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Junior Faculty Scholars

The Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence supports two-year appointments for three Bucksbaum Junior Faculty Scholars. Scholars are selected for their dedication to patient care, collaborative decision-making and clinical excellence. They are encouraged to explore approaches to improving the doctor-patient relationship and how this knowledge may benefit patients and the community. The faculty also serve as mentors for the medical student scholars.

Kinga Skowron Olórtegui, MD

Kinga Skowron Olórtegui, MD

2021–2022 JUNIOR FACULTY SCHOLAR

Department of Surgery
Bio

Dr. Olórtegui was born in Poland. She grew up in the countryside outside of Chicago, and eventually moved to the big city.  She received her B.S. From the University of Chicago in 2009, followed by her M.D. from the UChicago Pritzker School of Medicine in 2012. She stayed at UChicago for residency and fellowship, and recently joined the Department of Surgery, Section of Colon and Rectal Surgery as an Assistant Professor. She completed the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics Fellowship in 2016, and now serves as faculty at the MacLean Center.

Dr. Olórtegui’s clinical interest is in the care of patients with diseases of the colon, rectum, and anus, especially inflammatory bowel disease. She is also passionate about improving the quality of surgical care. Dr. Olórtegui is launching the University of Chicago colorectal surgery clinical outcomes database, and is actively collaborating with researchers at other major academic centers in order to improve our understanding of the intricacies of colorectal diseases, surgeries and their outcomes.

In working with trainees, Dr. Olórtegui developed a special interest in teaching and mentorship. During her training, Dr. Olórtegui was honored with the Hans Frimpong Spirit in Surgery Award, as well as the Golden Apple Teaching Award. She was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society by the graduating Pritzker School of Medicine Class of 2019. In her first year as faculty, she was awarded an Excellence in Teaching Award from the Department of Surgery. Dr. Olórtegui is interested in developing a formal curriculum for teaching professionalism to budding surgeons.

Ahmeneh Ghavam, MD, MA

Ahmeneh Ghavam, MD, MA

2021–2022 JUNIOR FACULTY SCHOLAR
2020-2021 ASSOCIATE JUNIOR FACULTY SCHOLAR

Department of Pediatrics
Bio

Ahmeneh Ghavam, MD, MA, attended medical school at the American University of the Caribbean, followed by pediatric residency at the University of Arizona. Following residency, she completed fellowship in pediatric critical care at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin/Medical College of Wisconsin. Dr. Ghavam subsequently joined the faculty at the University of Chicago where she is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the section of Critical Care Medicine. While in fellowship she developed an academic interest in pediatric bioethics and has completed a Master’s Degree in Bioethics from the Medical College of Wisconsin. Within bioethics, her area of academic focus lies at the intersection of organ donation and death determination, with a special interest in pediatric donation after circulatory death. In addition to her academic work, clinical time spent in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and Pediatric Sedation suite, Dr. Ghavam is also actively involved in medical education serving as the associate program director for the Pediatric Critical Care fellowship program.

Parth Modi, MD

Parth Modi, MD

2021–2022 JUNIOR FACULTY SCHOLAR

Department of Surgery
Bio

Parth Modi is an Assistant Professor of Surgery in the Section of Urology and is a specialist in the management of urologic cancers, especially bladder and prostate cancer.

Dr. Modi attended medical school at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and received his MD in 2011. He completed Urology residency at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in 2017. He subsequently went on to complete Urologic Oncology fellowship training and an MS degree in Health and Health Care Research at the University of Michigan before joining the faculty at the University of Chicago in 2020.

His research is focused on improving the delivery of health care by informing payment and workforce policy. As a Bucksbaum Scholar, he is studying how to optimize the training and utilization of nurse practitioners and physician assistants in the context of surgical care. In addition to his clinical practice and research, Dr. Modi is a faculty member of the MacLean Center for clinical medical ethics with interests in financial conflicts of interest, informed consent, and the ethical implications of health care policy.

Milda Saunders, MD, MPH

Milda Saunders, MD, MPH

2020–2021 JUNIOR FACULTY SCHOLAR

Department of Medicine
Bio

Dr. Saunders is an Assistant Professor in the Section of General Internal Medicine. Since coming to the University of Chicago, she has completed a combined internal medicine-pediatrics residency, a research fellowship in hospital medicine, clinical medical ethics fellowship at the MacLean Center and medical education (MERITS). In addition to her clinical work in GIM, she serves as the Research Subject Advocate for the Institute of Translational Medicine and the University’s Living Donor Advocate Physician where she works with potential living donors to make sure they have the appropriate medical and psychosocial evaluation as well as a full understanding of the risks of living donation. Dr. Saunders’ research focuses on reducing disparities and improving the quality of care received by patients with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD). She is currently NIH-funded to develop and test an educational module for hospitalized patients with advanced CKD in order to increase their knowledge about and preparation for renal replacement therapy. She is also the Assistant Dean of Multicultural Affairs at the Pritzker School of Medicine.

Ben Shogan, MD

Ben Shogan, MD

2020–2021 JUNIOR FACULTY SCHOLAR

Department of Surgery
Bio

Dr. Benjamin Shogan is an Assistant Professor of Surgery within the division of colon and rectal surgery. After completing medical school at New Jersey Medical School, he completed general surgery residency at the University of Chicago followed by a colon and rectal fellowship at the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Shogan treats all colorectal diseases with a particular expertise and interest in colorectal cancer.

In addition to being a busy clinician, Dr. Shogan runs an active NIH funded clinical, translational, and basic research program trying to improve the outcomes in patients with colorectal malignancies. His research focuses on how gut bacteria can be manipulated to decrease the cancer recurrence and the morbidity of surgery. He also has a passion for education and mentorship, mentoring the many medical students, residents, and fellows that rotate through surgical services and the research laboratory.

Sarah Sobotka, MD, MSCP

Sarah Sobotka, MD, MSCP

2020–2021 JUNIOR FACULTY SCHOLAR

Department of Pediatrics
Bio

Dr. Sarah Sobotka is Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Section of Developmental and Behavioral (DBP) Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics and Medical Director of the Comer Outpatient DBP Program.

Dr. Sobotka received her medical degree from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and Master of Science for Clinical Professionals from the Department of Public Health Sciences. She completed residency training in Pediatrics at Northwestern University/Lurie Children’s Hospital and subspecialty DBP Training at the University of Chicago. Since 2017 Dr. Sobotka has served as Associate Director of the IL Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (IL-LEND) Program, which provides long-term, graduate-level interdisciplinary training to improve the health and well-being of individuals with disabilities.

Dr. Sobotka is currently funded by the NICHD for a project utilizing mixed methods to study children with invasive home mechanical ventilator assistance and to describe patient, family, and healthcare system factors which influence long hospitalizations and readmissions. Dr. Sobotka is interested in developing interventions for children at risk for severe neurodevelopmental disabilities, particularly those who have survived critical illness, to reach their developmental potentials.

Christopher Kramer, MD

Christopher Kramer, MD

2019–2020 JUNIOR FACULTY SCHOLAR

Department of Neurology
Bio

Dr. Christopher Kramer is an Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery in the Section of Neurocritical Care. He received his medical degree from the Chicago Medical School. He then went on to pursue his Neurology residency training at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona followed by his Neurocritical Care fellowship at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota before joining the faculty at the University of Chicago in 2015.

Dr. Kramer has a passion for medical education and serves as the Neurocritical Care Fellowship Program Director and as a member of the Neurology Resident Education Committee and the Clinical Competency Committee. He is currently enrolled in the Medical Education Research, Innovation, Teaching and Scholarship (MERITS) program at the University of Chicago. Nationally, he was involved in the creation of the Essentials of Neurocritical Care, an educational endeavor for providers through the Neurocritical Care Society. He is a faculty advisor to neurology residents, is developing a simulation-based curriculum for learners of various levels and backgrounds on neurological emergencies.

His research interests include the impact of communication on providers and families in the neurocritical care unit, novel treatments for acute ischemic stroke, penetrating traumatic brain injury, prognostication after cardiac arrest, and brain death.

Nicola Orlov, MD

Nicola Orlov, MD

2019–2020 JUNIOR FACULTY SCHOLAR

Department of Pediatrics
Bio

Nicola Orlov is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Associate Program Director for the Pediatric Residency Training Program, and Co-Clerkship Director for the Pritzker School of Medicine. She is a graduate of the Pritzker School of Medicine and where she stayed to complete her Residency Training and Chief Resident year. She completed an MPH at Columbia University and graduated from The Medical Education Research Innovation Teaching and Scholarship (MERITS) fellowship at the University of Chicago. She currently serves as the Chapter Advisor at the PSOM for the Gold Humanism Honor Society.

Dr. Orlov is a Pediatric Hospitalist. Her recent academic work has been focused on improving the sleep and health of hospitalized children. She has a strong interest in teaching communication skills and was recently award funding from the Bucksbaum Institute to support the development of an innovative curriculum that uses improvisational theatre to hone the communication skills of students. Her work will be the first to objectively measure the impact of improv on student communication, adaptability, and confidence. Whether at the bedside, in the classroom or through her research, Dr. Orlov’s passion is focused on improving medical training with the goal of improving patient experience.

Jason A. Strelzow, MD

Jason A. Strelzow, MD

2019–2020 JUNIOR FACULTY SCHOLAR

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitative Medicine
Bio

Dr. Jason Strelzow is an orthopaedic trauma and upper extremity surgeon, who provides comprehensive care for patients with fractures and injuries throughout the body with a special interest in upper limb pathology.

Jason completed medical school and orthopaedic surgery training at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. He then completed additional fellowship training in Hand and Upper Extremity at the Hand and Upper Limb Center in London Ontario, Canada and a Trauma fellowship at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh in Scotland in the United Kingdom.

Along with being dedicated to his clinical work, Dr. Strelzow is the Associate Residency Program Director for Orthopaedic surgery and is heavily involved in clinical research. He is currently exploring research on patient-reported outcomes related to elbow trauma, shoulder trauma, and total elbow replacements. He has an active interest in evaluating the functional outcomes around urban trauma, PTSD and urban ballistic injuries with the goal of improving patient care and returning patients to normal activity as soon as possible. Dr. Strezlow received a 2019 Bucksbaum Institute Pilot Grant with co-PI Dr. Jennifer Wolf a Senior Faculty Scholar. And, he is an associated editor for the Journal of Hand Surgery.

Lisa Marie Cannon, MD

Lisa Marie Cannon, MD

2017–2018 Junior Faculty Scholar – Alumni

Department of Surgery
Bio

Dr. Lisa Cannon earned her medical degree from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. While there, she took a year to focus on narrative medicine and received a distinction in medical humanities. She also received the John J. Morton and John H. Morton Memorial Scholarship for her focus on patient care.

Dr. Cannon went on to complete her general surgery residency at New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center. She completed her colon and rectal fellowship at the University of Chicago, and stayed on as faculty. She serves on several committees for the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. Her clinical interests include inflammatory bowel disease and benign colorectal disorders, implementing enhanced recovery pathways for the section, and prudent use of minimally invasive techniques.

Dr. Cannon has a strong interest in the patient-physician interaction and surgical quality with emphasis on safe patient handoffs and interdisciplinary team communication. She is the recipient of the Department of Surgery Excellence in Teaching Award ’16.

In 2012, Dr. Cannon joined the faculty at the University of Rochester in New York.