As you may know, yesterday was Giving Hearts Day, sponsored by Dakota Medical Foundation (DMF) in conjunction with the Impact Foundation and the Alex Stern Family Foundation. Thanks to the leadership of DMF President Pat Traynor and the support of DMF, our School was able to award $12,500 scholarships to at least four UND SMHS students. When we initially planned this Giving Hearts Day scholarship program, we envisioned awarding two scholarships. But because of the generosity of numerous friends and donors and the support of DMF, two scholarships became four (and maybe more)! Since donations were accepted through midnight last night, we are still in the process of tallying the final numbers. But yesterday afternoon we were able to announce the awarding of the first scholarship to Erica Nelson, a second-year medical student at the SMHS. She is the winner of the Dr. David and Lola Rognlie Monson Giving Hearts Scholarship, named for the couple who generously contributed to the scholarship fund. We will have more announcements later today, and I’ll summarize the awards in next week’s E-News column. Of course, none of this would have been possible were it not for the generosity and caring of our many donors. Thanks so much to all of you! Our students really appreciate your giving hearts!
And speaking of students, I had the distinct honor of helping to judge Wednesday night’s Simlympics 2018 competition, an optional, non-graded fun competition of teams comprised of four first-year medical students who are presented with a simulated patient with an acute-care clinical problem. Three other teams competed on the previous night. The exercise is supported and sponsored by the School’s Simulation Center and the UND SMHS Simulation Society, which is comprised of second-year medical students. My co-judges included Drs. Willie Kemp and Joy Dorscher. The student teams faced patients with problems including sudden shortness of breath, a leg fracture, and decreased consciousness. I (along with my co-judges) was blown away by the acumen, sophistication, medical knowledge, and professionalism of these first-year students, who have been in school for all of six months. What an amazing performance by all 16 trainees. I can tell you for sure that regardless of how good a cardiologist I may be now, there is no way I could have performed anywhere near the level that our students did when I was a first-year medical student. It is a credit to all of them, and to our patient-centered, small-group-learning curriculum that emphasizes student learning (rather than professor teaching), early patient contact (rather than in the third year of school as when I was a student), group learning, and active rather than passive pedagogical approaches. Well done, and congratulations to all!
Joshua Wynne, MD, MBA, MPH
UND Vice President for Health Affairs
Dean, UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences