University of South Florida

Students gain peek inside today’s doctor’s bag at the 5th annual Student Symposium

While today’s physician doesn’t carry a bag full of devices for examining and treating patients – like those of a hundred years ago – they do carry a repository of tools based on experiences and challenges that forms who they are as doctors.

Remembering to use those tools will make you a better doctor, said Bryan Bognar, MD, MPH, FACP, vice dean for educational affairs.


Dr. Bryan Bognar.

“Those bags are icons of the medical profession and you, as emerging health care providers, will need a similar collection of tools in your own careers,” he said.

Dr. Bognar was the keynote speaker at this year’s USF Health Morsani College of Medicine Scholarly Concentration Student Symposium, and his analogy helped students see the need for them to pull from their own work, experiences, and challenges within the Scholarly Concentrations Program to help them become better doctors.

Dr. Bognar urged students to make today’s “tool belt” a mix of enduring traits (diagnostic ability, medications, technology, spirit of inquiry, humanism, and professionalism) with emerging traits (inter-professionalism and team building, leadership, information technologies, personalized medicine, globalization, and knowledge of healthcare systems).


Held Oct. 18, the Student Symposium is an opportunity for the mostly second- and third-year medical students to present their preliminary research data. Their projects will likely become their capstone project that culminates their work in their fourth year, so the event is somewhat like a practice run.

This 5th annual symposium featured 28 presentations by medical students participating in the faculty-mentored Scholarly Concentration Program, a college wide program that provides medical students with an elective minor, of sorts, in one of 10 areas, providing them with opportunities for academic endeavors in areas of special interest. The concentrations are:  Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Business in Medicine; Health Disparities; Health Systems Engineering; International Medicine; Law and Medicine; Medical Education; Medical Humanities; Medicine and Gender; Public Health; and Research.

Each concentration includes elements of course work, practical application, and scholarly presentation and allows for self-directed learning, enhances interactions between students and fosters relationships between students and faculty.


Some of this year’s 28 medical student presenters with Dr. Bognar (center).

Following Dr. Bognar’s address, the students presented their work. Topics included the mechanics of disease, community involvement, health issues in poor communities, and medical education. Students and their topics included the following:

Matthew Applebaum: “Does a Wider Margin for a 1.0 -2.0 mm Melanoma Lead to Improvement in Oncologic and Cosmetic Outcomes?”

Jessica Glover: “The Effect of Margin Widths in Recurrence and Survival of Breast Conservation Therapy Patients”

Tess Chase: “A Critical Examination of the Biopsychosocial Implications of Pediatric Epilepsy in Germany and the United States”

Latashia-Lika Lelea: “Physician’s and Traditional Healer’s Perspectives, Use, and Effectiveness of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in American Samoa to Help Raise Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity in Mainstream Medical Practices”

Sayeef Mirza: “Knowledge, Attitude and Practice on Coronary Artery Disease among Cardiovascular Patients: A KAP Study in Dhaka, Bangladesh”

Blake Housley: “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Cost and Eligibility Model of Medicaid Expansion”

Spencer Bezalel: “Store-and-Forward Teledermatology Improves Access to Care in a VA Dermatology Clinic”

Danielle Grams: “New Frontiers for Medication Safety in Gansu, China”

Hussain Basrawala and Khalil Nasser: “SONOSTATION: A Modern Approach to Image Guided Surgical Intervention”

Maria Echavarria: “Comparative Study of Segmentectomy versus Lobectomy for Lung Cancer Patients via Robotic-Assisted Video Thoracoscopic (RATS) Surgery”

Ashok Shiani: “Degree of Concordance between Single Balloon Enteroscopy and Capsule Endoscopy for Obscure Gastrointestinal Bleeding after an Initial Positive Capsule”

Meghana Vellanki: “Buried Balloon: A Novel Complication from Percutaneous Radiologic Gastrostomy Tube Placement”

Jennifer Le: “Asymmetric Synthesis of Amitifadine via Metalloradical Catalysis”

Paolina Pantcheva: “Treating Non-Motor Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease with Transplantation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells”

Yumeng Zhang: “TCA Cycle-Enhancing Metabolite Supplementation Improves Mitochondrial Function in a Parkinson’s Disease Cell Model”

Robert Ackerman, Shaara Argo and Jennifer Carrion: “Pre-Health Summer Enrichment Program 2014”

Mariella Disturco: “Development and Implantation of a Multidisciplinary Curriculum for Women whom are Obese During Pregnancy”

Shawna Foley: “Mothers for Mutare: Community-Based RUTF Manufacture and Nutrition Training for Relief of Pediatric Malnutrition in Mutare, Zimbabwe”

Jessica Patel, Sonali Ranjit and Nick Kovacs: “Outcomes of Innovation Education and Training for Heath Care Students”

Alexander Glaser and Shaunn Hussey: “Progression from Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever to Dengue Shock Syndrome: A Predictive Model”

Nicole Teal: “forwardHEALTH: A University-NGO Partnership for Community-Based Global Health”

Holly O’Brien: “forwardHEALTH: Youth Empowerment and Education”


Photos by Eric Younghans, USF Health Office of Communications

Network-wide options by YD - Freelance Wordpress Developer