Go to University of Chicago Medicine Home

People

Medical Student Scholars

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

Laurie Nosbusch, MD

Laurie Nosbusch, MD

2010-2011 STUDENT SCHOLAR – ALUMNI

Bio

Laurie Nosbusch graduated with highest distinction in 2013 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with majors in Biology and Spanish and a certificate in Global Health. She was captain of the Division 1 women’s soccer team for two years and earned numerous awards, including the Big Ten Medal of Honor. In medical school, Laurie served as a board member for the Washington Park Children’s Free Clinic and a co-president of the Diabetes Prevention and Management Group. Under the mentorship of Kristen Knutson, Ph.D, Laurie investigated the impact of sleep extension on diabetes risk and earned Honorable Mention of Excellence in the Pritzker Summer Research Forum.

Dr. Nosbusch is an Emergency Medicine Resident at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL.

Jamila Picart, MD

Jamila Picart, MD

2018–2019 STUDENT SCHOLAR – ALUMNI

Bio

Jamila Picart graduated with honors in Psychology and a minor in Biology from the University of Chicago in 2017, where she was selected as a student marshal. Jamila participated in the 3-year Clinical Excellence Scholar Tract (CEST), which is a collaboration between the College and the Bucksbaum Institute. As an undergraduate, Jamila researched the impact of emotion on memory recollection accuracy.

At Pritzker, Jamila is the Physician/Student Volunteer Coordinator for the Maria Shelter Clinic, a student-run clinic that serves homeless women and children on the South Side. She also was the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) Pritzker chapter Vice-President. As Vice-President, she began a dinner series that created spaces for students of color to seek mentorship from faculty of color and helped to plan the 2018 Midwest Regional Medical Education Conference.

Under the mentorship of Dr. Matthew Churpek, Jamila has also conducted epidemiological research to identify differences in characteristics and outcomes of high-risk ward patients evaluated by rapid response teams.

Dr. Picart is currently a surgical resident at University of Michigan Medicine.

Romy Portieles Pena

Romy Portieles Pena

2020-2021 Student Scholar

Bio

Romy graduated from the University of Chicago in 2020 with a B.A. in Biological Sciences. Before medical school she conducted translational gastroenterology research with Dr. Vivian Lee and Dr. Micah Prochaska at the University of Chicago Medical Center, where she focused on the etiology of inflammatory bowel disease. After starting medical school, she began working with Dr. Tanya Zakrison and her team to develop a curriculum for trauma surgery trainees that addresses the structural racism and inequities that their patients face and teaches them how to be active anti-racism advocates. Romy is the Co-Interpreter Coordinator of Community Health Clinic, a free clinic at Pritzker. This year, she has worked to develop a standardized interpreter curriculum for the students and interpreters at the clinic. She also co-leads the Vascular Surgery Interest Group and is the Co-Mentorship Chair for the Pritzker chapter of LMSA. Romy will be working with Bucksbaum Faculty Scholar, Dr. Anna Volerman this summer. She will focus on evaluating a pilot program that embeds community health workers into elementary schools with the purpose to improve asthma management and outcomes for children.

Matthew Present, MD

Matthew Present, MD

2016-2017 STUDENT SCHOLAR – ALUMNI

Bio

Matt Present graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A. in American History. He taught English for a year in a Japanese fishing village. Upon his return stateside, he wrote advertising and managed a creative team at Groupon for two years before leaving to become the founding editor of Grid, the Chicago Sun-Times Sunday business magazine. He has also worked as a ghostwriter, with work appearing Forbes and USA Today. Matt completed his post-baccalaureate education at Goucher College. At Pritzker, Matt is an executive board member of the Health Professions Recruitment and Exposure Program, works as a mentor in the Chicago Youth Partnership, teaches science to third-graders, and counsels students on human anatomy and healthy living. He also serves on the Pritzker Editorial Committee and the Service of Gratitude Planning Committee. Matt participated in Pritzker’s annual REMEDY medical service trip to Peru. Currently, he is conducting research with Dr. Neda Laiteerapong on individualization of glycemic control goals in patients with Type-II Diabetes Mellitus.

Dr. Present is a Pediatric Resident at the University of Rochester, Golisano Children’s Hospital in Rochester, NY.

Liese Pruitt, MD

Liese Pruitt, MD

2010-2011 STUDENT SCHOLAR – ALUMNI

Bio

Liese graduated from Stanford University in 2010 with a BA in anthropology and a BS in biology. She received numerous honors as an undergraduate, including graduation with distinction in biology and anthropology, departmental honors for her senior thesis, and election to Phi Beta Kappa.

As a medical student, under the mentorship of Funmi Olopade, MD, director of the Cancer Risk Clinic and professor of medical and human genetics, Liese has conducted qualitative research on cultural and social barriers to effective breast cancer care in southern Nigeria.

Liese also was selected to serve as a Teaching Assistant for The Human Body course. She is a member of the Pritzker School of Medicine student board and a translator at the Community Health Clinic, a volunteer-run free clinic on Chicago’s west side. Liese also is one of the co-chairs of the International Medicine Interest Group at Pritzker.

Liese received a Doris Duke Clinical Research Mentorship Grant and spent the 2013-14 academic year abroad where she conducted a breast cancer knowledge assessment of healthcare workers near Ibadan, Nigeria.

Dr. Pruitt is a Surgery Resident at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, UT.

Hecong Qin

Hecong Qin

2022-2023 STUDENT SCHOLAR

Bio

An aspiring physician-scientist, Hecong completed his undergraduate studies at Sun Yat-sen University in China and a Ph.D. in Bioengineering at UCSF and UC Berkeley. His dissertation research focused on developing and translating novel MRI techniques targeting cancer metabolism to identify aggressive cancers and evaluate therapeutic responses. 

While in the Bay Area, Hecong volunteered as a community healthcare worker at the Berkeley Free Clinic for six years, including two years as a section coordinator. Working with and learning from vulnerable patients at the clinic strengthened his passion for health equity, patient advocacy, and building trust with patients. At the Pritzker School of Medicine, Hecong continues to conduct basic science research and engage in community service. He serves as a class representative to Pritzker’s Identity and Inclusion (i2i) committee, as well as on the board of the Bridgeport Free Clinic and Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA).

Elizabeth Rhinesmith, MD

Elizabeth Rhinesmith, MD

2010-2011 STUDENT SCHOLAR – ALUMNI

Bio

Elizabeth graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College in 2005 with an AB in Economics, a Certificate in Health Policy and election to Phi Beta Kappa. Following her graduation, Elizabeth worked as an associate consultant at Bain & Company and in the Emergency Department of the University of Virginia Health Center.

As a medical student, under the mentorship of William Meadow, MD, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics and Co-Section Chief of Neonatology, and Neethi Pinto, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Elizabeth has conducted research on the accuracy of care team prognoses regarding patient outcomes after hospitalization in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

Elizabeth has served as the co-coordinator of the Washington Park Children’s Free Clinic, a student-run clinic for underserved children. She also serves as a member of the Pre-Clinical Curricular Review Committee, charged with reviewing the first two years of the medical school curriculum.

Dr. Rhinesmith is a pediatrician at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC.

Alexander Ruby, MD, MSc

Alexander Ruby, MD, MSc

2010-2011 STUDENT SCHOLAR – ALUMNI

Bio

Alex graduated magna cum laude from Brown University in 2009 with an ScB in Neuroscience. Following his graduation, Alex coordinated the construction of a community clinic in Bamako, Mali.

As a medical student, Alex researched the extent of false fluency in the health care setting as part of the Health Care Disparities course, and he has continued to explore potential solutions related to the lack of translation services. He also has conducted research with Benjamin Van Voorhees, MD, MPH, on the economic feasibility of an online adolescent depression prevention intervention.

Over the course of his first year, Alex helped conceive of a children’s illustrated book — combining information on the flu with artistic illustrations — to expand health literacy for children. He and his fellow students received a grant from the University of Chicago’s Arts/Science Initiative to fund the book’s initial publication and distribution.

Alex spent the 2013-14 academic year abroad in London where he completed a masters of science in public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Alex conducted research on the effectiveness of interventions during humanitarian crises.

Dr. Ruby is an Emergency Medicine physician in El Segundo, CA.

Maria Ruiz

Maria Ruiz

2020-2021 Student Scholar

Bio

Maria completed her undergraduate studies Washington University in St. Louis, receiving a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Biology. In college, she developed her passion for working with Latinx communities through her work at Casa de Salud and at Nurses for Newborns. After graduation, María spent a year in Guatemala working with an NGO that promotes health and educational equity for individuals with disabilities. She then embarked her Global Health Corps fellowship at Community Pediatric Programs of Montefiore in the South Bronx, where she worked to facilitate access to medical care and legal services for children and immigrants.

In medical school, Maria was the Chair of the Dean’s Council, serving a liaison between school leadership and the student body. She also served as co-president of the Latinx Medical Student Association. In this role, she supported various COVID-19 relief efforts for Spanish speaking communities in Chicago, and launched an anti-racism reading program for incoming first year medical students. Under the mentorship of Dr. Julie Chor, she is conducting an interview study to understand the experiences of LGBTQ individuals with the first pelvic exam. To honor her service, María was selected as the 2020 Valerie Bowman Jarrett Scholar in Medical Education.

Robert Sanchez, MD

Robert Sanchez, MD

2010-2011 STUDENT SCHOLAR – ALUMNI

Bio

Robert graduated from Yale University with a BA in the History of Science, History of Medicine. Following his graduation, he was selected as a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Public Policy Fellow in Washington, D.C., where he served in the U.S. Senate in the office of Senator Barack Obama and in the health policy office of Senator Ted Kennedy. After completing the fellowship, he began work as a health policy analyst for the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest national Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States.

As a medical student, Robert is the co-coordinator of Community Health Clinic, a volunteer-run clinic on Chicago’s west side. He also serves as the Admissions Chair for the Student National Medical Association, and sits on the Pritzker Dean’s Council as class representative to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Under the mentorship of Monica Peek, MD, MPH, he completed his research paper “Shared Decision-Making Preferences and Behaviors of Hispanic and non-Hispanic White Patients with Diabetes,” which earned Honorable Mention for Excellence in the Pritzker Summer Research Program.

Dr. Sanchez is an attending physician at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.