Sai Rajagopalan Featured in AMA Ethics Talk Videocast

Fourth year student, Sai Rajagopalan, Ph.D.was featured in a special edition of Ethics Talk, the American Medical Association Journal of Ethics podcast, hosted by Tim Hoff. Dr. Rajagopalan joined 3 other panelists to discuss design thinking as a way to find solutions to combat structural racism and advance health equity. In his opening remarks, Dr. Rajagopalan noted that "while it is not the typical process of research that everyone's used to in academia" the "first step in design thinking is to empathize with those who are actually facing the problem in daily life". 

The Hacking Structural Racism Hackathon held a listening session where participants from many different demographics spoke about problems in their daily lives such as healthcare, socioeconomic problems, education, ect. The only qualification to participate in the listening session was to have a passion for solving structural racism in healthcare. 

Dr. Rajagopalan noted in closing that the concept of design thinking is not typically a part of medical school curriculum. He stated that Vanderbilt's program is the only one he has found to place specific emphasis on design thinking. 

Watch the Videocast.

Student Spotlight on Dennis Zhou

This Semester, second year MIDP student Dennis Zhou has served on the Class Curriculum Committee (CurriCom) and been re-elected for a second year. He has always had a strong interest in teaching and has enjoyed working with the medical school leadership on evolving curriculum. During the transition to online learning, the second year class experienced many challenges, such as having anatomy, small group learning, and physical diagnosis virtually. These challenges kept CurriCom very busy throughout the virtual learning transition. Over time, the Class Curriculum Committee was able to promote several changes, such as identifying and promoting access to virtual anatomy resources, clarifying assessment policies, and organizing town halls with the faculty to increase student-faculty communication. He states that "It’s been rewarding to guide our class through educational challenges caused by the pandemic. Moreover, it’s been exciting to brainstorm creative solutions to these challenges and work with the med school leadership to make them into reality. Serving on CurriCom has been a valuable opportunity, and I’m thankful to serve and represent my class through this position."

November Forum Speakers

MIDP November Forum Speakers in the month of November focused on small business and healthcare. Our speakers gave testimony to healthcare fundraising as entrepreneurs, how to find the type of investor you want as a partner and how to find a healthcare problem to fix. 

William Seibels, CFO if IVX Health spoke to our lunch forum about how to find the type of investor you want as a partner. During his tenure, IVX health has grown revenue by over 500%, tripled its physical footprint, and raised north of $25 million in capital. He has additional experience managing and growing a P&L for a multi-state, private equity backed home healthcare company.

Christopher Booker is a partner with Frist Cressey Ventures, a Nashville-based healthcare venture firm. Frist Cressey Ventures is focused on accelerating the growth of high potential healthcare enterprises through value-added partnerships. It invests in technology and service businesses with viable solutions that improve quality of care, system integration, patient outcomes, and population health and wellbeing. Chris led an interactive presentation about finding a hole to fix in the healthcare industry. 

Matt Gonda has over 47 years of entrepreneurial, general management, operations, capital raising and R&D experience in biomedical/life science industries in addition to experience in raising and managing a venture capital fund. He joined Amytrx Therapeutics, Inc. as co-Founder, President, CEO and Director in April 2014 and led development of its business formation and plan, capital raise, intellectual property portfolio and an exclusive license from Vanderbilt. Dr. Gonda gave personal insight in to telling the story of your business and raising your own capital. 

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Right Brain Activities November Edition
This month, MIDP students attended a private tour of Cheekwood with Chief Advancement Officer, Elizabeth Epley Sheets and Curator, Katelyn Bennett. Sarah Capostagno, Emma Neal, Yongxu Huang and Dennis Zhou met at the Botanic Hall to learn about the history of the estate and lawns, before touring the mansion and art galleries. What a privilege to bring our students together while following Vanderbilt University Medical School's COVID protocols!
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