Internal Medicine Residents Celebrated Graduation in First-ever Virtual Ceremony

On June 14, 2020, the Department of Medicine hosted its first-ever virtual graduation ceremony for the class of 2020 Internal Medicine residents. The ceremony included complimentary remarks about the “extraordinary physician[s]” from Bennett Vogelman, MD, director, Internal Medicine Residency Program, and vice chair for education, Department of Medicine; words of wisdom from Lynn Schnapp, MD, chair, Department of Medicine; and kind parting words from guest speaker Nicholas Braus, MD, director, VA MICU and VA POCUS course; and an awards presentation, found below.

Awards presented to trainees:

The Chief’s Awards recognize residents who go above and beyond to help the chief residents. This year, two residents from each year were chosen. The 2020 recipients are:

  • PG 1: Michael Scolarici, MD, and Cassandra Chiao, MD, for demonstrating great attitudes and a willingness to help colleagues, including offering to fill in for others during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • PG 2: Amy Taylor, MD, and Johanna Poterala, MD, who went above and beyond to assist their colleagues, brighten someone’s day, participate in educational sessions, and contribute to the “pay-it-forward” climate of the residency program.
  • PG 3: Tim Rowe, MD, and Tyler Will, MD, who enthusiastically volunteered to help others, robustly participated in our educational conferences and curriculum design, and radiated their passion for lifelong learning.

The TEACH Pathway and Distinction Class of 2020 honors residents that showed their commitment and dedication to medical education by engaging in many extra hours of conferences and journal clubs, by having their teaching directly observed and receiving feedback, and for those in the Pathway, by completing an education capstone project. This year’s TEACH Distinction residents are Lauren Banaszak, MD, Nicolas David, MD, and Sarah Donohue, MD. The TEACH Pathway Residents are Katherine Fell, MD, Victoria Gillet, MD, Vishnu Manoranjan, MD, Timothy Rowe, MD, and Rebecca Stern, MD.

The Global Health Pathway graduate is someone who participated in research and a curriculum oriented at teaching physicians cultural humility, and how to care for individuals in resource-poor settings. This year’s Global Health Pathway graduate is Meredith Kavalier, MD

The Larry Crocker, MD, Generalism Award. Dr. Larry Crocker was a member of the Division of General Internal Medicine.  Prior to his retirement in 2007 at the age of 75, he was an outstanding role model for numerous UW faculty members.  Dr. Crocker was a skilled and compassionate physician, dedicated to providing the best care for his patients.  He passed away in 2012.  The recipient of this award is recognized by current division members as someone who embodies Dr. Crocker’s principles of patient care. The 2020 recipient is Victoria Gillet, MD.

The Sunde Award. David Sunde had a multisystem illness which required the care of three physicians working closely together, coordinating their efforts and involving the patient and family in the process.  As a consequence of this interaction, Dave and his employer Ohmeda Corporation, established a fund with the goal of recognizing the importance of the human touch in medicine in our highly technological era.  This award comes with a gift that the donors ask to be used to honor and teach residents the importance of putting one’s personal ego aside, working as a team, and treating a patient not just as someone who is an ‘interesting case” but a full-fledged human being. The 2020 recipients are Victoria Gillet, MD, and Caitlin Peirce, MD.

The Sobby Mathew, MD, Award is given to an intern who is hard-working, open-minded, supportive, and selfless; and who demonstrates compassion and a caring attitude for her or his patients. Sobby Mathew was taken from us prematurely in a car accident at the end of her PG-1 year. She had been a strong role model in her congregation and local Indian community. She was widely admired by her peers and faculty for being so comforting to her patients and their advocate. Her service and volunteerism were conducted with selflessness and a genuine eternal optimism toward the power of humanity to do good. The 2020 recipient is Sarah Floden, MD.

The Wellness Promotion Award, new this year, is awarded to a resident who has shown consistent care and love for their fellow residents, extending joy and compassion, through their actions.  It is intended to honor a resident who improves well-being, and fosters connection and warmth in our community. The 2020 recipient is Vishnu Manoranjan, MD.

The Resident Teaching Award is presented to the resident who displayed excellence in teaching the principles and practice of Internal Medicine. The 2020 recipient is Katherine Fell, MD.

Awards presented to faculty members and clinicians:

The Patient-Centered Award is presented to the faculty member who best embodies the attributes of empathy, humanism, patient-centered communication, and shared decision-making. The 2020 recipient is Kelly Lavin, MD.

The Physician’s Physician Award, is presented to the faculty clinician to whom you would send a member of your family or would go to yourself. This is someone you trust in terms of medical knowledge and dedication to patient care. The 2020 recipient is Robert Holland, MD.

The Special Recognition Award is presented to any healthcare provider who works with our Residents and who has consistently offered education from their area of expertise. The 2020 recipient is Courtney Hoy, NP, in the TLC.

The Professionalism Award is presented to the faculty member who best demonstrated altruism; accountability to patients, the public and the profession; a commitment to excellence; a sense of duty, honor and integrity; and humanism, empathy and a respect for others. The 2020 recipient is Hannah Bell, MD.

The Best Teacher Award recognizes the faculty member who offered the best opportunity to learn and was the best overall teacher in the Department of Medicine. The 2020 recipient is Nicholas Braus, MD.

Lastly, new this year, Department of Medicine Chair Lynn M. Schnapp, MD, presented the chief residents with a special Certificate of Chair Commendation in recognition of their exceptional efforts to support education, patient care needs and each other during the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Congratulations to all of the graduating residents!


Internal Medicine Residents Class of 2020

First row (L-R): Drs. Ayers, Banaszak, Biswas, Chander, David, Dharmavaram

Second row (L-R): Drs. Donohue, Fell, Gillet, Han, Hess, Kavalier, Kurecka, Li

Third row (L-R): Drs. Manorajan, McIntyre, Nachtigal, Palmon, Patel, Prasad, Rowe, Schmidt

Fourth row (L-R): Drs. Scholl, Stanfield, Stern, St. Peter, Uganski, Will, York, Zhou


Graduating Residents

Categorical track:

  • Rachell Ayers, MD - Hospital Medicine, ThedaCare, Appleton, WI
  • Lauren Banaszak, MD - Chief, Pre-Hematology, Medical Oncology and Palliative Care
  • Sandip Biswas, MD - Hospital Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Vishnu Chander, MD - Hospital Medicine, War Memorial Hospital, Sault Ste Marie, MI
  • Naga Dharmavaram, MD - Cardiovascular Medicine, UW-Madison T32 training grant
  • Sarah Donohue, MD - Chief, Pre-Gastroenterology and Hepatology
  • Katie Fell, MD - Chief, Pre-Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Heedeok Han, MD - Renal Fellowship, Columbia University, New York, NY
  • Meredith Kavalier, MD - Infectious Disease Fellowship, UW-Madison
  • Patrick Kurecka, MD - VA Chief, Pre-Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Shannon Li, MD – Cardiovascular Medicine Fellowship, Rush University, Chicago, IL
  • Amanda McIntyre, MD - Allergy Fellowship, UW-Madison
  • Emily Nachtigal, MD - Hematology/Oncology Fellowship, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
  • Phil Palmon, MD - Allergy, Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowship, UW-Madison
  • Dev Patel, MD - Hospital Medicine, UW-Madison
  • Ankur Prasad, MD - Allergy, Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowship, UW-Madison
  • Tim Rowe, MD - VA Chief, Pre-Allergy, Pulmonary and Critical Care
  • Kyle Schmidt, MD - Hospital Medicine, UW-Madison
  • Jon Scholl, MD - Hospital Medicine, St. Mary’s Hospital, Madison, WI
  • Tom St. Peter, MD - Hospital Medicine, VA Hospital, Madison, WI
  • Dylan Stanfield, MD - Gastroenterology and Hepatology Fellowship, UW-Madison
  • Rebecca Stern, MD - Infectious Disease Fellowship, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
  • Chelsea Uganski, MD - Palliative Care Fellowship, UW-Madison
  • Tyler Will, MD - Hospital Medicine, UW-Madison
  • Zach York, MD - Hospital Medicine, Northwest Hospital, Seattle, WA
  • Tim Zhou, MD - Cardiovascular Medicine, UW-Madison T32 training grant

Primary Care Track:

  • Nick David, MD - General Internal Medicine, Anthony L Jordan Health Center, Rochester, NY
  • Victoria Gillet, MD - Chief, Pre-General Internal Medicine
  • David Hess, MD - General Internal Medicine, HealthPartners, Hudson, WI
  • Vishnu Manoranjan, MD - General Internal Medicine, UW-Madison

Chief Residents:

  • Matt Caldis, MD - Gastroenterology Fellowship, UW-Madison
  • Matt Martini, MD - Cardiovascular Medicine Fellowship, UW-Madison
  • Caitlin Peirce, MD - General Internal Medicine, University of Michigan
  • Callie Plafkin, MD – General Internal Medicine, Marshfield, WI


Banner Photo: Above: Bennett Vogelman, MD, director, Internal Medicine Residency Program, addresses the program graduates during their online ceremony. Credit: Clint Thayer/Department of Medicine.

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