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University of Colorado School of Medicine Department of Surgery Resident and Fellowship Graduation | Denver, CO

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Department of Surgery Celebrates 2021 Graduates

The event was held at the Denver Botanic Gardens and recognized award winners, faculty, and graduates.

Author Valerie Gleaton | Publish Date June 16, 2021

The University of Colorado School of Medicine Department of Surgery hosted its Resident and Fellowship Graduation at Denver Botanic Gardens on June 11.

The evening began with a welcome message from Richard Schulick, MD, MBA, chair of the department.

“To say the least, it’s been a rough year and a half,” Schulick said, referencing the COVID-19 pandemic. “The surgeons graduating tonight, along with the faculty and hospital staff, put themselves selflessly in harm's way every day. In the beginning of the pandemic, we had no idea of the risks or the dangers, but we did it anyway. Because that’s what we do.”

Schulick went on to congratulate the evening’s graduates. “Surgery is such a great calling, and you have chosen the most noble and rewarding profession,” he said. “Go forth and make us proud, as we know you will. You have learned, you have certainly endured, you have saved many lives, and you have proven yourselves. Congratulations.”

DOS Graduation 2021 Denver Botanic Gardens

University of Colorado School of Medicine Department of Surgery Resident and Fellowship Graduation at Denver Botanic Gardens

After Schulick's remarks, a variety of awards were presented, including the Medical Student Awards, the Professionalism Awards (a new set of awards this year to recognize trainees and faculty who demonstrated professionalism within various specialties by going above and beyond the call of duty), the Residency Awards, and the General Surgery Chief Resident Awards.  

The awards were followed by the presentation of nine Research Fellowship Certificates by Schulick and Mark Nehler, MD, then the 32 Department of Surgery Residency and Fellowship graduates.

In his remarks, Nehler, the surgery residency program director, offered some words of advice to the graduates. The first was to read for pleasure and pursue hobbies outside of their careers. Secondly, he told them that “it’s okay to say you don’t know something.”

“You’re not the finished product yet,” he said. “Your education will continue after you leave.”

Nehler also encouraged the future surgeons to be present with their friends and family. “Your time is your most valuable asset, particularly outside of the hospital,” he said. “Make sure they know they have your attention.” Finally, he reminded the graduates to take care of themselves as well as others, and to give back to the next generation of surgeons.

The evening concluded with some parting thoughts from the graduating chief residents, including a special acknowledgement of the 2020–2021 intern class (first-year residents) for their commitment and hard work during an especially challenging year.

Chief Residents DOS Graduation 2021

CU School of Medicine Department of Surgery Chief Residents

Department of Surgery Award Recipients 

Medical Student Awards (presented by Paul Montero, MD)

  • Golden Apple Teacher of the Year Faculty Award: Anne Wagner, MD
  • Golden Apple Teacher of the Year Resident Award: Maggie Hodges, MD
  • Alden Harken Clinical Research Award: Alan Quach, MD
  • Owens-Swan Award for Promising Career in Surgery: Madeline Huey, MD
  • George Packard Awards for Outstanding Performance: Madeline Paton, MD, and Brett Wiesen, MD
  • DeLauro Scholarship Award: Madeline Huey, MD
  • Grover Surgical Society - Eiseman Faculty Teaching Award (presented by Dylan Schoo, MSIV, and Jessica Hall): Lisa Ferrigno, MD, MPH.

Professionalism Awards (presented by Martin McCarter, MD)

Residency Awards

Annual Research Symposium Awards for Clinical and Basic Science Presentations (presented by Robert Meguid, MD)

  • Ernest E. Moore Award for Basic Science Research: Alejandro Suarez-Pierre, MD
  • Frederick Grover Award for Clinical Research: Joshua Billings, MD

Ben Eiseman Research Awards (presented by Martin McCarter, MD)

  • Ben Eiseman Research Award for Basic & Translational Science Research: Anna Gergen, MD
  • Ben Eiseman Research Award for Clinical & Health Services Research: Joshua Billings, MD

The J. Cuthbert Owens Award for Excellence in Teaching and Patient Care (presented by Mark R. Nehler, MD)

  • Julia Coleman, MD, MPH

General Surgery Chief Resident Awards

  • Faculty Teacher of the Year Award: Franklin Wright, MD
  • Todd Arcomano, MD, Intern of the Year Award: Lauren Gallagher, MD
  • APP of the Year Award: Susan Jackson, NP, FNP