our fellows in Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology. Residents who will pursue fellowship training elsewhere include: Dr. Claudia Cao, Obstetric Anesthesiology at Brigham & Women’s Hospital; Dr. Timothy Kwiecien, Pain Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic; Dr. Monica Miller, Cardiothoracic and Critical Care Anesthesiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital; Dr. Catherine Nguyen, Pediatric Anesthesiology at Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles; Dr. Sophia Poorsattar, Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology at UC San Diego; Dr. Robert Shaw, Pediatric Anesthesiology at Boston Children’s Hospital; Dr. Harlan Stern, Pain Medicine at Ochsner Hospital; Dr. Mitchell Weksler, Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Fewer than half of the graduating residents will go directly into private practice this year. Drs. Benjamin Kwittken, Jonathan Pang, and Cameron Rice are joining the Ventura Anesthesia Medical Group at Community Memorial Health System in Ventura. Drs. Albert Feng and Evan Sobel will join the private anesthesiology group at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, while Dr. Raymond Machi will join several of our previous graduates at Kaiser Woodland Hills. Dr. Martha Ramirez Muro will practice at Pomona Valley Medical Center.
Our Graduating FellowsSeveral of our fellowship graduates will be staying on with us at UCLA as faculty members, including: Critical Care: Drs. Marisa Hernandez-Morgan and Matthew Scott Vandiver Liver Transplantation: Dr. Elaine Boydston Pain Medicine: Drs. Bi Mo and Sandra Sacks Thoracic Anesthesiology: Dr. Patricia Nwajuaku Dr. Vikram Fielding-Singh, who already holds a JD degree, will continue his education beyond his Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology fellowship with another fellowship year at UCLA in Critical Care. Of our other three cardiothoracic fellows, Dr. Vivek Chellappa will join the private group at Hoag Hospital, Dr. Jeffrey Kim will begin practice at Kaiser Sunset, and Dr. Mark Willingham will join the faculty at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. All three of our Regional Anesthesiology fellows will pursue private practice: Dr. Delara Brandal at Kaiser Woodland Hills, Dr. Sona Doshi with Anesthesia Service Medical Group (ASMG) in San Diego, and Dr. Alice Li at Beaumont Hospital in Michigan. Dr. Joseph Seif, a member of our Class of 2018, will join Dr. Doshi in private practice with ASMG in San Diego after his Critical Care fellowship. Dr. Daniel Hwang, who also graduated in 2018 from our residency, will join the group at Kaiser Downey after his fellowship in Pediatric Anesthesiology. Dr. Jeieung Park, our other fellow in Liver Transplantation, will join the faculty at the University of British Columbia, Canada. One of our Pain Medicine fellows, Dr. Adam Madl, will join the faculty at the University of Kansas. The other two will go into private practice: Dr. Ivan Chew at the Diagnostic Pain Center in Austin, Texas, and Dr. Isaac Jenabi at the Comprehensive Pain Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Video HighlightsWhile anesthesiologists are generally known more for left-brain skills than right-brain creativity, our faculty and residents showed their lighter side at the end of the evening in two video productions that the audience thoroughly enjoyed. Dr. Evan Sobel starred in the first, in which he consulted with a number of faculty and residents about the best anesthetic plan for a simple appendectomy. As you might guess, the advice varied with the specialty of the consultant. Then several residents read from their most memorable faculty evaluations to comic effect, especially when the faculty member got the resident’s name wrong. To close out the celebration, Dr. Nir Hoftman presented his video illustrating the complications that ensue when he attempts to comply with HIPAA regulations concerning protected patient information. Since neither text messaging nor our paging system are considered secure enough to satisfy HIPAA, he experimented with Morse code, smoke signals, and carrier pigeon. (No actual birds were harmed.) A classic!