New AOA Inductees 

The following eight juniors from the LSU SOM Class of 2019 have been selected for membership into the Louisiana Beta Chapter of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society:

  •  Ethan Hunter Arnaud 
  • Ryan Bolotte 
  • Elizabeth Cooper 
  • Alison Falcon 
  • Brian Jake Johnson 
  • Caroline Lieux 
  • Louis Monnig 
  • William Hunter Waddell 

The following residents, faculty members, and alumni have also been selected for membership into the Louisiana Beta Chapter of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society: 


  • Omid Baniahmad MD – Internal Medicine 
  • Jason Charrier MD – Internal Medicine 
  • Casey Murphy MD – Pain Management & Rehabilitation 
  • Lauren Nunez MD – Emergency Medicine/Internal Medicine 
  • Nate Peyton MD – Internal Medicine 
  • Charles Zhang MD – Internal Medicine                                                                                                           


  • Rebecca Lillis MD – Internal Medicine, Section of Infectious Disease 
  • Mark Townsend MD – Psychiatry 
  • Carl Giffin MD – Internal Medicine 
  • John Hutchings MD – Internal Medicine, Section of Gastroenterology 
  • Jeffrey Barton MD – Department of Surgery, Section of Colorectal Surgery 


  • Gerald Cvitanovich MD (‘86) – Family Medicine 
  • Otis Drew MD (‘05) – Orthopedic Surgery – Lafayette, LA 
  • L’Issa L. Gates MD (‘07) – Pediatrics – New Orleans, LA 
  • Patrick David Kearns MD (‘79) – Pathology – Adairsville, GA 
  • John Mclachlan MD (‘91) – Cardiology – Baton Rouge, LA 

Please join us in congratulating these students, residents, faculty, and alumni for achieving this well-deserved honor!  



First Year Medical Students Receive White Coats 

Adam Prevot (Class of 2021) 

While still a relatively young tradition, the white coat ceremony has quickly become a mainstay in the medical training community as an opportunity to instill humanism in the hearts of future physicians from early on in their careers. On April 21st, 2018, the LSUHSC School of Medicine Class of 2021 donned the white coat for the first time in the company of their friends, family, and trusted faculty.  

The white coat ceremony began in 1993 when Dr. Arnold Gold, a pediatric neurologist, realized that young medical students are often so engulfed in learning disease processes that they often forget that the face of a patient – an actual human, sits on the other side of a disease. Dr. Gold began to roll out white coat ceremonies at medical schools across the country with the idea of setting the expectation of “human centered medicine” as the gold standard of care for the physician from day one of training. With this ideal in mind, Dr. Gold started the Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS), which recognizes medical students who exhibit exceptional humanism in their approach to medical education and in every day life. The Class of 2021 reaffirmed Dr. Gold’s mission on that Saturday, highlighted by a promise to uphold ideals that echo Dr. Gold’s original mission with a pledge to never forget that the practice of medicine is an earned privilege and that the well-being of the patient should always come first.”  

The festivities of the Class of 2021’s white coat ceremony kicked off in the Superdome with a welcome from Dr. Steve Nelson, the Dean of the LSU School of Medicine. Following Dr. Nelson’s welcome, Brittany Foret, the Class of 2021 OSR Representative introduced the LSUHSC nominee for the AAMC Humanism in Medicine award – Dr. Randy Roig. Dr. Roig serves as assistant chief of the PM&R Service while also being extremely involved in the clinical education of LSU medical students, residents, and fellows. As a pain management specialist Dr. Roig regularly encounters patients when they are in debilitating pain – often the worst pain of their life. His speech during the ceremony highlighted his patient-centered care that purposefully approaches each patient as a human first – separate from his or her disease with an identity that is not defined by their pain.   

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Following Dr. Roig’s speech, GHHS President Victoria Serven presented the Class of 2019’s Lucie Calderon, the winner of GHHS Humanism in Medicine Essay contest. Lucie recounted a poignant story of her time at Children’s Hospital in the Oncology unit where she encountered the family of a young patient who had previously lost his battle to leukemia. The younger brother of the late patient spread joy and cheer to current patients on Valentine’s Day – the anniversary of his older brother’s death. Lucie’s essay highlights the call for physicians to approach medicine with the same purity and love for others that this child displays, even in the face of incredible challenges.  

Dr. Fred Lopez served as the master of ceremonies during the event while Dr. Hamilton Farris and Dr. Cathy Lazarus assisted in conferring the coats with each student being “coated” by a distinguished faculty member selected by the Class of 2021. These faculty members were selected for their outstanding commitment to the education and development of the Class of 2021 and the conferring faculty included Dr. Robert Maupin, Dr. Andrew Hollenbach, Dr. Robin English, Dr. Cacky Hebert, Dr. David Worthylake, Dr. Patricia Molina, Dr. William Swartz, and Dr. Bud Landry. After all coats were conferred, several members of the Class of 2021 led the rest of the class in the Oath of Ideals which proudly proclaimed an ardent commitment to place the patient first and foremost in all aspects of the practice of medicine.  

Dr. Arnold Gold died this year. There is no doubt that with the loss of this incredible human the world also lost a man rich in one of our scarcest resources today – compassion. Though he is gone, his legacy was permeated throughout the Superdome on that afternoon as the Class of 2021 placed his mission firmly on our own shoulders. There is a new guard of doctors on the rise. A generation of healers educated in the shadow of a man who saw a “love problem” in medicine and took meaningful steps to fix it – and we should all be thankful for that.  

The Class of 2021 would like to extend a special thanks to the Office of Student Affairs, whom without White Coat Ceremony would not have been possible. An extraspecialthanks goes out to Melanie Brown and Dr. Kourtnie Robin, whom without I surely would have had at least one meltdown trying to juggle planning the ceremony with the rigors of medical school. 

Adam A. Prevot – President – Class of 2021  

Gold Humanism Inductees 

It is with great pleasure that I would like to introduce the newest members of the LSUHSC Chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society who were recently chosen from the medical school class of 2019. GHHS nationally recognizes student-doctors who are viewed by peers as being the type of doctor one would send one’s own parent or child to for care A ‘Doctor’s Doctor’. The following students were chosen by their classmates for being outstanding role models in the areas of empathy, altruism, respect, service, compassion, and integrity. Please join me in congratulating these incredible students: 

  • Lamia AbiSamra 
  • Michael Artigue 
  • Cody Blackwelder 
  • Ryan Bolotte 
  • Elizabeth Cooper 
  • Ashlyn Courville 
  • Alex Daigle 
  • Paige Davis 
  • Alex Dooley 
  • Tucker Dorion 
  • Michael Evers 
  • Allison Fallcon 
  • Virginia Fontenot 
  • Gabrielle Fusilier 
  • Amber Jarrell 
  • Margaret Johnson 
  • Patrick Johnson 
  • Emma Levenson 
  • Hannah Lomzenski 
  • Shannon McDuff 
  • Elaine Meyers 
  • Andrew Mire 
  • Max Musharoff 
  • Anthony Naquin 
  • David Pitre 
  • Christie Talley 
  • Christina Tran 
  • Heather Valdin 
  • Andrew Van Hook 
  • Brittany Woods 

Gold Humanism Faculty and Resident Awards 

Congratulations to Dr. Chelsey Sandlin (Department of Pediatrics) as the winer of the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award.  This award recognizes faculty members who demonstrate both clinical excellence and outstanding compassion in the delivery of care and who show respect for patients, their families, and healthcare colleagues.  

Further congratulations go to the Class of 2019’s resident and faculty nominations for initiation into the Gold Humanism Honor Society. These physicians are considered exemplars of empathy, compassion, altruism, and integrity; their dedication to service in working with patients and others in the field of medicine inspired their students to nominate them for this honor. They will be inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society on May 29th at 5pm in the Medical Education Building Lecture Hall B. All are welcome to attend.   

  • Faculty: Dr. Guido DeJesus, Internal Medicine- Baton Rouge  
  • Resident: Dr. Crystal Nhieu, OBGYN- Baton Rouge 
  • Resident: Dr. Michael Borrero, Plastic Surgery  


DNA Day! 

Alix D’Angelo (Department of Genetics) 

Every April 25th, DNA day is celebrated to commemorate the completion of the Human Genome Project, which significantly advanced the world’s understanding of genomics. The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) organizes events and educational resources for DNA day ( each year.  

For its 15th anniversary, LSU Health’s genetic counselor, Alix D’Angelo, put together a booth in the University Medical Center cafeteria to raise awareness of the role of genetics in common disorders. During the lunch hour, healthcare providers, staff, patients and their family members stopped by the booth to learn more about hereditary cancer and cardiovascular conditions, such as Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer syndrome, Lynch syndrome and familial hypercholesterolemia. They discussed features of these disorders, including young age of onset, and that accurate family history information is an invaluable tool in assessing an individual’s risk of a hereditary cancer or cardiovascular condition.  

For additional information or questions, you can contact Alix D’Angelo at (504) 568-2668 or 

Youthforce NOLA Career Expo 

Jorge Peñas (Masters Student, Department of Genetics) 

On Tuesday March 20th, 2018 students and faculty from all six schools at LSUHSC came together to teach over 2,000 high school students about careers in healthcare at the Youthforce NOLA career exposition. The event took place at the University of New Orleans Lakefront Arena and was sponsored by the YouthForce NOLA, Junior Achievement of Greater New Orleans, and Greater New Orleans, Inc.   

Youthforce NOLA is an education, business, and civic collaborative that prepares New Orleans public school students for the successful pursuit of high-wage and high demand career pathways. LSUHSC faculty, staff, and trainees volunteered their time to talk about their health science careers, training programs, and prerequisites for admission. LSUHSC event organizers were Dr. Fern Tsien (Director, Science Youth Initiative and Research Experiences for Undergraduates), Dr. Allison Augustus-Wallace (Co-Director, Research Experiences for Undergraduates and Office of Diversity and Community Engagement), Ms. Martha Cuccia (Co-Director, Science Youth Initiative), Daryl Lofaso (Director of Simulation Operations) and Gerlinda Davis (Office of Diversity & Community Engagement Outreach Coordinator).  


LSUHSC Science Partnership Field Day 

Jorge Peñas (Masters student, Department of Genetics)  

Throughout the academic school year LSUHSC faculty, staff, and trainees volunteered to teach STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) related topics to 4th graders at elementary schools within the greater New Orleans area. These events were part of the Science Youth Initiative, a program organized by Dr. Fern Tsien (Department of Genetics). On May 14th, a total of 75 fourth graders from Esperanza and St. Peter Claver Elementary Schools visited the LSUHSC campus for the annual Science Partnership Field Day. The children participated in various activities including human organ demonstrations, making models of blood components, drunk simulation goggles, and isolation of DNA from strawberries. Special guest Dr. Corey Hébert gave an inspirational talk to the kids. Lunches were provided courtesy of Dr. Larry Hollier, Chancellor for LSUHSC, and Dr. Joseph Moerschbaecher III, Vice Chancellor for LSUHSC. Teachers were recognized for their commitment to the program and each fourth grader received books and comics to take home. The Science Youth Initiative would like to thank all the volunteers who helped out throughout the year and anyone who donated to the campus wide book drive. 

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Moms In Medicine: Balancing Family With A Clinical Career 

Paula Gregory, Ph.D.
Professor, ,Department of Genetics
Assistant Dean for Medical Student Research 

Moms in Medicine

Each year, the School of Medicine Women’s Affairs Committee works with the student branch of Women in Medicine to organize an informal panel discussion about balancing a clinical career with a family.  The panel met on February 27th and included the following members: 

  • Cathy Lazarus, Associate Dean for Student Affairs 
  • Taniya De Silva, Associate Professor and Section Head of Endocrinology 
  • Jessica Patrick, Assistant Professor, Pediatrics, NICU 
  • Sarah Jolley, Assistant Professor, Pulmonary/Critical Care  
  • Natalia Arango, Resident, OB/GYN 
  • Mae Igi, Medical Student 

The panelists are mothers of children ranging in age from in utero (Alexander Tinklenberg, born 3/23/18) to adult.  The panel represented a variety of medical specialties as well as representing various stages in their career development from students, residents, faculty, and administration. They addressed questions ranging from when is the best time in your career to start a family to what is your best “survival” trick.  Students who attended were interested in how they chose their field, who their mentors were during their training among many other questions. 

Medical Students Host Art Show 

Hilary Gary and Sidra Syed (Class of 2020)  

Art Show PictureArt is work. This is a fact I had not fully realized until getting accepted into medical school. The fear of losing my creative momentum, and with it my creative identity, was prominent. Thus, meeting Sidrah during orientation—a ceramics major from Tulane who also had a strong artistic identity—was a relief and consolation that these two selves could coexist. It would just take work. So work I did; on weekends after big tests I would take nights to myself to listen to music and paint, setting aside more time specifically for working on art than I had in years. 

Every now and then I’d check in with Sidrah to see how she was managing these two halves of a whole self, and how she let one complement the other. We began to wonder how other artists were managing this dichotomy—if there were other artists here. Which led us to the idea of exploring how being involved in medicine would influence an artist’s work. We thought it would be really interesting to reach out to potential artists in the LSU network and show their work together, allowing for the discovery of commonalities in addition to differences present in each artist’s work. Upon sending out our first survey our expectations were low—we still didn’t know how many artists we’d be able to find, let alone if they’d be able to commit to making a piece of work in 4 months. When we heard back from 25 people, we were ecstatic, and when we finished with 73 pieces of art we were floored. 

“Art in Medicine” was very much a collaborative effort. We loved the idea of creating a space where medical students, residents, and faculty could showcase their artwork. Art has played such an important role in both of our lives. The fear of losing that as we progressed through our medical training was disheartening. As the work for the show was collected, we became increasingly hopeful. Each piece was spectacular in its own way and every artist had a very unique way of relating to art. One of the highlights from the show was a 32 in x 32 in mandala completed by fourth year medical student, Lily Truong. Lily spent the past year and half creating this immensely detailed and delicate mandala pattern. As you stand back and stare, it is truly a site to behold. The thought that someone created such a thing by hand is mindboggling. After some consideration, she titled the piece “ProcrastinART.” 

For many of us, the act of creating is an escape from the everyday stressor. It is something that stems from human nature that craves creativity. We all have something that allows us to express ourselves. Some people write, others sing and play music. We just happen to make art. We were able to share to this part of us with a great deal of people Saturday night who perhaps like Hillary and I were just looking for some inspiration. 


LGBT Group Hosts Second Annual Healthcare Symposium 

Ayesha Umrigar, Co-President of LOCUS 

LGBT Healthcare Symposium PicOn April 25th and 26th, LGBTQ + Allies Organization for the Cultural Understanding in the Sciences (LOCUS) and the South Central AIDS Education and Training Center (SCAETC) hosted the second annual LGBT Healthcare Symposium.  

This two-day symposium focused on current issues affecting LGBT individuals living with HIV/AIDS. Panelists included Christine Brennan, Project Director of SCAETC at LSU Health Sciences Center; Terry Mayers, a mental healthcare provider serving the New Orleans LGBT community; Robert Suttle, the Assistant Director of the SERO Project; and Bruce Hinton, a CrescentCare provider with a focus on expanding PrEP services and HIV/HCV treatment. The panelists covered a wide range of topics, including accessibility and effectiveness of PrEP, mental health challenges faced by the LGBT community and individuals living with HIV, and criminalization of HIV+ individuals.  

The second day consisted of a training session on criminalization and stigmatization of individuals living with HIV provided by Robert Suttle. This session discussed the impact of HIV-specific legislation on the lives of people living with HIV, and featured several personal testimonies of people who were negatively impacted by these laws. Lecture slides for this training and visual recording of both sessions will be made available at a later date to those who were unable to attend. 

We are very grateful for the all the panelists who were able to lead insightful discussions and provide insight on the challenges faced by people living with HIV.