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Medical Student Scholars

The Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence supports four new medical students a year as Bucksbaum Student Scholars.

Nicole Dussault, MD

Nicole Dussault, MD

2017–2018 STUDENT SCHOLAR – ALUMNI

Bio

Nicole Dussault graduated summa cum laude and with honors in Economics from Columbia University, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. As an undergraduate, Nicole volunteered as an Emergency Department patient advocate for survivors of sexual assault. After graduation, she conducted healthcare economics research at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Her work on the financial impact of the Affordable Care Act was featured in Liberty Street Economics.

At Pritzker, Nicole is a Quality Improvement Coordinator for the Maria Shelter Clinic, a founding member of Pritzker TECH, and a part of the University’s Hotspotting team. Nicole and fellow medical students also spearheaded a project to improve patient care for survivors of sexual assault in the University of Chicago ED, working with Drs. Keme Carter and Sonia Oyola. Under Dr. Matthew Churpek, she is also developing a machine learning algorithm to identify infection in hospitalized patients.

Dr. Dussault is currently an internal medicine resident at Duke Health.

Brooke Gabster, MD

Brooke Gabster, MD

2010-2011 STUDENT SCHOLAR – ALUMNI

Bio

(1988-2021)

Brooke Gabster graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University in 2011 with an A.B. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Before medical school, Brooke worked for Deloitte Consulting LLP, where she helped the Military Health System design innovative programs to reduce tobacco use and obesity, and guided Navy Medicine’s implementation and evaluation of a patient-centered medical home model of care at over one hundred clinics. In addition to her domestic health experience, Brooke has worked on global health projects in Germany, Thailand, and South Africa.

At the Pritzker School of Medicine, Brooke is the co-director of the Maria Shelter Clinic, a free clinic in a homeless shelter in Englewood. She also helps evaluate and improve the medical school curriculum as a member of the Pre-Clinical Curriculum Review Committee. Additionally, under the mentorship of Dr. David Meltzer, Brooke is conducting research about how a new model of care designed to increase physician-patient continuity might improve discussions about end-of-life care: her project titled “The Impact of the Comprehensive Care Physician Program on Advance Care Planning” earned Honorable Mention for Excellence in the Pritzker Summer Research Program.

Dr. Gabster is an Internal Medicine Resident at Stanford University in Stanford, CA.

Sean Gaffney, MD

Sean Gaffney, MD

2010-2011 STUDENT SCHOLAR – ALUMNI

Bio

Sean Gaffney graduated magna cum laude from the University of Notre Dame in 2009 with a BA in Philosophy and Economics. Following graduation, Sean taught for two years at a high school in the Rio Grande Valley while completing a M.Ed. through Notre Dame’s ACE program.

As a medical student, Sean is the co-coordinator of CommunityHealth Clinic, a free clinic on Chicago’s west side. He also serves as a member of the Pre-Clinical Curriculum Review Committee, charged with reviewing the first two years of medical school curriculum.

Under the mentorship of Drs. Vineet Arora and Jeanne Farnan, Sean completed a research project titled “Transitions of Care and Transitioning to Training: Teaching and Assessing a Core Entrustable Professional Activity for Entering Residency,” which earned Honorable Mention for Excellence in the Pritzker Summer Research Program.

Dr. Gaffney is a Medicine Resident at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, NC.

Laura Glick, MD

Laura Glick, MD

2016-2017 STUDENT SCHOLAR – ALUMNI

Bio

Laura Glick graduated from Tufts University with a B.A. in Psychology and Community Health. At Tufts, Laura was honored with the prestigious Presidential Award for Citizenship and Public Service. Laura conducted clinical and translational research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Under the mentorship of Dr. David Rubin, a Bucksbaum Institute Master Clinician, Laura has conducted research on Crohn’s disease, earning the Joseph B. Kirsner Research Award for Excellence in the Pritzker Summer Research Forum. Additionally, she is working with Dr. Vineet Arora to improve verbal handoffs in the hospital setting. As a medical student, Laura serves as the co-director of the Washington Park Pediatric Free Clinic, an executive board member of the Health Professions Recruitment and Exposure Program, a leadership council member of Peer Health Exchange, and as a member of the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program.

Dr. Glick is a Hospital Resident at the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, CT.

Alvin Gordián-Arroyo, MPH

Alvin Gordián-Arroyo, MPH

2020-2021 Student Scholar

Bio

Alvin Gordián-Arroyo graduated from Harvard University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Human Evolutionary Biology while completing a secondary field in Global Health and Health Policy. He continued his studies at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, where he received a Master of Public Health in Sociomedical Sciences in 2019 with a certificate in Sexuality, Sexual and Reproductive Health. His research focused on highlighting disparities among people living with HIV (PLWH) and evaluating the efficacy of technology-based solutions for improving health outcomes among PLWH and sexual minority adolescents at higher risk for HIV transmission.

At Pritzker, Alvin serves as co-chair of the Emergency Medicine Interest Group and class representative for the Identity and Inclusion (i2i) Steering Committee. He is also a volunteer at the free CommunityHealth Clinic and is a mentor with the Health Professions Recruitment and Exposure Program (HPREP).

Reem Hamoda, MPH

Reem Hamoda, MPH

2020-2021 Student Scholar

Bio

Reem Hamoda graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology and Community Health Assessment; she continued her studies at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, where she received a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology in 2018. Reem is passionate about improving access to and reducing racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in healthcare for chronic disease patients. Her previous volunteering work includes management of a free clinic social services program in Pittsburgh and designing and implementing a quality improvement initiative aimed to improve interpreter services at an Atlanta refugee clinic. As a graduate student and junior epidemiologist, Reem contributed to numerous research and quality improvement projects related to improving access to transplantation for end-stage renal disease patients.

At Pritzker, Reem served as the referrals coordinator for Washington Park Free Clinic, admissions liaison for the Student National Medical Association (SNMA), and mentor for the HPREP program. Under the mentorship of Dr. Milda Saunders, Reem currently conducts epidemiological research elucidating racial/ethnic and gender-specific disparities in placement on the deceased donor waiting list for renal transplantation.

Robert Hight

Robert Hight

2019-2021 Student Scholar

Bio

Robert Hight graduated from Emory University with a BS in Biology and a minor in Japanese. He also received his MS in Cellular and Molecular Biology from Tulane University. He was the recipient of both the Gates Millennium Scholarship and the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship which were merit-based awards that covered all of the expenses for both his undergraduate and graduate school degrees. Additionally, he helped co-found an organization, while at Emory, which was dedicated to providing first aid/medical supplies for low-income elementary and middle schools in the Atlanta area.

As a medical student, Robert serves as the Treasurer for Dean’s Council and as a mentorship/community service co-chair for the Student National Medical Association (SNMA). Under the mentorship of Dr. Daniel Golden, Robert worked on a research project which sought to examine the dynamic of the doctor-patient relationship in the context of the Electronic Health Records (EHR) system among radiation-oncology physicians as well as work-life balance among those physicians.

Ashley Hite, MD

Ashley Hite, MD

2015-2016 STUDENT SCHOLAR – ALUMNI

Bio

Ashley Hite, graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2013 with a BA in Psychology, Neuroscience and Philosophy and a minor in Children‘s Studies. Following graduation, Ashley taught and coached sports teams for a year at a charter school in Newark, NJ.

Under the mentorship of Dr. Beth Plunkett, Ashley completed a research project titled “Exploration of Barriers Facing Physicians in Diagnosing and Treating Obesity.” This summer, under the advisement of Dr. Vela and with two of her fellow classmates, she served as a TA and coordinator for the Chicago Academic Medical Program, where they exposed minority students to the field of medicine through enrichment and mentoring. She also was invited to attend the Hazelden Betty Ford Summer Institute for Medical Students where she gained insight into the approach to treatment of the chemically dependent person through lecture, group therapy sessions and meals with patients with patients and specialty groups.

In medical school, Ashley was the co-President of Students National Medical Association (SNMA) and served on a free clinic board as Education chair of Maria Shelter Clinic, a free clinic for women in Englewood. She also served as the co-director of the Psychiatry Interest Group. Ashley was the fundraising chair for REMEDY, a medical service group, and this summer went on a medical service trip to Peru.

Dr. Hite is a Medicine Resident at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Brenna Hughes Chase, MD

Brenna Hughes Chase, MD

2010-2011 STUDENT SCHOLAR – ALUMNI

Bio

Brenna graduated from Dartmouth College in 2009 with an AB in Economics and Environmental Studies. As a medical student, under the mentorship of Marshall Chin and Monica Peek, a Bucksbaum Institute Jr. Faculty Scholar, Brenna has conducted research on ways to improve diabetes care and outcomes on the South Side of Chicago. Brenna has also conducted research in collaboration with Pilar Ortega to assess barriers to Emergency Department utilization of interpreter services.

Dr. Chase is a Pediatric & Urban Health Resident at Children’s Hospital in Boston, MA.

Tyrone Johnson, MD

Tyrone Johnson, MD

2017-2018 STUDENT SCHOLAR – ALUMNI

Bio

Tyrone Johnson graduated magna cum laude from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2015 with a BS in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics. He is a former coordinator of the UCLA Mobile Clinic Project, an interdisciplinary street-side free clinic that provides medical and social services to the homeless of West Los Angeles.

As a 2017 Schweitzer Fellow, Ty developed a holistic wellness curriculum for underserved and housing-insecure adults in Chicago’s Uptown. At Pritzker, Ty has served as co-director of the Maria Shelter Clinic, as a board member of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA), and as a member of the Identity & Inclusion Committee.

Under the mentorship of Dr. Lolita Alkureishi, Ty has conducted research on methods of improving patient-centered communication in the Electronic Medical Record era. He is also working with Dr. Elizabeth Tung to investigate the impact of community violence on chronic disease in Chicago’s West and South Side neighborhoods.

Dr. Johnson is a Medicine Resident at the University of California, San Francisco.