Students from the University of Kansas School of Medicine celebrated the professors and residents who influenced and inspired them the most this year as part of "A Grande Affair," the annual awards gala presented by the Medical Student Assembly, March 18 at the Kansas City Convention Center.
The event is highlighted each year by the presentation of the three top faculty honors - the Rainbow Award, the Sunflower Part-Time Teaching Award and the Ad Astra Outstanding Volunteer Physician Award. The awards are given based on voting by the medical students. Other awards are also given based on excellence in teaching and mentoring.
Abebe Abebe, M.D., FACP, assistant professor in the KU Department of Internal Medicine, received the Rainbow Award for exemplifying the excellence, accountability, integrity, altruism and patient-first service the students aspire to practice in their own medical careers. Abebe earned his medical degree at Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia, and served his internship and residency at the KU School of Medicine.
"It is an honor and a privilege to be recognized for this prestigious award," Abebe said. "As a lifelong learner, this award will further fuel my inherent drive to learn more, work hard and help enrich learners. There is nothing that satisfies me more than helping others, especially students, achieve the attributes of our esteemed mentors and in turn become role models for our community."
Other finalists for the Rainbow Award were: David Anderson, M.D., Department of Orthopedic Surgery; Stepheny Berry, M.D., Department of Surgery; Dhaval Bhavsar, M.D., Department of Plastic Surgery; James Butterworth, M.D., Department of Plastic Surgery; and Robert Wittler, M.D., Department of Pediatrics - Wichita.
Therese Cusick, M.D., in the KU Department of Surgery in Wichita, received the Sunflower Part-Time Faculty Award. This mentoring award was created to spotlight outstanding part-time physician educators on the Wichita and Salina campuses.
Three doctors, who practice medicine in Quinter, Kansas, took home the Ad Astra Outstanding Volunteer Physician Award. They include: Douglas Gruenbacher, M.D., Department of Family Medicine; Shelly Gruenbacher, M.D., Department of Family Medicine; and Michael Machen, M.D., Department of Family and Community Medicine - Wichita.
The Ad Astra award pays tribute to the volunteer physicians who invite KU medical students to their communities to participate in their practices, so they can benefit from a variety of clinical experiences as well as the experience and knowledge of the physician.
The Excellence in Residency Awards went to Clinton Gates, M.D., in the Department of Surgery in Wichita, and Ghulam Rehman Mohy-Ud-Din, MBBS, Kansas City.