Medical Alumni Program at Nationwide Children's Hospital
Roger A. Friedman, MD ’77
Chairman, Medical Alumni Program
Members of the Nationwide Children’s Medical Alumni Program represent America’s leading pediatricians and subspecialists. Membership is free to all residents and fellows who have trained at Nationwide Children's Hospital for six months or more, or who are currently conducting training.
All members receive the following benefits:
- Connect quarterly electronic newsletter
- Information and invitations to upcoming events
- Chairman updates
- Networking opportunities
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2023 Medical Alumni Reunion
Save the date for the 2023 Medical Alumni Reunion.
April 21 - 22, 2023
Nationwide Children's Hospital Conference Center
520 Butterfly Gardens Drive
Friday, April 21, 2023
- 7:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. – 40th Annual Dwight A. Powell Pediatric Infectious Diseases Conference in conjunction with 38th Annual Pediatric Infectious Diseases Nursing Conference! Registration is not limited to alumni, but rather is open to all medical professionals.
- 4:30 - 6 p.m. – Tour of New Simulation Center Provided by Simulation and Outreach Education (No cost, but registration is required)
- 6 - 7 p.m. – Alumni Reception Sponsored by Nationwide Children’s Hospital Foundation
- 7 - 11 p.m. – Alumni Dinner, Awards & Past Leadership Recognition (Cost is $75/person)
Saturday, April 22, 2023
- 8:00 - 9:00 a.m. – Hospital Tour Provided by Nationwide Children’s Hospital Foundation (No cost, but registration is required)
- 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. – Breakfast & Family Fun Event Franklin Park Conservatory (Family free to explore past 11:30 a.m.) ($20/person, over the age of 5)
You can register for any part, or all these activities here. Registration deadline is Thursday, April 13, 2023.
Alumni Feature Archive
Michael D. Patrick, Jr., MD, better known as Dr. Mike to patients, colleagues, and fans of his podcasts, attended medical school at The Ohio State University College of Medicine and pediatric residency training at Nationwide Children’s Hospital (then Columbus Children’s Hospital). After completing his fellowship training, Dr. Mike practiced primary care pediatrics in Springfield, Ohio, from 1998 to 2008. During this time, he started a podcast for parents called PediaCast, sponsored by Nationwide Children’s. In 2008, Dr. Mike moved to Florida for three years and practiced pediatric urgent care medicine while continuing to produce the podcast.
In 2011, Dr. Mike returned to Nationwide Children’s as a general pediatrician in emergency medicine. He also received an academic appointment as assistant professor on the clinical educator track and was named medical director of Interactive Media and Digital Health. Dr. Mike says, “I continued producing PediaCast with support from the Nationwide Children’s marketing and education departments. In 2015, I launched a second podcast, PediaCast CME, which targets post-graduate pediatric providers with Category 1 CME credit. In 2016, I launched an elective called Healthcare Communications and Social Media for medical students and residents.”
Dr. Mike says his biggest career choice was starting the podcast in 2006, “This experience reshaped my career and led me on a trajectory of education through digital content - podcasts, blogs, social media - that I would not have otherwise taken. It has also led to national recognition and opportunities to serve my colleagues at the national level through the AAP Council on Communications and Media. I started the podcast to provide supplemental information to my patients and families. Practicing in Springfield, Ohio, an underserved area, entailed very high volumes of patients, and I felt frustrated that I did not have time to provide in-depth teaching during well checks and sick visits. I thought the podcast would allow me to give brief answers in the exam room and point patients and families to more comprehensive discussions in the podcast. The ultimate goal was to improve health literacy and positively impact health and wellness outcomes in my practice.”
In addition to being the medical director of Interactive Media and Digital Health, currently, Dr. Mike is an attending physician in Emergency Medicine at Nationwide Children’s, assistant professor of Clinical Pediatrics and course director of Healthcare Communications and Social Media at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. He also serves as the education program chair for the Council on Communications and Media and planning committee chair for the National Media Training Course for the American Academy of Pediatrics.
While reflecting on his experiences, Dr. Mike says, “I continue to be amazed at the reach and impact of my podcasts. PediaCast has reached over 4 million people since it began in 2006. PediaCast CME has reached over 500,000 listeners. Both podcasts have active listeners in all 50 states and over 100 countries. 80% of the audience is outside Ohio, and 20% is international. It is an honor to provide this global audience with trustworthy, evidence-based health and wellness information. Producing the podcasts and developing curricula for medical students and residents that focus on communications and the professional influence we can have on social media has impacted my career in many ways."
Dr. Mike has multiple publications in peer-reviewed journals, which has opened doors for national leadership in communications and media. Dr. Mike also authored the Social Media for Medical Professionals textbook.
When asked about his mentors, Dr. Mike credits several Nationwide Children’s leaders - Donna Teach, current chief communications officer, Stevi Cannon, former director of social media and digital content, and Dr. Leslie Mihalov, former division chief of Pediatric Emergency Medicine. He says, "They were instrumental in moving the podcast to the Nationwide Children’s campus and advocating for dedicated time to work on these projects.” Dr. Mike also says that Dr. Rachel Stanley, current division chief of emergency medicine, and Dr. Bill Long, associate medical director, were instrumental in their support of his academic endeavors.
What advice would Dr. Mike give to a resident today? “Keep an open mind regarding your future career path and journey. It will likely be full of surprises and unforeseen opportunities. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Keep asking questions and pitching ideas. Don’t let a ‘no’ keep you from innovation and making dreams a reality.”
Jonathan I. Groner, MD, grew up in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park. He attended undergraduate at Northwestern University in Evanston for two years, then moved down to Northwestern Medical School (now Feinberg School of Medicine) in downtown Chicago for four years. Dr. Groner said, “I was extremely lucky to be accepted into the six-year medical program at Northwestern. This program not only saved my family two years of tuition at an expensive private school but also basically guaranteed me a spot in medical school. As a medical student, I was lucky enough to get a four-week rotation in pediatric surgery at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. The surgeons and the fellows in that service were great mentors and teachers. And this strongly influenced my decision to pursue pediatric surgery.”
Dr. Groner then went to Milwaukee for general surgery training. He says, at the time of his training, the children’s hospital in Milwaukee was fairly small, and pediatric surgery was neither academically oriented nor had a training program. Thus, Dr. Groner needed to go elsewhere if he hoped to match in pediatric surgery. He left his general surgery training program after finishing his PGY-3 year and spent two years in a research fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Dr. Groner says, “This was a busy and productive time for me. I met my future wife, Cathy, during a group bike ride, in Philadelphia. When I returned to Milwaukee, we were married and expecting our first child.” Dr. Groner then began his PGY-4 general surgery training. He also spent six months working in Oxford (England) as part of an exchange program. Dr. Groner was in Oxford when the match results were released. Since this was in 1990, before the days of the internet, it took a week for him to learn that he matched in pediatric surgery in Columbus. Dr. Groner was a pediatric surgery fellow at Nationwide Children’s from 1991 to 1993.
After Dr. Groner completed his fellowship, he looked at jobs in other cities but ultimately stayed in Columbus. He says, “When I finished training in pediatric surgery, I looked at opportunities in several cities, including Chicago. However, many of these jobs involved working at several hospitals and driving long distances. Columbus was, and is, unique because there is only one children’s hospital, and it is supported by the adult hospital systems and community leadership. Columbus is also much less congested, and I eventually started riding my bike to the hospital. I still do.”
In reflecting on one of his most memorable experiences during the days of pediatric surgery training, Dr. Groner recalls, “On the day I started, my senior resident, Dan Teitelbaum, told me that his wife was expecting their first child. She went into labor in August, my second month of training. Dan paged me and said ‘my wife is in labor. I will see you in a week.’ It was one of the scariest phone calls of my life. I spent most of the next week inside the hospital. I was too scared to leave. My wife would drive over once a day with a bag of food for me. Twenty years later, the baby born that week ended up in the same university class as my older son. Dan’s daughter and my son eventually met when they went on a birthright trip to Israel as part of the same group.”
When asked about his mentors, Dr. Groner says, “My greatest mentor of all was my chief resident, Dan Teitelbaum. I came from a training program that did not have a strong pediatric surgery component, so I was actually quite unprepared when I arrived. Dan taught not only technical skills, like how to place a central line in an infant who weighs well under 1 kg, but also how to evaluate patients for surgical emergencies and how to run a busy service. Sadly, Dan died of a brain tumor several years ago." Dr. Groner also cites Drs. Denis King, Steve Teich, Donna Caniano and Robert Ruberg as influencers in his early career.
Dr. Groner served as the trauma medical director of the Level 1 pediatric trauma program at Nationwide Children’s for 20 years before Rajan Thakkar, MD, took on the role in 2020. Dr. Groner currently continues in the program as the trauma quality medical director. He also co-chairs the block committee for perioperative services, which is the committee that allocates operating room time to the different surgical specialties.
Outside the hospital, he is a member of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Committee on Trauma and a trauma program reviewer. Every year, Dr. Groner visits (now virtually) several pediatric trauma centers across the USA to assess the quality of their trauma programs and helps decide if they meet ACS standards.
What advice would Dr. Groner give to current trainees? He says, “Even though it was brutal at times, training at Nationwide Children’s was one of the highlights of my life and working here has been an honor. Working in the same community for 30 years has been very rewarding. I would also say to trainees; that ultimately, the patients are your best teacher. I can still remember a number of patients from my training days, and the lessons I learned while caring for them have not been forgotten.”
Dr. Croft describes herself as “being a nerdy, science geek growing up.” She says, “I was attracted to the medical field and get so much joy from interacting with children – so pediatrics was a perfect fit.” Dr. Croft’s pediatric residency was at Columbus Children’s Hospital (now Nationwide Children’s) in the late 1980s.
Reflecting on her residency, Dr. Croft says, “There were no Hib or Prevnar vaccines, so serious bacterial diseases abounded, artificial surfactant and ECMO were just on the horizon. We adjusted theophylline drips and managed intubated patients on the regular floor.” During that time, there were no attendings or fellows in the hospital overnight. Dr. Croft goes on to say, “The hours were many, but we learned to make decisions, take responsibility and rely on the help of our fellow residents. Those years truly shaped me into the physician I am today. We were blessed with many incredible mentors – Drs. Delphis Richardson, Katie Koranyi, Karen McCoy and Michael Brady- just to name a few.”
In 1990, Dr. Croft joined Pediatric Associates as one of four pediatricians. Thirty-two years later, she is with the same practice- and Pediatric Associates are now 25 pediatricians strong. She has also valued the guidance and leadership of her partners. Dr. Croft says, “I learned so much from my senior partners, particularly Dr. Will Fernald. His dedication to his patients and their families is still a model for us all. I am energized and challenged by my young colleagues. Though they are perplexed by my strong attachment to my Harriet Lane!”
Dr. Croft says that one of the most rewarding aspects of her job is the continuity of caring for families. She has many photos of her patients on her office walls. For Dr. Croft, there is one photo that stands out. It is a photo of a young couple at their high school prom. She says, “Now I care for their four lovely children – how wonderful is that?”
When asked to be featured in this publication, Dr. Croft tells Alumni Connect that her first thought is “why me?” Humbly, she says that she considers herself “just a local ordinary pediatrician." But Dr. Croft admits that if there is anything the past few years have taught her, it is that as a pediatrician because no days are simply ordinary. She says, "Being on the front lines along with her staff during a pandemic, learning to do telehealth, coping with an exploding mental health crisis, dealing with more and more chronic health issues in patients, convincing parents that vaccines are safe and effective are just examples of how the practice of pediatrics will never just be 'ordinary.'" As the practice of pediatrics has continued to evolve, Dr. Croft is continually challenged to become a better practitioner.
To a pediatric resident contemplating private practice pediatrics, Dr. Croft advises, “Prepare for the extraordinary!”
Rob Snyder, MD, feels very fortunate to have spent his career in pediatrics in central Ohio. Dr. Snyder completed his residency at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in 1998. After residency, he joined Hilliard Pediatrics, and after 23 years, Dr. Snyder still loves working there.
He said, “I greatly appreciate my early partners, Drs. Jeff Crecelius, Lisa Kelch and Tim Teller. We worked hard taking care of patients, sometimes until 8 p.m., and working through the myriad of issues that come with running a small medical practice. We got even stronger when we added Drs. Beth Schloss and Tricia Lucin. I have also been proud to work with our nurse practitioners, Lisa Pietrapaolo and Stephanie Yoder. We have a wonderful staff, whom we routinely engage to help us continue to offer outstanding care to our patients.”
Dr. Snyder participated in several Nationwide Children’s committees early in his career. While the planning for the new hospital was underway, he was the community representative on the Medical Executive Committee. Dr. Snyder served as part of the bylaws committee for two years, where he first met Richard J. Brilli, MD, FAAP, MCCM, who became his trusted mentor as he gained more administrative experience.
In 2013, Dr. Snyder became section chief of Community Pediatrics. Then, in 2015, he joined Drs. Meyer, Long, White and Golla, as associate administrative medical director. In that role, he primarily served as a liaison to community physicians. Dr. Snyder said, “I recognize that it is a unique opportunity to have a foot in both the community and Nationwide Children’s. I am dedicated to getting us out of our silos and communicating effectively.” Dr. Snyder is currently rotating through his two years as medical staff president. He said, “I enjoy working with Drs. Bruce Meyer, Bill Long, Jennifer White and Michelle Golla. I have learned a great deal from Bruce. He is as kind and sincere as they come. I have a great time with Bill and always appreciate his insight and experience.”
When asked what advice he would give to new residents, Dr. Snyder said, “Be a good listener and make decisions collaboratively with the people around you.”
On a personal note, Dr. Snyder thanks his family for their love and support. He said, “I would not have been successful without them. I have two wonderful grown children, Caroline and Benton. I cannot express how much I love my wife, Lori. She challenges me to be my best, and she is my strongest supporter and best friend!”
Matthew C. Washam, MD, MPH, is an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine and member of the Section of Infectious Diseases at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
As a medical student at The Ohio State University, Dr. Washam developed an interest in public health and epidemiology during his preclinical years and obtained a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree between his second and third years of medical school.
When asked about his mentors in medicine, Dr. Washam said, “I have been fortunate to have many great mentors, including Dr. William Barson, Dr. Michael Brady and Dr. Kurt Stevenson (Ohio State faculty) who helped guide my career path towards pediatric infectious diseases and healthcare epidemiology. During fellowship, Dr. Beverly Connelly (Cincinnati Children’s Hospital) helped further define my career path in infection prevention. I cannot thank all of my mentors enough for their guidance and wisdom.”
Dr. Washam has many great memories of his days as a resident. He said, “I am fortunate to have been able to train at Nationwide Children’s with such wonderful colleagues. Having the opportunity to return here as faculty, I am reminded of just how special a place this is. Through all of the challenges of the pandemic, I am proud to be part of our One Team response in continuing our mission to care for children.”
Dr. Washam’s advice to current residents is to leverage the unique experience of training during a pandemic. He explains, “Today’s residents are well-positioned to understand the interconnectedness between population health and the individual health of patients, as well as the important role that pediatricians play in the public health of all children.”
Early on in his childhood, Richard Petrella, MD, remembers his mother always telling him that he should become a baby doctor. An older sister, who is a nurse, served as further inspiration for him. So, Dr. Petrella guesses it was destiny that he should follow the path that he did.
Pediatrics was Dr. Petrella's first clinical rotation in medical school. He said, "That rotation was wonderful. I tried to keep an open mind moving forward with my other clinical, but after that experience, I knew that pediatrics was my calling."
Dr. Petrella explains it was an experience during residency that shaped his future career. "I had cared for this little boy for weeks while he was at Children's. I had become closely entwined with him and his family. Unfortunately, he died, and it was such an emotional experience for me as well as his family. They thanked me profusely for all the care I had provided during his hospitalization. Little did they know that I had garnered life lessons from that experience. I realized that beyond medical care what an important role empathy and compassion play in caring for patients. I carried that lesson over into my career in private practice. It continually reminds me to be kind and compassionate with every patient and family. In fact, I have an ornament hanging from my Christmas tree every year that was given to me by that family," said Dr. Petrella.
Some notable mentors in Dr. Petrella's career include Drs. Frank Stroebel, Chet Kasmersky, Bill Barson and Mary McIlroy. Dr. Petrella also cites his fellow residents that include Drs. Roger Friedman, Mike Brady, Rob Forsythe and Greg Barrett.
So, what stands out the most for Dr. Petrella when reflecting on his residency experience? H. Flu meningitis, LP’s, gram stains, night chief, 2117, IV’s, Reye syndrome, Daphne, sleepless nights, humbling experiences, mystery meat, social gatherings and camaraderie. His message to current residents, “These are some of the words that defined my residency. However, your words will undoubtedly be somewhat different than mine. No matter how difficult residency may seem, just remember that you will look back and realize that this time is one of the most significant and influential periods of your lifetime."
Dr. Petrella considers himself fortunate to have joined a wonderful practice right out of residency. He has been with that same practice now for 41 years. Dr. Petrella said, "I feel truly blessed to have worked with so many wonderful partners and staff over the years. Having practiced for so many years has given me the unique and satisfying opportunity to have cared for many patients. I am now the pediatrician for many of their children as well. At this point in my career, I continue to practice pediatrics not because I need to but because I want to. "So, is there anything that can push Dr. Petrella to retirement? Perhaps his grandchildren. Dr. Petrella said, "On a regular basis, my grandchildren say, 'Pop Pop, when are you going to retire?' I have an inkling that their wishes will soon prevail!"
Dr. Mihalov is now ‘semi-retired’ and working clinically only as needed in emergency medicine. She currently serves as a mentor to division chief for emergency medicine, Rachel Stanley, MD and section chief, Mike Stoner, MD. She is also the medical advisor to the Clinical Documentation Improvement program and continues to serve on several hospital committees, including residency recruitment and Quality Improvement teams. She has proudly served for over 20 years on the OSU College of Medicine’s admissions committee.
In 1998, Dr. Tom Hansen asked Dr. Mihalov to become division and section chief of Emergency Medicine. She says, “This is not something I had even considered, so I only agreed to do it on an interim basis. That ‘interim’ turned out to be over 20 years and was the best decision I ever made. The Emergency Department encompasses all I love about medicine and I feel privileged to take care of our patients and their families.”
One of Dr. Mihalov’s favorite aspects of her career in academic medicine was serving 18 years as associate residency director. She says, “As I look back over my career, my greatest joy was having the privilege of helping interns become practicing pediatricians. As division chief, I was able to assist fellows and young faculty members become confident leaders in pediatric emergency medicine."
Dr. Mihalov credits hospital leadership for the longevity of her career at Nationwide Children’s. “I had the privilege of working closely with Dr. Tom Hansen in his role as chairman and CEO. I was medical staff president and worked with the Board of Trustees. I am continually impressed with the commitment to the children we serve,” Dr. Mihalov says. “I was part of the planning of the ‘new’ hospital in 2011 and the Behavioral Health Pavilion in 2019. I witnessed Dr. Allen and now Mr. Robinson making the tough decisions of putting patient’s health priorities above all else.”
Dr. Mihalov cites Drs. Grant Morrow, Delphis Richardson and Tom Hansen as her leadership mentors and Dr. Mary McIlroy as her ‘working mom-doctor’ mentor. She said, “I started my internship 32 weeks pregnant and at that time it was unheard of. I ended up having three children during my residency which was extended by a few months. Looking back, it was a kind of crazy thing to do! It was only possible because of my wonderful husband, Gary Katz, who handled his full-time job as a research scientist and most of the parenting duties with ease. We now have three flourishing adult children.”
When asked what she would tell today’s residents, Dr. Mihalov said, “It is impossible to fully understand what families are going through but try to put yourself in their shoes. Care for your patients as if they are your own family members and consider it a privilege. Enjoy your residency and all the time you have devoted to learning. You will be a life-long learner so developing good habits now will make it easier. Carve out time every day to take care of yourself, go for a swim, a ride or a run!”
Ray S. Wheasler, III, MD began his career immediately after residency. He has been a primary care pediatrician in a small group practice for more than 34 years. “I have been blessed to become a part of my many patients’ lives. It is a privilege helping families improve their health,” said Dr. Wheasler. “I’m now lucky enough to care for children who are the grandchildren of some of my early teenage patients.”
Dr. Wheasler knew he wanted to be a pediatrician within his first few days of general pediatric rotation at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. There, he observed that pediatric physicians seemed to enjoy coming to work every day, which seemed to contrast with some of his counterparts in other specialties. “Working with children brings something new and unpredictable every day. It’s also just plain fun. It is a rewarding experience to gain the trust of young people,” said Dr. Wheasler.
Dr. Wheasler chose to do his pediatric training at Nationwide Children’s Hospital (then Columbus Children’s Hospital) because of the excellent combination of primary and tertiary training offered. Although he originally planned to practice in the state of Wyoming, where he had grown up, he chose to stay in the Columbus area after residency. “I can’t imagine a better community in which to practice pediatrics,” said Dr. Wheasler.
When reflecting on his time as a resident at Nationwide Children’s, Dr. Wheasler remembers how much he learned on call and on rounds from the faculty and his fellow trainees. “It was obvious that I would need to continue learning every day of my career. Learning new things every day is one of the most rewarding things about a career in medicine,” said Dr. Wheasler. “I remember what it was like in the hospital before vaccines against Haemophilus influenzae. Epiglottitis, periorbital and orbital cellulitis, and meningitis weren’t uncommon. It amazes me how much medical science continues to improve the lives of children.”
Dr. Wheasler currently serves on the board of Children’s Practicing Pediatricians (CPP). He was also on the Nationwide Children’s CME committee for more than 25 years.
Throughout his career, Dr. Wheasler has had many mentors. He said, “I have been honored to work with many wonderful patients, their families, and amazing colleagues, like Drs. Karen McCoy, Jo Craenen, Juhling McClung, Mark Mentser, Dwight Powell, Katie Koranyi, Frank Stroebel, David Dawdy and Roger Friedman.”
When asked what he would say to current residents, Dr. Wheasler said, “Residency is one of the best times of your life. Embrace the experience. A career in pediatrics will give you a lifetime of rewarding experiences.”
Alumni Feature: Richard D. Shell, MD
(Published October 2020)
Richard D. Shell, MD thought he wanted to be a psychiatrist, but that changed as a medical student after he met his first patient with cystic fibrosis. Once Dr. Shell expressed an interest in pulmonary, he knew it was the right decision. “From the start of my career, I have been fortunate to be part of a nationally recognized team known for their care of patients with cystic fibrosis. Every member of a team like this helps us reach our goal of making CF stand for Cure Found,” says Dr. Shell.
Dr. Shell met his first Spinal Muscular Atrophy patient when he was a young, attending physician. The patient's family asked Dr. Shell to look outside the box for help with their questions. His first SMA patient still serves as an inspiration to this day. Dr. Shell credits his patient for his path towards taking care of children with neuromuscular disease. “His family nominated me for the first family-centered care award back in 2009,” says Dr. Shell.
Dr. Shell is honored to be a part of the groundbreaking research team at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. He is an active member of both the Neuromuscular and Spinal Muscular Atrophy Multidisciplinary clinics. Dr. Shell was instrumental in helping to study the FDA approved gene transfer treatment for SMA, Zolgensma, and continues to work in the Center for Gene Therapy furthering this work for patients with SMA and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
Dr. Shell is the section chief for the Department of Pulmonary Medicine. He serves on many committees at Nationwide Children’s, but also keep ties with The Ohio State University College of Medicine. He currently sits on the academic and behavioral review committee. “I find it very rewarding to support the school and the future of medicine,” says Dr. Shell.
Dr. Shell credits Dr. Bill Barson, Dr. Katy Koranyi, Dr. Don Batisky, Dr. Leslie Mahalov and Dr. Mary McIlroy as among the many mentors who have influenced his career. Dr. Shell says, “Dr. Karen McCoy has mentored me from the start, and I thank her for that. From residency, Dr. Carol Blachong also influenced me in many ways, as her caring spirit and attitude towards patient care was really inspiring. I would also say Dr. Jerry Mendell has been instrumental in helping me succeed in neuromuscular medicine.”
Dr. Shell also has some advice for current residents, “Listen to patient’s parents. Really listen. Every interaction can be a learning experience if we try to put ourselves in their shoes. We learn the knowledge we need about our patients, but it is your care and relationship that helps cure them.
William W. Long, MD has wanted to be a physician since he was 11 years old. His great-grandmother had severe glaucoma, so his first desire was to become an ophthalmologist. However, by the time Dr. Long entered college, he had shifted his interest to pediatric cardiology.
Dr. Long decided to interview at Nationwide Children’s Hospital for pediatric residency primarily because Columbus was his wife’s first choice to live. “We were married in Columbus and spent our wedding night in the Great Southern Westin Hotel,” says Dr. Long. The night before Dr. Long’s interview, he booked a room at the Westin to surprise his wife, and then something unexpected happened. He says, “The manager explained they overbooked the hotel and they were giving us a suite for the same price. Well, then, I got a surprise when that room was the exact same room where we spent our wedding night. So, Columbus was fated to be my first choice in the residency match.”
When Dr. Long came to Nationwide Children’s Hospital for pediatric residency, he still thought he wanted to progress to cardiology. But as he rotated through each ward month, and gathered each outpatient experience, he realized he loved everything about pediatrics. That is when he decided to be a generalist. At that time, primary care pediatricians also did inpatient care and served as attending physicians on the inpatient wards. “I had several wonderful community pediatricians as my mentors and role models, such as Gwynn Williams, Delphis Richardson and Frank Stroebel. We were able to do a lot of procedures and care for a lot of children. I loved being in the Emergency Department and 'moonlighting' in the evening clinic. That is where my appetite for outpatient medicine truly developed,” says Dr. Long.
From his first year as a resident, Dr. Long had excellent role models as chief residents. Within months of starting residency, one of his life goals was to become a chief resident, which he would do. As a chief, Dr. Long worked with the Department Chair of Pediatrics, Dr. Grant Morrow, who was another one of his teachers and role models. Dr. Long recalls that after their weekly meetings, Dr. Grant would hand each of the chiefs a hard hat, and they would walk over to the Education Building (where Stecker Auditorium is now) and watch the different phases of its construction. Through this rewarding experience, Dr. Long learned more about teaching, administration and leadership. It also opened doors for him to stay involved at Nationwide Children’s.
Being a community pediatrician in Columbus has enabled Dr. Long to stay involved with teaching medical students and residents. He has helped recruit mentors for the Pediatric Education in Community Sites (PECS) program. He has been on the Continuing Medical Education (CME) committee and served as the chairperson for four years. For a few years, he coordinated Pediatric Grand Rounds. Dr. Long also served a stint as a medical staff officer, and he was Medical Staff President in 2004.
Dr. Long has been active in Children’s Practicing Pediatricians for over 20 years and currently serves as President of that organization. He also works part-time in the Administrative Medical Director’s office, where he has a chance to help fellow pediatricians through his work. "I feel I have been able to touch more lives of children than I ever could have done in practice alone,” says Dr. Long.
Although there have been many memorable moments in his illustrious career, Dr. Long recalls one moment at the start of his career, which may sum it up best. “I remember heading up the escalator at the Hyatt on Capitol Square for my very last Resident Recognition Dinner as a chief resident. I had been recruited into community primary care by Dr. Will Fernald and Dr. Malcolm Robbins and was excited about joining Pediatric Associates the next month. Dr. Ed Turner, another community pediatrician icon, stopped me in the hall and said: 'Bill, there’s nothing more rewarding than being a pediatrician in this town.'"
Dr. Long says, “Dr. Turner was right about a lot of things. And in my mind, he was right about that statement as well.”
Learn more about Dr. Long and the Pediatric Residency Program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Alumni Feature: Rebecca Wallihan, MD
(Published December 2019)
When Rebecca Wallihan, MD, arrived at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in 2005, her goal was not just to complete, but to succeed, in the residency training program here. As planned, she completed the program in 2008. And she has continued to succeed at Nationwide Children’s ever since.
“I never thought I’d be here for this long, but the people are amazing and are truly like a work family. And no matter what your interests, there are expertise, mentorship and professional development opportunities to help you gain additional experience to carve out your niche,” says Dr. Wallihan.
Dr. Wallihan has many great memories from her training days. They are a blend of patient care stories and also of spending time with colleagues, quite a few who she remains friends with today. One person who stands out is John Mahan, MD, the former residency program director who now serves as the director of Faculty Development and the director of the Center for Medical Education Research at Nationwide Children’s.
“Dr. Mahan has been one of my primary mentors for over a decade. I remember when, during my chief year, I mentioned that I thought I wanted to be a residency program director one day. Dr. Mahan shared words of encouragement that helped to reaffirm my goal. Three years later, when there was an opening for the associate director position, Dr. Mahan remembered me. He is a big part of why I am in the position I now hold and I cannot thank him enough,” says Dr. Wallihan.
The role Dr. Wallihan is talking about is the director of the pediatric residency program. Following her residency training, Dr. Wallihan stayed on for an extra year as chief resident, then completed a fellowship in Pediatric Infectious Diseases. She joined the faculty at Nationwide Children’s in 2012 and now, in addition to serving as the director of the pediatric residency program, she is also a clinical associate professor and vice chair of Education.
“I love my job!” says Dr. Wallihan. “Each day is different and may include seeing patients, teaching, doing research or attending meetings. I love the variety and the opportunities to impact the lives of our patients and the future of pediatrics.”
When asked what she would say if the today Dr. Wallihan could talk to the resident Dr. Wallihan, she responded “Say yes! This may be controversial because many advise trainees to say ‘no’ more often, but I really think early in your career you should be saying ‘yes.’ As a trainee, or junior faculty member, you just never know what doors will open by accepting new opportunities.”
Learn more about Dr. Wallihan and the Pediatric Residency Program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Alumni Feature: John D. Spencer, MD
(Published September 2019)
Following his graduation from Indiana University School of Medicine, John D. Spencer, MD completed his residency training at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. When exploring fellowship programs, Dr. Spencer looked for one that provided trainees with the opportunity to perform bench science. He chose the Nephrology fellowship program at Nationwide Children’s because of its established track record of outstanding scientists who have successfully mentored clinical fellows.
When asked to share a fun memory of his fellowship experience, Dr. Spencer shares that he became an immediate, and permanent, Buckeye fan, when during his first Saturday on call, then division chief, Dr. Mentser, took him to the Ohio State vs. Navy football game. Dr. Spencer adds that training under a large faculty group at Nationwide Children’s provided him with unique perspectives on patient care as well as a nice list of lessons that have stayed with him since his training:
- Never hesitate to ask for help.
- Aminoaciduria is always in the differential diagnosis.
- Robots will never replace doctors.
- Nothing replaces a good patient history.
- Always save time to mow your lawn.
Following fellowship training at Nationwide Children’s, Dr. Spencer joined the faculty as a clinician in the Nephrology Division and a principal investigator in the Center for Clinical and Translational Research. While he has continued in these roles since graduation, the roles have evolved. Last year, he became the Division Chief of Nephrology. Also, his lab has tripled in size while his team has continued to investigate the innate host defenses of the kidney and bladder. Dr. Spencer has continued to collaborate with his fellowship mentors and shares that these are “highly valuable relationships that should stand the test of time.”
Speaking of time, when asked what he would say if the “today” version of Dr. Spencer could talk to the “fellow” version of himself, he responded that he would advise his earlier self to “Learn how to type more efficiently,” and “Don’t get a smart phone.”
To learn more about Nephrology at Nationwide Children’s, or about Dr. Spencer, visit: https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/specialties/nephrology
Alumni Feature: Elizabeth D. Allen, MD
(Published June 2019)
In the mid 1980’s, when Elizabeth Allen, MD first came to what was then called Columbus Children’s Hospital, she was an Ohio State University medical student undergoing her rotations. She knew then that she wanted to stay. “I loved my rotations here. Plus my husband had already started his internal medicine residency at The Ohio State University and I really wanted to stay in Columbus,” says Dr. Allen. And so she stayed to complete her residency and fellowship training.
Dr. Allen shares that during her training at Nationwide Children’s, she had a steady stream of great clinician mentors. Her hope is that she has been able to emulate their thoughtful approach to patient care and their willingness to take time out to teach those around them. She is grateful for the time she was able to spend with Dr. Grant Morrow during her year as a chief resident and how the experience opened her eyes to the importance and impact of physician leaders.
When asked to describe one of her most memorable experiences during her training, Dr. Allen responded, “Flying in a medical helicopter with Dr. McCoy and a cystic fibrosis patient who was having intermittent bouts of large volume hemoptysis. We were bound for Cleveland and the cutting-edge procedure of bronchial artery embolization. The patient did well – and it was so cool to see the at-dusk Columbus skyline from the chopper on the return flight!” And Dr. Allen’s career has been taking flight ever since.
After completing her residency and chief residency training, Dr. Allen remained at Nationwide Children's Hospital as the first-ever pulmonary fellow. She shares that she nearly took on the additional load of a critical care fellowship, but instead she joined the hospital’s Pulmonary Division. Her days became increasingly busy as her professional life took a “decidedly outpatient-heavy turn” while, at the same time, in her personal life, she was raising four children. Following a stint as the Associate Director, Dr. Allen became the Pulmonary Fellowship Director in 2007. “It was an honor and source of pride to help the program grow and graduate an outstanding group of newly-minted Pediatric Pulmonologists over the next 11+ years,” she shares.
In 2011, Dr. Allen was invited to help lead Nationwide Children’s Asthma QI program. “In the process, I was bitten by the QI bug – such a logical approach to ensuring we practice the very best known clinical care while the visionaries figure out what’s next,” says Dr. Allen. Recently, she took on the role of medical director for quality at the hospital. “A very exciting opportunity which will allow me to work with, and learn from, some of the best QI folks in the nation,” she adds.
As to the mentors and residency and fellowship peers from her training days, Dr. Allen shares that “Nationwide Children’s has an interesting habit of keeping its grads here – a ‘symptom’ of its rapid growth and also the fact that so many like it here. As a result, I’ve been fortunate to collaborate, particularly on clinical and educational efforts, with quite a few of my training peers. It’s always a pleasant surprise when the PTCT call turns out to be from a doctor you took call with back in the day!”
Speaking of “back in the day,” if the Dr. Allen of today could talk to the Dr. Allen back then, she would say, “It’s good to make plans – but know that life will disrupt them, new opportunities will emerge, and in the end, it will be a great ride. Don’t be afraid to try new things and keep learning. There are many interesting paths to take during a medical career!”
Alumni Feature: Katalin Koranyi, MD
(Published March 2019)
Katalin Koranyi, MD began her residency training in Cleveland in 1970. Two years later, she found herself married, moving to Columbus to join her new husband, and transferring her training to Columbus Children’s Hospital, now known as Nationwide Children's Hospital. For some residents, a transfer that far into residency training can be difficult, but Koranyi shares that she quickly felt at home. In fact, Koranyi never left her “home” at Nationwide Children's until she retired in 2017.
Koranyi enjoyed several of her rotations at Nationwide Children's, but the one she truly “fell in love with” was Infectious Diseases. So, following her residency training, she stayed on to pursue a pediatric infectious diseases fellowship under the directorship of Dr. Ralph Haynes. One of Koranyi’s most memorable experiences during her fellowship training was watching over patients with Reye Syndrome, a hepatic encephalopathy condition. While rarely seen today, in the early 1970’s the illness had a high mortality rate. Koranyi shares that there were only two fellows at the time, so she and Dr. Dennis Burech took 12-hour shifts at the bedsides of children and teens afflicted with the deadly illness.
When asked about the mentors who had a positive impact on her training and career, Koranyi lists several: Dr. Ralph Haynes, Dr. Parvin Azimi and Dr. Milo Hilty. She shares that the trio inspired her through their dedication and love for children, humanism, skilled teaching and intellectual prowess. She became dedicated to following their examples to serve her patients; teach medical students, residents and fellows; and to never lose her intellectual curiosity.
After completing her infectious diseases fellowship, Koranyi remained at Nationwide Children's as the director of the Pediatric Clinic, now known as the Primary Care Clinics. She enjoyed the opportunities it gave her to follow patients for several years while also teaching medical students and residents. During the 15 years Koranyi was the director of the Primary Care Clinics, she also served as an infectious diseases attending physician 1-3 months a year until Dr. Dwight Powell invited her to officially join the Section of Infectious Diseases. Koranyi shares that this was during the era of HIV/AIDS and when Dr. Mike Brady had been the sole physician caring for these patients. She remained a member of the HIV program, known as the FACES Clinic, until her retirement.
As a member of the Section of Infectious Diseases, Koranyi served as an attending physician on the inpatient ward as well as for the Infectious Diseases Clinic and Consult Service. When Dr. Powell established the International Adoption Clinic, she joined as the co-director and served in this capacity for five years. Koranyi also became the medical director of the inpatient infectious diseases ward and of the infectious diseases clinic.
During her tenure at Nationwide Children’s, Koranyi’s collaborations with medical students, infectious diseases fellows, faculty physicians and pharmacists resulted in 50 articles published in peer-reviewed journals. She also received an array of awards from Nationwide Children's, The Ohio State University and from The Ohio State University College of Medicine. She ended her 44-year career at Nationwide Children's in 2017 to become a fulltime babysitter to her grandchildren.
When asked what the “today” Dr. Koranyi would say to the “resident/fellow” Dr. Koranyi, she responded, “Even when you are tired and sleepy or frustrated by perceived non-essential duties, remember the reasons why you chose medicine as your profession. You did it because of your love for people, desire to help others and your thirst for medical discovery. Medicine is a unique profession. You can truly make a difference in people’s lives – make them better! It is not an easy life, but it is a privilege to care for others, particularly for children. There are few other professions where you get to go down on your knees at a child’s eye level and make funny faces. Medicine is a difficult path, but the rewards are immense.”
Alumni Feature: In Honor of Dr. Grant Morrow, III
(Published December 2018)
If you have read the previous alumnus highlights in our Medical Alumni Program newsletter, you have seen descriptions of how different training was in the 1970s compared to today. What you haven’t read about is how the transition took place and who spearheaded the progress. That story commenced in 1978 when Grant Morrow, II, MD, joined what was then Columbus Children’s Hospital and began paving the way for the future of not only medical training, but also research and clinical care at what is now Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
After Dr. Morrow earned his medical degree in 1959 from the University of Pennsylvania, he completed an internship at the University of Colorado, Denver General Hospital; a pediatric residency at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania; and a neonatal fellowship at Pennsylvania Hospital, University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Morrow then served on the Department of Pediatrics faculty at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine until 1972 when he accepted a position at the Arizona School of Medicine. It was from there that he was recruited by what is known today as Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
Dr. Morrow joined (Nationwide) Children’s Hospital in 1978 as the medical director of the hospital, the head of the Department of Pediatrics, the medical director of the Children’s Hospital Research Foundation, and the chair of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University. In the years to come, he would also take on the role of vice president of Nationwide Children’s Hospital Foundation. He also was honored to accept the prestigious position of president of the American Board of Pediatrics. Dr. Morrow is boarded in pediatrics, neonatology, and genetics and metabolic disorders.
When Dr. Morrow joined Children’s Hospital in 1978, the resident class was recruiting to match 22 residents, but only matched seven. The department also had vacancies from the previous resident recruitment year as well as faculty vacancies, leaving the relatively small staff extremely busy.
“We had to work very hard to make up for the vacant resident positions, but it was a great learning experience and the camaraderie formed then has lasted since. As long as we had support, we could do it. And we had that support from Dr. Morrow. I have a lifetime appreciation for him. Dr. Morrow is a great thinker and a great personal friend,” shares Dr. Roger Friedman, class of ’77 and chairman of the Medical Alumni Program.
Recognizing the critical and vital role community pediatricians were playing in the training of residents, Dr. Morrow immediately set forth to solidify the relationship between them and the hospital. He promised to enhance their practices by providing more subspecialty expertise. And that promise remains strong today.
The residency program has grown tremendously since the 70’s and Dr. Morrow attributes much of the success to Dr. Mary McIlroy, who revamped the program, and to Dr. Toni (Antoinette) Eaton who enhanced the clinics to become more educationally friendly and attractive for residents. Beyond recruiting residents, Dr. Morrow played a critical role in recruiting faculty. From 1978 to 2015 faculty grew from 19 to 462. It is important to note that, while Dr. Morrow had stepped down from his position as chair in 1995, he remained involved in recruitment endeavors.
In addition to teaching and clinical care, Dr. Morrow recognized the need for enhanced pediatric research. Along with others, he approached the Wexner family who became the primary donor for the hospital’s first research building which opened in 1988. When Dr. Morrow began his tenure as medical director of the Research Foundation, the staff of researchers numbered 20 conducting $200,000 in grant-funded investigation. Today, there are 160 basic science, clinical and behavioral health scientists at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the awards have escalated to $81.7 million. It is one of the largest pediatric research centers in the United States and is ranked in the top 10 for National Institutes of Health funding among freestanding children’s hospitals.
During Dr. Morrow’s retirement event in 2015, Dr. Steve Allen, chief executive office of Nationwide Children's Hospital commented that the hospital had grown from a gem of the local community into a premier international pediatric healthcare destination and that evolution can only be possible when an institution is anchored by dedicated, committed leaders. Leaders like Grant Morrow, III, MD.
There is so much more to say about Dr. Morrow and the impact he has had on research, medical education, and patient care. This brief article barely scratches the surface. He made a difference in the lives of countless medical and research professionals as well as patients and families. Perhaps Dr. Bruce Meyer, Nationwide Children’s administrative medical director who was recruited by Dr. Morrow to perform many clinical administrative roles says it best when he shares, “Dr. Morrow enhanced my life. Everything that I have done in my career at Nationwide Children's Hospital I attribute to him.”
Alumni Feature: William J. Barson, MD
(Published October 2018)
Back in the 70’s, Dr. Barson decided to complete his residency and fellowship training at what was then called Columbus Children’s Hospital because he knew he would receive great training and because he wanted to stay in Columbus. Training back then was quite different.
Dr. Barson shares, “We had no ED physicians, neonatologists, intensivists, or in fact many of the subspecialists that we are now so fortunate to have. You might think, how did things get done? Well, it was through the hard work of the residents, nurses, our handful of pediatric specialists, and the community physicians who graciously volunteered their time to attend on the wards.”
Drs. Milo Hilty and Dwight Powell, were Dr. Barson’s mentors during his infectious diseases fellowship training, and he describes them as “…awesome examples of professionalism and caring who taught me how to be a good clinician and teacher.”
As to what was most memorable about training at what is now Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Dr. Barson reflects on when, as a resident, he flew in the Ohio National Guard helicopter on patient transport missions and was responsible for the respirator settings while at the OSU NICU.
“As an intern, while in the OSU NICU under Dr. Rick McClead’s insight and ingenuity, we pieced together the first CPAP device to be used on a neonate in Columbus. I will always remember and remain indebted to the many fine mentors who trained me and the wonderful fellow residents, nurses, and ancillary health care providers with whom I worked side by side.”
But Dr. Barson’s most memorable and enduring experience was “…meeting my future wife, Darlene Terpenning, who was a neonatal surgical nurse here, when I rotated through her unit as an intern.”
After completion of his infectious diseases fellowship, Dr. Barson joined Columbus Children’s Hospital as an assistant professor dividing his time between the Ambulatory Pediatric Clinic at OSU and Infectious Diseases at Columbus Children’s. After a couple years, Dr. Barson became devoted full time to Infectious Diseases and in time became the Chief of the Section of Infectious Diseases and Director of the Infectious Diseases Fellowship. Dr. Barson says that because he pursued his career at the hospital where he trained, it has been wonderful to work with his former mentors and then, over the years, with the residents that he helped train.
When asked what the “today you” would say to the “resident/fellow you” Dr. Barson responded that there are three things to remember:
- Always treat the patient not their labs
- Always ask the question “why”
- Be more flexible and become more adaptable to change
Alumni Feature: Michael Brady, MD
(Published July 2018)
While still in medical school, Michael T. Brady, MD, knew he wanted to work with children. And it was because of two important people in his life he made the decision to come to what was then called Columbus Children’s Hospital. His preceptor for the pediatric primary care clinic in medical school had trained in Columbus and he had wonderful things to say about Columbus Children’s Hospital and Columbus. Dr. Brady’s wife hailed from Columbus and she was very proud of the hospital. In 1979, Dr. Brady completed his two-year residency here and then went on to Texas Children’s as an Infectious Diseases Fellow.
When asked about his most memorable experience while training at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Dr. Brady says that there were many, but there was a theme that stood out: camaraderie. “Everyone had each other’s back. All of the residents worked together and also did a lot outside of the hospital.” With Dr. Roger Friedman as the social director, the group attended events and formed athletic teams, such as softball. When Dr. Brady returned to Columbus, he renewed his resident friendship. When his family went out with the group, his children would say, “We are going with our doctor friends,” when talking about their activities. Dr. Brady cherishes the friendships formed back then and they are still strong today. In particular his friendships with Drs. Roger Friedman, Richard Petrella, Gregory Barrett, Mary McIlroy and Rob Forsythe.
Also enduring since the days of his residency is Dr. Brady’s passion for infectious diseases medicine. When nearing completion of medical school, and having matched in Columbus, Dr. Brady decided to participate in a six-week rotation in infectious diseases at Columbus Children’s Hospital. He was impressed with how being an infectious diseases physician is a lot like being a detective. Because of the wide array of conditions, there is not a designated set of go-to procedures or diagnostic tests. A great deal of time must be spent with the patient and their family collecting a history and evaluating all of the different signs and symptoms before identifying the diagnosis and the best possible treatment. And the effort is absolutely rewarding. Dr. Brady remembers treating two young children with meningococcemia who were critically ill. After being on the appropriate antibiotics regimen for three days, the children had recovered such that he was able to play with them.
Just as Dr. Brady values the longevity of his friendships formed back in his training days, he values the longevity he has experienced with his HIV infected patients and their families. When you go to the clinic and a patient runs down the hall and hugs you – it is a great feeling and unique to pediatrics. When you see patients on an ongoing basis, you get to see them grow up and start families of their own.” Not only are children with HIV surviving, they are thriving. Today, we can prevent the children of our HIV patients from becoming infected,” Dr. Brady shares.
There was a point in time when the career path that Dr. Brady traveled nearly took a different direction. When he returned to Columbus following his fellowship at Texas Children’s, he thought his career would be in research, and he began developing a lab to focus on cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection. At that time, Dr. Brady was on inpatient service when the first AIDS patient was admitted. A few months later, the second AIDS patient was admitted when he was on service again. He was also beginning to see more hemophilia patients with AIDS and became known as the “AIDS expert”. He became deeply involved with clinical care and research through the Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group.
More recently, he was elected to serve on the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases (Redbook committee) and chaired the committee, from 2010 through 2014. He then served as the associate editor of the Red Book in 2015 and 2018 and will serve again in 2021. Dr. Brady served as Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Nationwide Children’s and The Ohio State University, from 2005 to 2013 After stepping down as chair, he became involved with the patient and employee safety zero hero program. Since 2016, Brady has been serving as Nationwide Children’s interim Physician Director of Epidemiology while continuing to see patients in the HIV clinic.
Throughout his career, Brady has not only maintained friendships from his training days, but also collaborative partnerships. Dr. Friedman played an instrumental role in helping Dr. Brady establish a full time allergy and immunology program at the hospital to supplement the volunteer services provided by community allergists such as Dr. Friedman. Another long lasting collaborative relationship is with Dr. William J. Barson, Section Chief of Infectious Diseases. Dr. Barson was serving as a fellow at the time that Dr. Brady was doing his training here. He encouraged Dr. Brady with his career choice. Dr. Katalin Koranyi who was head of the ambulatory department when Dr. Brady was a resident eventually went on to help him with the HIV clinic. She served as his mentor when he was a resident, and later they became partners. Dwight Powell MD was the Division Chief of Infectious Diseases when Dr. Brady returned to Columbus after his fellowship. He was a great leader, mentor, clinician and teacher. Octavio Ramilo MD is currently the Division Chief of Infectious Diseases and he has created a world class division of infectious diseases.
When asked what the “today” Dr. Brady would say to the “resident” Dr. Brady, he responds that when opportunities arise, to make the most of them. “I have taken a number of different turns in my career and every time there has been a little bit of a risk. For the most part, there is a huge value in trying to broaden what you do and trying to find the things you like the most. It is important to always put your family first because they are your biggest responsibility. It is definitely possible to have a strong and enjoyable family life and a satisfying professional life that keeps you excited and maintains the feeling that you can make a difference.”
Alumni Feature: Denis R. King, MD
(Published March 2018)
When Dr. Denis King was an Ohio State University resident in general surgery, he had rotations at Columbus Children’s Hospital both as an intern in 1970 and as a third year in 1973. When he reflects on the experience, he shares that the surgeons were “technically excellent and the practice of pediatric surgery was vast. We did thoracic, abdominal, GYN, ENT, tumors, burns and trauma. It was truly general surgery and a very interesting practice.” One of his most memorable experiences was having the opportunity to remove a large hepatic cancer in a one year old. The operation required removal of over 50 percent of the liver, which was resected en bloc with the intrahepatic vena cava as well as removing a tumor embolus from the portal vein. The child recovered uneventfully and was cured following chemotherapy.
A key player in Dr. King’s residency experience was his primary surgical mentor, E. Thomas Boles, MD. “He was a very detail-oriented and demanding clinician. I have tried to emulate his behavior in every way.” The relationship has lasted through the years since those days in the 70’s. Dr. King still has dinner with the 97-year-old Dr. Boles every week and they share stories of things that took place some forty years ago.
Following his third-year experience in 1973, Dr. King completed his first year of pediatric surgery training at Columbus Children’s Hospital from 1974 to 1975. He spent his second year (1975 – 1976) at the University Hospital in Miami, Florida. Dr. King remarks that was the first time in six years that he had every other weekend off. He then spent two years (1976 – 1978) in the United States Navy at The Bethesda Navy Hospital in Washington, DC. In 1978, he returned to Columbus to join the faculty at The Ohio State University and partner with Dr. Boles.
During the last forty years, Dr. King has “… operated on about 28,000 children. I have written more than 100 papers and I serve on The Ohio State University faculty as a full professor of surgery.” As a teacher, Dr. King has won “… every teaching award at Nationwide Children's Hospital as well as at Mt. Carmel Hospital and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.” He shares that this year he is being honored by the surgery training program at Riverside Methodist Hospital as well.
Dr. King’s enthusiasm and accomplishments as a teacher are not only reflected in these awards but also in the lives he has positively influenced. “I have had the privilege of participating in the training of over forty pediatric surgeons. They will be my legacy to the future. Many of them still call me for advice with difficult and puzzling problems.” It looks like Dr. King has accomplished his goal to emulate Dr. Boles not only as a surgeon but also as a mentor.
Now, looking back over the decades of his career, Dr. King shared that if he could go back to the 70’s and talk to the resident he was then, he would give him the following advice: “Read more. Write more. Work harder and think more about your patients and less about yourself.”
Alumni Feature: Mary McIlroy, MD
(Published December 2017)
When it was time to decide where they would want to complete their residencies, Dr. Mary McIlroy and her husband Scott both knew they wanted to stay in Columbus. He wanted to train for OB/Gyn and she wanted a wide variety of experiences in both adult and pediatric care. They both entered flexible residencies through Mt. Carmel, hers allowing for four months of the year to be spent at what was then called Columbus Children’s Hospital.
McIlroy describes her residency days during the 1970s as a time of vast opportunities, responsibilities and lasting friendships. Many of the pediatric subspecialty areas were still early in their development, the faculty numbered about 40, and residents were the primary medical staff in the ER, NICU and ICU. She remembers a taxing summer enterovirus meningitis epidemic with over 700 cases, and the long hours caring for gravely ill children during a peak in the prevalence of Reye syndrome. One of McIlroy’s most memorable experiences was when she called on Dr. Danny Moore, a neurosurgery resident, to place an intra-cranial monitoring bolt on a Reye syndrome patient at nearly midnight on New Year’s Eve. They then celebrated the success of the procedure, the improved status of the patient, and the arrival of the New Year. The resident groups were smaller then, but the friendships formed have been lasting.
The group of faculty mentors was also small in the 1970s, but McIlroy shares that the gifts the mentors offered were immeasurable – helping the residents understand how to work with families and to diagnose and treat a wide variety of conditions with confidence. Dr. Kati Koranyi provided exceptional advice for challenges in patient care and resident education during McIlroy’s early years in the Primary Care Clinic. Drs. Grant Morrow, Bruce Meyer and Toni Eaton encouraged her to expand her responsibilities and her career into education leadership, which became the focus of much of her professional work. Following her residency training, McIlroy pursued a 40-year career at Nationwide Children's Hospital and The Ohio State University, caring for families, teaching residents and students in the ambulatory clinics, and administering medical student education programs. During those years, she participated in the evolution of teaching and learning in pediatrics as she assumed the role of pediatric clerkship director at Children’s and Med 3-4 Program Director at OSU. While the responsibilities were extensive, McIlroy describes the opportunity to work with students, residents, faculty, curricula, technology and patient care, all while expanding knowledge, as stimulating, rewarding and great fun.
When asked what today’s retired Mary McIlroy, MD, would say to the 1970s resident McIlroy, the response was inspiring.
“I would tell my earlier self, and any young entrant into pediatrics, that they have entered the most magnificent and varied field of medicine and that, despite what they think their future will be, they have no idea what is coming and must remain open and receptive to new thoughts and ideas. The love affair with medicine, and pediatrics in specific, is very real, strong, and long lasting. In many currently inconceivable ways, it will fulfill and enrich their lives and offer abundant meaning and invaluable relationships. Like any relationship, it will also bring challenges, and sometimes heartbreak, to their person, to their beliefs, and to their plans. The constant need to learn and relearn, to part with old ways of behaving and doing things, and to embrace change and adapt to new knowledge, new processes, new rules, and new people is beyond imagination. At the same time, the possibilities of the future are so very enticing and will, in the long run, bring much gratification and happiness.”