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Class of 2016 Celebrates Graduation

July 7th, 2016

Class of 2016 Celebrates Graduation
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2016 Graduates pose with professors Michael Ferrante, MD and Eric Hsu, MD

Our department's residents, fellows, faculty, families and friends enjoyed a lovely if unseasonably warm evening at Covel Commons on Saturday, June 18, as they celebrated the graduating house officers of 2016.

The evening began with a reception on the Commons balcony, overlooking the UCLA campus, then moved inside for dinner, the awards ceremony, and a music video performed by the graduating residents as a parody of British singer Adele's poignant song, "Hello".

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Teacher of the Year award recipient Jacques Prince
Neelankavil, MD with graduating chief residents
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Dillon award recipients Sumit Singh, MD and
Emily Methangkool, MD with Harvey Rosenbaum, MD
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Perioperative award recipient John Massey with
graduating chief residents
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Junior Resident of the Year - Olive View-UCLA
Medical Center award recipient Ara Vehian, MD

Aman Mahajan, MD, PhD, the department chair, announced that two of this year's residents will be staying on as UCLA faculty members. Soban Umar, MD, PhD, is already an accomplished researcher with multiple grants and publications to his credit. Aviva Regev, MD, has completed the challenging MBA program at the UCLA Anderson School of Management during her anesthesiology residency. They will be joined by Diana Hekmat, MD, who just finished her fellowship in pediatric anesthesiology.

The residents awarded the prestigious Teacher of the Year award to Jacques "Prince" Neelankavil, MD, who directs the Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology Fellowship Program and teaches perioperative echocardiography. They also awarded "excellence in resident teaching" awards to Nirav Kamdar, MD, MPP, and to Joe Hong, MD. The award for excellence in resident teaching at an affiliate hospital went to Sachin Gupta, MD, a member of the Olive View-UCLA Medical Center faculty.

One of the department's top honors is the Dillon award, named in honor of John Bartley Dillon, MD, who was appointed as the first anesthesiology division chief at the newly created UCLA School of Medicine in 1950. He became the first chair when anesthesiology attained full department status in 1972. The Dillon award is bestowed each year upon a highly promising junior faculty member by vote of the senior faculty.

This year's Dillon award is shared by two young faculty members, Emily Methangkool, MD, and Sumit Singh, MD. Dr. Methangkool specializes in cardiac anesthesiology, and serves as Assistant Residency Program Director with a special focus on quality improvement research. Dr. Singh's specialty is critical care medicine, and he is medical director of the Surgical ICU at the Greater Los Angeles VA Health System.

Each year, the graduating residents present a special award to the perioperative support staff person who has been of greatest help to them. Not for the first time, the award this year went to John Massey, a Certified Anesthesia Technician, who the residents agreed always goes out of his way to help them. Mr. Massey, a native of Kentucky, came to UCLA after training as an anesthesia technician at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee. Not everyone realizes that his first career was in the music business, playing with a band. His profile photo on "LinkedIn" today features John in street clothes, not in scrubs, holding an electric guitar. He celebrates 21 years as an anesthesia technician on July 4.

Judi Turner, MD, PhD, the Residency Program Director, thanked this year's Chief Residents Alexander Cheng, MD, Christine Nguyen-Buckley, MD, and Swayta Reddy, MD, MPH, for their hard work during the year. She announced that the chief residents for 2016-17 will be Chester Chan, MD, MS, Brian Denton, MD, and Jarrod Larson, MD. The "junior resident of the year" award from Olive View-UCLA Medical Center was presented to Ara Vehian, MD.

The music video, a highlight of the evening produced by and featuring the graduating residents, cleverly bemoaned the fact that seniors are so often banished to "offsite" locations where they languish, alone and hungry. Starring "Ace" and "Tiffany", the video features cameo appearances by several faculty members and may be viewed on YouTube. Don't leave the site without checking out the credits at the video's end!

The 2016 graduating class of residents:

Anna Adongo, MD, Brandon Chinn, MD, Alexander Cheng, MD, Wilson Lee, MD, Yuna Lee, MD, Shabnam Majidian, DO, Christine Nguyen-Buckley, MD, Guguamobi Ozoigbo, MD, Sungkook Park, MD, Swayta Reddy, MD, MPH, Aviva Regev, MD, Tiffany Sayaphupha, MD, Nathan Schulman, MD, Rachel Steckelberg, MD, MPH, Shirley Tang, MD, MS, Steven Tu, MD, Soban Umar, MD, PhD, Chonghua Wang, MD, Andrew West, MD, Theodora Wingert, MD, Andrew Young, MD.

Some of the new graduates will be staying on at UCLA for fellowships, while others will leave to go into private practice. Congratulations and best of luck to a wonderful group!

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Chief Resident Swayta Reddy, MD; Associate Vice Chair for Education Judi Turner, MD; Shabnam Majidian, DO
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2016 Graduates

Karen Sibert, MD, and Jack Buckley, MD

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