VCU School of Medicine

School of Medicine eNews - Summer 2017 - Vol. 16 - No. 3

The latest from the MCV Campus

Welcome Class of 2021!

Welcome Class of 2021!
All in
We welcomed the Class of 2021 into medical school during an orientation week that culminated in the White Coat Ceremony where Danny Avula, M’04, encouraged the 216 incoming students to become part of the Richmond community. “The more you embed yourself into the community, the more it will change the way you learn this craft.” Watch his full speech, see event pictures, read a message from Dean of Medicine Peter Buckley, M.D., and more in our complete coverage of the day’s events.


This is personal
M2 and leukemia survivor Seth Spencer conquered cancer — and now he’s working to help others do the same. He spent his summer in the research lab at VCU Massey Cancer Center, thanks to the James D. Popp Student Research Fellowship, named for the late Jim Popp from the Class of 1988.
Life span vs. health span
Likely the most published physical therapist in the world, Ross Arena, PhD’01 (PHIS), says if everyone changed small things in terms of physical activity, there’d be a huge impact on health care economics and outcomes. "We’re not doing 150 minutes of exercise each week that it’s not worth it. But something is better than nothing.”
Independence Day
Independence Day
On July Fourth, M2 Yasaman Ataei had a new reason to celebrate. Alongside others from 50 countries around the world, she took the oath of allegiance and became a U.S. citizen. “There are great things that come with living in the United States, more personal freedom, freedom of speech.” Dean Buckley, a U.S. citizen of Irish descent, was on hand for the ceremony.
A Warm Welcome
A warm welcome
This summer we welcomed about 145 new interns, now led by Brian Aboff, M.D., the recently appointed senior associate dean for graduate medical education. These new physicians join us from near and far — 29 graduates from right here on the MCV Campus and two as far away as Australia.
Student excellence
The Class of 2020’s Reginald Kwao Amartey Osardu is a recipient of the 2017 Excellence in Medicine Minority Scholars Award from the American Medical Association Foundation. The second-year medical student is interested in pursuing a career in emergency medicine and public health with a focus on treating medically underserved populations.

Top stories

Closing in
Closing in
After successfully developing a Lyme disease vaccine for canines, microbiology and immunology’s Richard T. Marconi, Ph.D., is coming closer to creating a human vaccine for the disease with the creation of a test to more effectively detect Lyme disease in humans. He’ll continue his work with a $510,000 one-year grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Opioids: An American health crisis
Across the university and VCU Health, efforts are underway to combat this public health crisis through addiction treatment, pain management, health care policy, education and research. Check out the multipart series of articles and videos that provides a snapshot of those efforts, including how the medical school’s curriculum changes are leading the way in Virginia.
Sextuplet success
Sextuplet success
The first sextuplet delivery in VCU Health history required the coordination of a 40-person medical team representing nearly a dozen specialties. It’s no wonder — of the 4 million live births in the U.S. in 2015, only 24 were quintuplets or higher order births.
‘It’s nice to know that I’m not alone’
VCU senior Tyrone Simpson credits the advising group Black Men in Medicine with getting him ready to apply to medical school this summer. It was at one of the group's networking events that the aspiring surgeon met housestaff alumnus Cedric Campbell, now on faculty with the Department of Anesthesiology. Simpson went on to spend 50+ hours shadowing Campbell. It’s all part of the group’s plan to help more black men get into medical school.
Meet medicine’s new dean!
Alumni in Virginia, North Carolina and Massachusetts will have the chance to meet Peter F. Buckley, M.D., the new dean of the medical school, at receptions this fall.
  • Sept. 28 in Charlottesville, Va.
  • Oct. 12 in Charlotte, N.C.
  • Oct. 26 in Winchester, Va.
  • Nov. 4 in Boston, in conjunction with the AAMC's annual meeting
  • Nov. 16 in Lynchburg, Va.
Go online to give us your latest contact information to be sure that you’ll get an invitation to future events in your area.
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School of Medicine Annual Fund
In the Annual Fund, gifts of all amounts combine to create medical student scholarships that will be awarded next fall. Make your gift online today!
12th & Marshall Cover
Attention MCV enthusiasts!
In 2018, VCU will unveil throwback MCV-branded products, available for purchase for a limited time only. Help us choose a design by sending pictures of your favorite MCV shirt, mug, tote, etc., to Yours might be chosen as the winner and inspire the 2018 design! The throwback collection will be launched in the weeks leading up to Reunion Weekend in April.
Alumni benefit journals
An online database of journals and periodicals provides alumni association members an invaluable research tool.
Mark your calendar

Alumni events

Meet Medicine’s New Dean
Sept. 28
Charlottesville, Va.

Oct. 12
Charlotte, N.C.

Oct. 26
Winchester, Va.

Nov. 4

Nov. 16
Lynchburg, Va.
CME opportunities

For additional info and to register, visit or call (804) 828-3640 or (800) 413-2872, or email

Vaccinating Today for More Tomorrows
Sept. 9
Danville, Va.

IMPACT Virginia’s 2nd Annual Summit: The Reality of Child Sex Trafficking in Virginia
Sept. 16
MCV Campus

Best Practices in Pain Management — Primary Care and Specialty Collaboration
Sept. 16-17
Williamsburg, Va.

Cerebral Vascular Disease and the Implementation of Stroke Care in the Rural Community
Sept. 22-23
South Hill, Va.

Stepping Stones to Excellence in Wound Care
Sept. 28-29
Richmond, Va.

6th Annual Practical Frontiers in Primary Care Conference
Oct. 21
Richmond, Va.

23rd Annual Sports Medicine Update
Dec. 1-3
Williamsburg, Va.

22nd Annual Virginia Liver Symposium and Update in Gastroenterology
March 24, 2018
Richmond, Va.

Women’s Health 2018
May 3-6, 2018
Arlington, Va.

46th Annual Hans Berger Clinical Neurophysiology Symposium
May 21-22, 2018
MCV Campus

40th Annual Pediatrics at the Beach
July 20-22, 2018
Virginia Beach, Va.

Safe Opiate Prescribing
Online Course
Reunion Weekends

2018: April 20-22
For class years ending in a '
8 or '3

2019: April 5-7
For class years ending in a '
9 or '4

2020: April 17-19
For class years ending in a '
0 or '5
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