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October 2019 

Throughout the month of September, the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix highlighted the important work and trailblazing efforts of women in medicine. The recognition echoes an initiative developed by the American Medical Association, which showcased the accomplishments by women in medicine, increased the influence of women physicians and advocated for women’s health issues.

Katie Brite, MD, associate dean of Clinical and Competency Based Education, represented many of the College faculty profiled when she said: “You can be a doctor, mom and a leader in the medical community and in academic medicine.”

Read more inspiring stories.

Medical Students Use Virtual Reality Trainer to Perform Procedures

Under the leadership of Teresa Wu, MD, director of the College’s simulation curriculum, and Chris Goettl, MD, an interventional radiologist and clinical assistant professor, students have the unique opportunity to perform intricate surgeries with the use of a virtual reality simulator called Mentice. The College is one of the first medical schools in the U.S. to use the device for endovascular procedures. A Provost Grant provided funding for the device, which will train first-year medical students and interventional physicians and surgeons.

Study Changes Guidelines for Sepsis Management

Murtaza Akhter, MD, an assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the College, co-authored a study that could end the debate among physicians regarding sepsis management. The study revealed that initiating antibiotics immediately reduces the sensitivity of blood cultures drawn shortly after treatment. That, in turn, reduces the chances of treating and tailoring antibiotics to specific bacterial and fungal sepsis infections.

Providing Care to Vulnerable Populations

Randy Christensen, MD, MPH, the Fall 2019 Donald K. Buffmire lecture speaker, has dedicated his life to caring for society’s often-abused, unloved children who live on the streets without access to health care. In partnership with Phoenix Children’s Hospital, he launched a mobile medical unit in 2000 that delivers free medical care and outreach services to at-risk infants, children and teens in Phoenix. He will discuss the trials, joys and struggles of establishing the mobile health van as part of the Flinn Foundation Buffmire event. The free lecture will take place on Oct. 28.

Pharmacogenomics Initiative to Help Improve Treatment Options for Veterans

The College has partnered with the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care System to provide personalized drug treatment for veterans. The program, Pharmacogenomics Action for Cancer Survivorship (PHASeR), is designed to improve patient treatment by using medications tailored to their genes. The pharmacogenomics tests will help physicians with clinical decision-making for a variety of pharmaceutical treatments, including mental health and cardiovascular diseases, as well as pain management. The project is being led in Phoenix by Will Heise, MD, an assistant professor in the Division of Clinical Data Analytics and Decision Support, and Hamed Abbaszadegan, MD, MBA, director of the Clinical Informatics Fellowship.


Congratulations to fourth-year medical students Madeline Heiland, Alexia Tatem and Tyler Hoelscher, who each received scholarships for their academic achievements from the Mutual Insurance Company of Arizona Medical Foundation Board of Trustees.

Zana Alattar, a fourth-year medical student, won first place for her poster presentation at the Arizona chapter of American College of Surgeons meeting.

Dean Guy Reed, MD, MS, and first-year medical student Abby Solorio represented the College as Governor Doug Ducey announced that $230 million from the Arizona Lottery revenues will benefit the Arizona Board of Regents’ University Bond Fund, which helps maintain public higher education infrastructure along with other special projects.

Congratulations to our senior director of Marketing and Communications, Allison Otu, MBA, on her new role as executive director of corporate and community relations in the Office of Communications at the University of Arizona Health Sciences.

Christian Dameff, MD, MS, an emergency physician and alum from the Class of 2014, was selected as 45 under 45 influencers in emergency medicine by the Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association.

reimagine Medicine Podcast


reimagine Phoenix: Building a Biomedical Campus

Discovering New Medicines in Arizona Summit
Oct. 2

Women in Medicine and Science Fall Networking Event
Oct. 16

reimagine Health: Is My Fate in My Genes?
Nov. 20


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