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  


Gold Humanism Award

The Gold Humanism Honor Society would like to extend its congratulations to the following students & residents who were nominated and elected by their peers for Students of the Month for March 2018!  

  • L1s- Jewel Datri & Marguerite O-Quinn Maisie 
  • L2s- Mitchelle Guedry & Melanie Hotz 
  • L3s-Bradley Landwehr & Andrew Myers 
  • L4s- Kelsey Ward & Willie Talber 
  • Resident- Dr. Alex Ramos, Neurology & Dr. Jennifer Oswald, Emergency Medicine  

Their interactions with their peers, patients, and community have been noted, and we want to commend them on being such great members of the LSUHSC community. These students embody the GHHS pillars of Respect, Integrity, Service, and Empathy. Included in the attached PDF is the nomination description that led us to choose this month’s current students amongst multiple great nominations.  

Congratulations again and keep on being golden! 





The Formation of a Medical Student Research Committee and Its Impact on Involvement in Orthopaedic Departmental Research

Stuart Schexnayder (SOM Class of 2020)
Hunter M. Starring (SOM Class of 2020) 

Research is an important aspect of medical training and plays a vital role in the advancement of clinical medicine. It teaches educational skills that are traditionally absent in many medical school curricula but important in building a career founded on evidence-based medicine. Research production also serves to improve institutional reputation and visibility while facilitating faculty advancement. To these ends, departments can benefit greatly from medical student involvement in research endeavors. Medical students, on the other hand, seeking to be competitive for residencies, particularly in orthopaedics, have increased their own research activities significantly over the past ten years.  This growing emphasis on research in the application process may stimulate younger students to seek out further research experiences. Some medical schools offer summer programs for first-year students or electives in research to fourth-year students, but these opportunities are likely too brief for students to complete a study or too late to include during the residency application process. 

Medical students may then seek to participate in research opportunities external to the formal curriculum, but face significant barriers, including a lack of time, competing educational demands, and unfamiliarity with the research process. Many institutions, particularly those with a strong history of research production, have established research departments with support staff in place to assist faculty, residents, and medical students. As the emphasis on research grows across the country, departments that have not historically been active in research are now searching for ways to increase productivity.  

In order to compete with these institutions, a Musculoskeletal Student Research Committee was developed to provide a mutually beneficial link between orthopaedic research faculty and medical students at LSUHSC-New Orleans. The goal of the committee was to overcome common barriers described previously in order to increase the amount, quality, and interest in research within the department of orthopaedics. Hence the mission statement of the committee was written, “To connect students with the information and faculty needed to guide and maximize medical students’ time to choose, start and complete research of the highest quality.”   

Composed of students and faculty, the committee developed a Research Guide for Medical Students, Research Database and Student List, Medical Students’ Webpage, Routing Form, and holds quarterly meetings for those students active in orthopaedic research. With this platform, the committee aimed to increase young student involvement in research and provide a stratified level of study participation among upper-level students for continued mentorship. In one calendar year, the total number of first and second-year students participating in department research increased 460% (5 to 28). Also, the total number of research projects with student involvement from these two classes increased 780% (5 to 44).  

The number of research experiences and publications that medical students are participating in to match into competitive residency programs continues to increase. From 2007 to 2014, the mean number of research experiences for successful orthopaedic applicants increased from 2.6 to 3.7.  The number of publications, abstracts, and presentations increased from 3.0 to 6.7 during that time frame as well. This number has also increased in all other specialties from 2.2 to 4.2. Since research is becoming much more imperative on residency applications in fields other than just orthopaedics, this committee model can be implemented by students and faculty in any medical academic specialty. Regardless if students continue to perform research as clinicians, the understanding and interpretation of research is vital to practicing a career of evidence-based medicine.  This demonstrates how the formation of a student committee, along with supportive department faculty, may quickly grow the research environment at institutions seeking to improve their research activity, and how this partnership may benefit students, residents, faculty, and the medical profession as a whole.  

Please visit our publication in Medical Education Online in the January 2018 Edition –  

DOI: 10.1080/10872981.2018.1424449 

Medical Student Research Day 

Paula Gregory, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean of Medical Student Research 

On Friday, November 17th, forty-two medical students presented their research results at Medical Student Research Day.  The winners from the 2017 Medical Student Research Day poster session are: 

Hunter Hidalgo1st Place – Hunter Hildago (Mentor: David Lefer) “Novel Rodent Model of Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction (HF-pEF)” 

Karen Nelson2nd Place – Karen Nelson (Mentors: Christopher Parsons & Yussef Bennani) “HIV Outcomes in HIV+ Cancer Patients after Referral to Multidisciplinary Patient Navigation Program”  

Patrick Johnson3rd Place – Patrick Johnson (Mentor: Jennifer Mooney) “Helmet Use and Outcomes in Louisiana”  

Brett Salomon4th Place – Brett Salomon (Mentors: Vinod Dasa & Daniel Plessi) “Using a modern day rapid recovery protocol, when does pre-op range of motion return following total knee arthroplasty?” 


Medical Student Selected to Serve on National Board 

Cathy Lazarus, M.D.
Associate Dean of Student Affairs

image002year medical student Patrick Johnson has been selected to serve as a student representative to the newly formed National Board of Examiners Resident/Student Advisory panel.

The USMLE Medical Student and Resident Advisory Panel is composed of medical students and residents from across the U.S. and internationally and is charged to: 1) assist USMLE staff in working through operational issues directly impacting the examinee experience of the exam and 2) serve as a voice and resource to inform substantive policy questions from or before official USMLE committees. Topics the panel may be asked to address or weigh in on include strategic enhancements to the USMLE, communication strategies to examinees, performance feedback to examinees, the testing day experience of examinees, and changes in USMLE policy.

I know that he will do a great job representing himself, LSU and the medical student perspective. Congratulations!



Chancellor’s Award for Graduate Student Work 


David Polhemus, Ph.D. received the School of Graduate Studies Chancellor’s Award at Graduate Student Research Day held on November 3, 2017.  David was a student in the lab of Dr. David Lefer in the Cardiovascular Center of Excellence.   

The award is given each year to “a high ranking graduating student who has done the most to promote the health sciences and the School before the public. Selection is made by a committee of the faculty appointed by Dr. Joseph Moerschbaecher, Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, with consultation by members of the graduating class.” 


School of Graduate Studies Jack Hines Award 

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The School of Graduate Studies announced the winner of this year’s Jack Hines Memorial Award during the Graduate Research Day Awards ceremony on November 3, 2017.  The Jack Hines Award is given to a faculty or staff member who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to the School of Graduate Studies in honor of the beloved Jack D. Hines, III, former Director of the School of Graduate Studies. This year’s recipient of the Jack Hines Award is Dr. Diptasri Mandal, Department of Genetics.  Congratulations Dr. Mandal!