Celebrating the Next Generation of Physicians

Nancy Sweitzer, MD, PhD (second from left), director of the UA Sarver Heart Center and chief of cardiology, congratulated award recipients during the UA Department of Medicine’s awards program in May. The internal medicine residents at Banner UMC South voted to honor Preethi William, MD (right), second-year cardiovascular disease fellow, with the UA Department of Medicine’s Outstanding Medicine Fellow Award.

Prashant Rao, MD (left), and Kris Kumar, DO (second from right), second-year internal medicine residents, received the Charles W. Hall Jr and Virginia C. Hall Memorial Awards, which recognizes amazing residents on the coronary care unit rotation at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson. Drs. Kumar and Rao both have interests in pursuing cardiology fellowships after completing their residency programs.

Dr. Kumar’s cardiology interest stems from a family history profoundly influenced by cardiovascular disease. “As a resident, I have seen how genetics and lifestyle choices influence the development of disease within patients,” said Dr. Kumar. As his residency program intersects with the UA Sarver Heart Center, Dr. Kumar appreciates the exposure to research, cutting-edge technology and the commitment to patient care with a diverse patient population in the cardiology rotations. “I am currently working on projects that range from interventional cardiology looking at in-stent strut coverage of bioresorbable stents and cardiac imaging looking at the efficacy of 3-D echocardiography versus cardiac MRI to define right ventricular function,” said Dr. Kumar.

Dr. Rao’s cardiology interests led him to study special electives in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy at universities and hospitals in the United Kingdom and the United States, including St. George’s Hospital in London, and Tufts University in Medford, Mass. He plans to expand on his research experience investigating sudden cardiac death in athletes and the prevention and management of cardiac arrest and sudden cardiac death, using metabolomic analysis to identify and treat individuals at risk of sudden cardiac death.

Dr. Sweitzer also presented Cara Levin, MD (center), and Alyssa McGregor, MD (right), 2017 graduates of the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, with the Zenas B. Noon, MD Award of Excellence in Cardiology, given to medical students with outstanding performance in their cardiology rotations. Dr. Levin will pursue an internal medicine residency at Oregon Health & Sciences University in Portland. She has interests in geriatrics and cardiology. Dr. McGregor will pursue an anesthesiology residency at University of Washington and has interest in ultimately pursuing fellowship training in cardiac anesthesiology.

A Nogales, Ariz., native and 1926 UA graduate, Dr. Noon completed his medical training at the Medical College of Virginia, University of Michigan, Johns Hopkins University and University of Pennsylvania. He returned to Nogales in 1933 to serve as the medical director of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration Transient Camp before he established a private practice as the only surgeon in Nogales for 35 years. After suffering from heart disease himself, Dr. Noon established this award in gratitude for the excellent are he received from the cardiology division at what was then University Hospital.

Read more Sarver Heart Center news in the Summer 2017 Newsletter.