University of Queensland Ochsner Clinical School Honors 2018 Graduates

The University of Queensland (UQ) Ochsner Clinical School honored the graduating class of 2018 with a culmination ceremony on Nov. 17 at the Jefferson Performing Arts Center. The ceremony featured Lawrence M. Opas, MD, associate dean for Graduate Medical Education, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, as the keynote speaker.

The 105 graduating students successfully completed medical education through a four-year training, academic, and clinical experience across two continents. Students completed two years of medical school curriculum in Brisbane, Australia at UQ, which is ranked 42nd worldwide on the 2019 U.S. News Best Global Universities list. The final two years of clinical study were completed with the Ochsner Health System in New Orleans at UQ's Ochsner Clinical School.

“Training with our exceptional faculty and residents provides students of the UQ Ochsner Clinical School with a strong foundation to take the next step in their medical careers,” said Leonardo Seoane, MD, chief academic officer, Ochsner Health System. “We are incredibly proud of everything they have accomplished in the past four years and cannot wait to see where the future takes them next.”

During the culmination ceremony, several UQ Ochsner Clinical School faculty and residents were recognized with awards of excellence in clinical teaching. The highest individual award of excellence – the Teacher of the Year award – was bestowed upon Lindhe Guarisco, MD (Pediatric ENT). Guarisco has been on staff at Ochsner for more than 30 years and is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Otolaryngology. He earned an undergraduate degree from University of New Orleans, received a medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine, and completed both a pediatrics and oncology residency at Tulane University School of Medicine.

The following teachers were nominated for the Teacher of the Year Award:

Shilpa Amara, MD – Psychiatry

Russell Steele, MD – Pediatric Infectious Disease

Michael Blanchard, MD – Psychiatry

Jason Hill, MD – Hospital Medicine

Rajasekharan Warrier, MD – Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

Jose Posas, MD – Neurology

Brian Young, MD – Pediatrics

Resident teaching awards were awarded to the following physicians:

Abdulaziz Joury, MD – Medicine

Matthew Ragan, MD – OBGYN

Heather Liebe, MD – Surgery

Raja Jawad Kiani, MD – Pediatrics

Adina Suss, MD – Psychiatry

Post Graduate Research Fellowship Awards were awarded to:

Jeffrey Coote – Utilization of augmented reality assistance in medical student lumbar puncture simulation training

Lesley Desmond – Pulmonary care of premature neonates and its effect on health outcomes

Billie Hsieh – MiRNA-mRNA as novel inflammatory biomarkers of outcome in intracerebral hemorrhage

Bonnie Kim – Assessment of the intestinal microbiome and its associated biomarkers with cognitive changes in individuals with liver disease

Annandita Kumar – Unplanned SICU admissions: a root cause analysis

Diana Vesselinovitch – Adverse events associated with immunotherapy and its effect in prognosis

Caroline Yu – The impact of left ventricular geometry on myocardial blood flow and clinical outcomes as assessed by cardiac positron emission tomography 

The following students were also recognized with individual awards:

Austin West – Internal Medicine- American College of Physicians offer and Excellence Award

Alexandra Stanford – Dr. E. Edward Martin, Jr. Family Medicine Award 

Torunn Sivesind – John Lockwood Ochsner Sr. Surgical Award

Joana Nam – Student Excellence Award for OB/GYN   

Hannah Lively-Endicott – Student Excellence Award for Pediatrics

Sahar Derakhshanian –Student Excellence Award for Psychiatry

Gage Stuntz – Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Excellence in Emergency Medicine Award

Johnathon Collins – American College of Emergency Physicians Medical Student Professionalism and Service Award

The class of 2018 is the seventh graduating class from the UQ Ochsner Clinical School and will celebrate Match Day in March of 2019. Earlier this year, UQ Ochsner Clinical School’s class of 2017 garnered a 95 percent match rate through the National Residency Match Program (NRMP), which is comparable to other medical schools in the United States.