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Current News & Events


Dr. Dee Fenner Announced as Recipient of Inaugural Bucksbaum Clinical Excellence Award

We are proud to announce that Dee Fenner, MD, has been named as the first ever recipient of the Bucksbaum National Award for Clinical Excellence.
The Bucksbaum Institute Clinical Excellence Award recognizes physicians who have displayed exceptional dedication to all clinical aspects of medicine and the physician profession. Recipients of the award embody the values and principles upheld by the Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence:

  1. Dedication to clinical excellence and the Doctor-Patient Relationship
  2. Ability to establish good doctor-patient relationships and teacher-student relationships based on mutual respect and collaborative decision-making
  3. Demonstrated commitment toward mentorship of junior colleagues, residents, and medical students
  4. Engagement or leadership of efforts to reduce health disparities
  5. Scholarly research that demonstrates a connection to the four-part mission of the Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence

Dr. Fenner is the Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Bates Professor of Diseases of Women and Children at the University of Michigan. She holds a joint appointment as Professor of Urology. As a Missouri native, she attended undergraduate and medical school at the University of Missouri – Columbia. She completed a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Michigan followed by a fellowship in Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery and Urogynecology at the Mayo Clinic-Scottsdale.

In 2001, Dr. Fenner returned to the University of Michigan where she continues her work in female pelvic floor dysfunction and medical education. She is nationally recognized as an expert in defecation disorders, surgical education, and reconstructive surgery. She has received research funds from the NIH and has served on several NIH study sections, organizing, and oversight committees. In addition, her research has been supported by private donors and industry. Working with a multidisciplinary team, her major contributions have been on understanding how birth injuries impact pelvic floor disorders and developing new and novel treatments for accidental bowel leakage. She has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and chapters.

She is the Past-President of the Association of Professors of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American Urogynecologic Society. As Director of the Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery Board for the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American Board of Urology, she was instrumental in obtaining official recognition of the Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery from the American Board of Medical Subspecialties. In addition, Dr. Fenner provided a decade of service on the Board of Directors of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, ending in 2021. In 2022 she became the President of the American Gynecological & Obstetrical Society.

At the University of Michigan, she has served on numerous committees including the Admissions Executive Committee, the Operating Room Oversight Committee, ACAPT Committee for the University of Michigan Medical School, the Leadership Development Advisory Board and many others. Dr. Fenner has received numerous awards for her contributions as a physician surgeon, educator, and leader. Most notably, in 2011 she was awarded the “Continence Champion” by the National Association for Continence, in 2014 she was given the Sarah Goddard Award by the University of Michigan for Leadership in the advancement of women and in 2015 she was recognized with the Life Time Achievement Award by the American Urogynecologic Society. In 2017 she was the recipient of the prestigious Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics Lifetime Achievement Award. And in 2019 she received the Rudi Ansbacher Leadership Award for Support of Women in Healthcare.

Dr. Fenner is un-matched in her clinical care and ability to form trustful and lasting relationships with her patients.  In our field, we often work with vulnerable populations such as new mothers, victims of sex trafficking, and elderly women. Even more, we are addressing very sensitive issues that profoundly affect women’s lives such as urinary and fecal incontinence, maternal birth trauma and other pelvic floor disorders. Unlike many, Dr. Fenner is able to seamlessly provide a comfortable space for her patients, develop trust with them and treat her patients with the utmost respect.” 

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Fenner as we look forward to welcoming her to the UChicago Medicine Campus next fall as a speaker for our Thirteenth Annual Symposium in September of 2024.


Bucksbaum Master Clinician and Student Scholar Highlighted Diversity Leadership Awards

At an annual ceremony at the University of Chicago, Bucksbaum Master Clinician, Dr. Selwyn Rodgers, and Medical Student Scholar, Alvin Arroyo, have been honored with the prestigious Diversity Leadership Awards on January 30th, 2024.

The awards, presented annually during the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Celebration, commends individuals who exemplify the principles of Dr. King by actively promoting diversity, inclusion, justice, and equality within the University community and society at large. Both Dr. Rodgers and Alvin have demonstrated exceptional leadership in these areas, particularly in the realm of the clinical environment and the clinician-patient relationship. The Diversity Leadership Awards highlight their commitment to advancing Dr. King’s legacy, celebrating their dedication to creating a more equitable and diverse future in healthcare and beyond. The recognition serves as a testament to the positive influence of Bucksbaum Scholars in shaping a community that values and prioritizes unity and understanding.

The Bucksbaum Institute, in partnership with UChicago Medicine is proud to support and celebrate the great work of our scholars!


BICE Faculty Scholar, Aytekin Oto MD, MBA Assumes Expanded Leadership Role at UChicago Medicine

Dr. Aytekin Oto has taken on an expanded leadership role within the University of Chicago Medicine community. He has been appointed as the Chief Physician of University of Chicago Medicine Physicians, Dean for Clinical Affairs at the University of Chicago, and head of the Faculty Practice Plan. In this capacity, Dr. Oto will collaborate closely with clinical department chairs, faculty, and senior leadership to strengthen the physician enterprise. This involves crucial aspects like strategic planning and the development of partnerships. Dr. Oto’s efforts align with the broader mission of advancing the health system, providing exceptional patient care, and supporting education and research.

As part of assuming this new role, Dr. Oto has stepped down from his position as Chair of the Department of Radiology, which he had held since January 2020, following his time as interim chair since 2019. During his tenure as Chair, Dr. Oto introduced significant innovations aimed at creating a governance framework for imaging at an enterprise level. His initiatives also focused on enhancing the department’s clinical operations and expanding patient access to advanced imaging methods. Under his leadership, the department experienced notable growth, with a 47% increase in imaging volumes and a 35% rise in clinical faculty between FY18 and FY23. Noteworthy milestones achieved under Dr. Oto’s guidance include the establishment of the River East advanced imaging center and the Dialysis Access Center. The department’s federal research expenditures also saw a 30% increase during his tenure, leading to improved NIH rankings over a four-year span.

Dr. Oto’s contributions to the field extend beyond his administrative roles. He has been an esteemed faculty member since 2007 and has conducted NIH-funded research focusing on the detection and imaging-guided treatment of prostate cancer using MRI. His impactful work has garnered recognition, including the Distinguished Investigator Award from the Academy for Radiology and Biomedical Imaging Research. Additionally, his pioneering contributions to biomedical imaging research earned him the status of a fellow at the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

The UChicago community is invited to extend their congratulations to Dr. Oto for his new role, and his dedication and collaborative efforts are appreciated as UChicago Medicine continues its commitment to comprehensive care and community well-being.


2023 Pritzker SOM Summer Research Forum Advances Clinical Excellence

The UChicago Pritzker School of Medicine Summer Clinical Research Forum was held over two days last week, in now it’s 29th year. It was a dynamic gathering of medical school students, faculty, and researchers, provided a focused platform for the exchange of groundbreaking insights in healthcare delivery. Spanning various medical disciplines, the forum showcased student research from over the summer that examined advancements and inquiry in diagnostics, treatments, and patient care. Presenters illuminated emerging trends and challenges, while attendees engaged in Q&A at the end of each presentation. We are delighted that many of the project presented will continue and no doubt continue to promote patient-focused clinical excellence.


BICE Supplement Featured in the June 2023 Volume of AAMC’s Journal of Academic Medicine

In recognizing the significant impact the Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence has had on both the academic and patient communities within the university, we are focused on expanding our influence beyond these immediate surroundings. In light of the challenges faced by the doctor-patient relationship, the Bucksbaum Institute aims to address financial pressures, time constraints, and the mismatch between patient needs and physician availability.

This latest issue of Academic Medicine serves as a platform to initiate this broader outreach. The journal provides an ideal forum for discussing the major challenges confronting the academic medicine community by presenting articles on the difficulties of maintaining strong doctor-patient relationships and proposing strategies to overcome them.

The articles included in this issue showcase the work of BICE scholars, most of which have been funded, at least in part, by BICE grants. Although the articles cover diverse topics, they all revolve around the overarching theme of the doctor-patient relationship and its impact on various aspects of medicine. From education and training to health and science policy, institutional management, research practices, and clinical settings, the articles shed light on our five missions: Improving patient care, strengthening the physician-patient relationship, enhancing communication and shared decision-making in healthcare, bolstering the personal and humanistic aspects of the doctor-patient relationship, and reducing healthcare disparities.

By addressing these core areas, the Bucksbaum Institute aims to transform the field of medicine and contribute to a more patient-centered and equitable healthcare system.

All articles of this June 2023 Supplement can be accessed by clicking HERE or in this section’s heading.


CEST Winter Quarterly Event at Seven Ten Social in Hyde Park

CEST Students and BICE Faculty Scholars had a blast at our recent bowling event celebrating our Winter Quarterly Dinner! Participants of all skill levels came together at Seven Ten Social in Hyde Park for an evening of bowling, great food, and camaraderie.

The several BICE Faculty Scholars included Drs. Brian Callender, Julie Chor, Adam Cifu, Royce Lee, Elizabeth Murphy, Sarah Sobotka, Chris Straus, and Carina Yang, all of whom engaged in friendly competition and conversation with the CEST student participants.

Overall, it was a great event and wonderful way to usher in the Spring Quarter. Thanks to all who joined us!


Zhiqiu Ye, PhD and Clinical Collaborators Instrumental in Advancing and Promoting Bucksbaum Pilot Grant Research

In collaboration with Bucksbaum Institute Senior Faculty Scholar, Dr. Stacie Levine, Dr. A. Justine Landi, and Dr. Kimberly Beiting, we’re proud to highlight Dr. Ziqiu Ye’s work of Opioid and Substance Use Disorders Services in Nursing Homes through the Bucksbaum Pilot Grant Program.

Dr. Ye’s project has already been presented at the PALTC23 Conference and will be presented at the AGS23 Annual Scientific Meeting this May. Through this project, Dr. Levine and Dr. Ye developed a validated survey instrument to measure and identify the practices and policies of care delivery in nursing homes for patients with a history of opioid and substance use disorders.

The Bucksbaum Institute, in partnership with our wonderful scholars and collaborators, is proud to support great work such as this!


Mary E. Rinella, MD Named 2022-2023 BICE Master Clinician

Bucksbaum is proud to welcome Dr. Mary Rinella as our 2022-2023 Master Clinician. Dr. Rinella is a board-certified transplant hepatolgist with 20 years of experience treating patients with complex liver disease. She is an expert in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). NAFLD is the most common cause of liver disease in the United States.

Dr. Rinella also has extensive interest and experience in the treatment of autoimmune and biliary liver diseases, such as autoimmune hepatitis, primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) and primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC).

Dr. Rinella has published nearly 150 peer-review articles in prestigious journals, such as Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & HepatologyGastroenterologyHepatologyJournal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)The Lancet and more.

Along with her clinical expertise and research accolades, Dr. Rinella is also dedicated to teaching residents and fellows, providing guidance and mentorship throughout their medical careers.


28th Annual Pritzker Research Forum Featured 10 BICE-Supported Projects

Pictured: Spencer Asay, Lorna Sanchez, Zhong Huang

Congratulations to all the presenters at the 28th Annual Summer Research Forum. Bucksbaum is proud to partner with UChicago Pritzker School of Medicine to support the meaningful work medical students do in pursuit of clinical excellence. Special thanks to our Faculty Scholars and their mentees for their amazing work over the summer:

Mizna Akbar/Lainie Ross, MD, PhD
Spencer Asay/Stacy Lindau, MD, MAPP
David Fenton/David Rubin, MD
Alvin Gordian Arroyo/Ani Hazra, MD
Zhong Huan/Elbert Huang, MD
Bailey McGrew/Sarah Hoehn, MD
Natasha Powell/John Schneider, MD, MPH
Lorna Sanchez/Julie Chor, MD, MPH
Anna Thorndike/Marshall Chin, MD, MPH
Maeson Zietowski/Russell Reid, MD, PhD

2022 Bucksbaum Institute Annual Symposium

Friday, October 7th, 1:00-3:30 p.m.