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Improving the Doctor-Patient Relationship
through Patient Care, Teaching and Research.

Bucksbaum Junior Faculty Scholars

2015-16 Associate Junior Faculty Scholars
Khalid Afzal, MD

Khalid Afzal, MD
Department of Psychiatry

Dr. Afzal is a Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience. He is the Director of Pediatric Consultation–Liaison Service at Comer Children Hospital. He was trained at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso for his Adult Psychiatry Training and completed Child and Adolescent Fellowship at the University of Chicago. His research interests include mental health awareness in minority population, posttraumatic stress symptoms in newly diagnosed pediatric cancer population and role of social media in mental health. Clinically, he focuses on the psychiatric and psychosomatic presentations of medical illnesses and creative family interventions for depressive, anxiety, ADHD and disruptive behavior disorders. Dr. Afzal has presented his clinical and research interests both nationally in the U.S. and internationally, in the Middle East and South East Asia. His Child & Adolescent Mental Health Awareness Questionnaire for Parents has been translated in Arabic, French and Chinese languages.

Dr. Afzal is the didactic course director of child psychiatric interviewing, advanced psychopharmacology and family therapy/interventions for child and adolescent fellows.

James Ahn, MD

James Ahn, MD
Department of Medicine

Dr. Ahn is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Section of Emergency Medicine and is faculty for the GME Scholars Training Program. He attended medical school at Jefferson Medical College and completed his emergency medicine residency and medical education fellowship at the University of Chicago. As Associate Director for the Emergency Medicine Residency Program, he has worked on multiple regional and national panels focusing on technology in education and milestone assessment. Dr. Ahn’s research interests focus on medical education, specifically in the areas of curriculum assessment, millennial education, and procedural competency.

Trissa Babrowski, MD

Trissa Babrowski, MD
Department of Surgery

Trissa A. Babrowski, MD, is a vascular surgeon who specializes in limb preservation. Since her appointment, Dr. Babrowski has been instrumental in spearheading the innovative UChAmPP (University of Chicago Amputation Prevention Program) to afford patients an opportunity to save their limbs in the face of aggressive peripheral vascular disease. This multi-disciplinary team focuses on all aspects of patients’ health essential for limb preservation. Her work has earned her national coverage. Dr. Babrowski is also an active researcher, exploring the role the microbiome plays in the development and expansion of abdominal aortic aneurysms.

Brian Callender, MD

Brian Callender, MD
Department of Medicine

Brian Callender, MD, is an academic hospitalist and medical educator with academic interests in global health, the inpatient hospital experience, clinical education and the medical humanities. Dr. Callender attended the Pritzker School of Medicine and continued at the University of Chicago for his training in internal medicine. He is a graduate of the Medical Education Research Innovation Teaching and Scholarship (MERITS) fellowship and the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics fellowship.

He is currently co-director of the Global Health Track of the Scholarship and Discovery curriculum at the Pritzker School of Medicine and teaches a course, Global Public Health. His burgeoning interest in the clinical experience and the medical humanities has lead to the development of a course, The Body in Medicine and the Performing Arts, as well as scholarly exploration of the use of graphic narrative in medicine as an educational tool. With the aid of a Bucksbaum Institute pilot grant, he is currently working with colleagues to research and develop a graphic pamphlet that educates patients about the inpatient hospitalization. He is interested in how the medical humanities can improve the inpatient experience and provider-patient relationships.

As a medical director for the Advanced Practice Service, he supervises advanced practice nurses in the care delivery of general medicine, cardiology. and post-procedure patients. In this role, he is interested in clinical education, professional development, and the role of bedside multidisciplinary rounds to improve clinical care and patient communication and education.

Kenneth Cohen, MD

Kenneth Cohen, MD
Department of Medicine

Kenneth Cohen, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Section of Hematology/Oncology. He obtained his MD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and did residency training in internal medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He then completed fellowship training in Hematology and Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Partners CancerCare Fellowship program. His translational research focuses on the role of vascular ephrinB2 signaling in controlling tumor immune microenvironments.

Dr. Cohen is currently program director for the adult hematology/oncology fellowship at the University of Chicago. He is also involved in medical student and trainee education. As co-chair of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) Teaching Cases sub-committee, he and colleagues develop interactive web-based hematology teaching cases for national and international medical students. These cases are also incorporated directly into medical student curricula at other institutions. He aims to build a layered electronic teaching system to meet the needs of a range of learners from medical school through fellowship.

David Dickerson, MD

David Dickerson, MD
Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care

David Dickerson, MD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care (DACC) and Director of the Acute Pain Service. He is board-certified in anesthesiology and pain medicine. Dr. Dickerson’s clinical interests are acute postoperative pain, peripheral nerve injury, autonomic pain syndromes, and cancer pain. His research interests include continuous neural blockade for joint replacement, patient-centered pain care, and using the electronic health record to track patient postsurgical pain experience. Dr. Dickerson teaches medical students, residents, and fellows in the outpatient pain clinic, on the inpatient acute pain service, and in the operating room. He received the DACC’s teacher of the year award in 2015.

Ram Krishnamoorthi, MD

Ram Krishnamoorthi, MD, MPH
Department of Medicine

Ram Krishnamoorthi, MD, MPH, is an Internal Medicine physician in the Comprehensive Care Program at the University of Chicago. His clinical work focuses on care for people with complex medical and social problems and behavioral health in primary care. His academic interests include medical education, health services research, and health policy. As Illinois state director for Doctors for America, a non-profit organization of physicians who advocate for improved access to quality health care for all Americans, he has given talks and written on the topic of health care reform. At the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, he co-directs a course for medical students on the American health care system.

Valerie Press, MD

Valerie Press, MD
Department of Medicine

Dr. Press is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Section of Hospital Medicine at the University of Chicago. Her work focuses on improving patient-centered education for underserved patients with chronic disease and limited health literacy through novel interventions in the community and hospital settings targeted at both patients and clinicians. She completed work funded by an institutional KM1 on the comparative effectiveness of educational strategies (patient-centered in person “Teach to Goal” demonstration versus brief verbal instructions) designed to improve hospitalized patients' ability to self-manage their asthma and COPD through promoting correct use of respiratory inhalers. She has since received an NIH K23 to expand her work to examine the utility of an adaptive video module education platform for teaching inhaler use. In addition, Dr. Press is investigating barriers to chronic disease self-management including health literacy work and poor vision; she has found that a non-trivial proportion of hospitalized patients have poor vision, a risk that is increased in older patients. She is also co-leading the COPD Readmissions Reduction Program at UCM. Finally, she is the site-PI for a Patient Centered Outcomes Research Initiative (PCORI) funded trial evaluating ED based educational and community health worker interventions for children with asthma.

Audrey Tanksley, MD

Audrey Tanksley, MD
Department of Medicine

Audrey L. Tanksley MD was born and raised on the south side of Chicago in the Roseland community. She attended Southern Illinois University Carbondale and received a Bachelor of Arts in Biological-Sciences. Following this she attended Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield, IL and completed studies in general medical education. During the time in Springfield, Dr. Tanksley, was vice president of the class of 2009, served as a student representative to the AAMC, assisted with LCME accreditation and received a grant to provide health and oral screenings to the people of Sangamon County. Dr. Tanksley returned to the Chicagoland area to complete her Internal Medicine residency training at UIC/ Advocate Christ Medical Center where she also served as chief resident. Upon completion of chief year, Dr. Tanksley transitioned into a 2 year Medical Education Research Fellowship at The University of Chicago Medical Center.

As a Medical Education, Research, Innovation, Teaching and Scholarship (MERITS) fellow at the University of Chicago, Dr. Tanksley’s academic work focused on healthcare disparities, communication, professionalism and resident supervision. She also assisted with investigations of the TEACH pipeline program for high school students. Her scholarly work has been presented at various regional and national conferences, including the Association of American Medical Colleges and the Society for General Internal Medicine. She is currently conducting an analysis of a novel curriculum created to teach residents how to obtain Informed Consent using a culturally sensitive approach. She has also worked on improving patient safety through resident supervision in the ambulatory environment.

As a General Internist, Dr. Tanksley supervises internal medicine residents and students caring for patients in the primary care clinics and general medical floors. She has worked closely with Drs. Arora and Farnan on qualitative research with high school students using focus groups, and is experienced with the use of Atlas software. She has also worked on quantitative projects as well and is experienced with the use of STATA software.

Melissa Tesher, M.D.

Melissa Tesher, MD
Department of Pediatrics

Melissa Tesher, MD is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, in the Section of Pediatric Rheumatology. She cares for children with juvenile arthritis, lupus, and a wide variety of other complex chronic diseases. Dr. Tesher has a long-standing commitment to caring for underserved children. Following her residency in Social Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore in the Bronx, Dr. Tesher came to the University of Chicago as a pediatric rheumatology fellow, then joined the faculty in 2011. She has a particular interest in helping patients navigate the psychosocial aspects of coping with chronic disease, especially chronic pain. In addition to providing patient care, Dr. Tesher serves as the director of the Pediatric Rheumatology fellowship training program at the University of Chicago and also directs the rheumatology elective rotation.

Anshu Verma

Anshu Verma, MD
Department of Medicine

Dr. Verma is a general internist who specializes in the comprehensive care of adult patients in both the inpatient and outpatient settings. After earning her undergraduate degrees in Chemistry and Public Policy Studies from Duke University, she received her medical training at UNC-Chapel Hill and completed her residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Chicago. She then joined the section of Hospital Medicine as part of the Comprehensive Care Program.

Dr. Verma’s academic interests include health care delivery innovation and quality improvement. She is especially interested in ways to reduce costs and improve clinical outcomes for frequently hospitalized and medically complex patients. Dr. Verma is also active in medical education, and spends time precepting both residents and medical students.

Anna Zisman

Anna Zisman
Department of Medicine

Dr. Zisman is an Assistant Professor in the Section of Nephrology and the Clinical Director of the Kidney Stone Prevention Program at the University of Chicago. She also serves as the Ambulatory Clinic Director for the Nephrology clinic. She received her MD at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and completed internal medicine residency training at the McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University. She received her nephrology fellowship training at the University of Chicago where she has remained on faculty.