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For Release: February 7, 2013
Contact: Derik Hertel, 603-650-1211 or derik.hertel@dartmouth.edu

Dartmouth Geisel Med Students take on National Leadership Roles


Kristen Jogerst (MED'16) and Jessica Swienckowski (MED'14) are among three Geisel students taking on national leadership posts

Hanover, N.H.—Three students at Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine are demonstrating the school's commitment to developing physician leaders by helping to lead three prominent, national medical organizations.

Jessica Swienckowski, a third-year medical student, has been elected Chair-Elect of the Association of American Medical Colleges' Organization of Student Representatives (AAMC-OSR). Fourth-year Geisel student Laura Ostapenko was appointed to the Liaison Committee for Medical Education (LCME). The LCME is the national accrediting authority for medical education programs leading to the MD degree. Kristen Jogerst, a second-year Geisel student, was selected to the inaugural Education Committee of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH). Swienckowski and Ostapenko were selected in late 2012, and Jogerst in early 2013.

"We're incredibly proud of these three students and their achievements," says Wiley "Chip" Souba, MD, ScD, MBA, dean of the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. "Cultivating the leadership talents of our students so that they're ready to address health care's most vexing problems is at the heart of our curriculum. Jessica, Laura and Kristen are taking the leadership lessons they have learned here at Dartmouth and putting them into action on a national level."

"Geisel has in one year, three student leaders selected for national leadership positions that are extremely hard to get . . . that is quite an honor," says Ann Davis, MD, associate dean of student affairs and services. These positions, she says, are among the "most prestigious national leadership positions for medical students."

I want to be someone that helps to lead my generation of physicians to rise to the occasion, face the enormous challenges ahead with grace, and heal our health-care system.

—Jessica Swienckowski, '14

Working across the missions of medical education, health care delivery and research, the AAMC works to promote a continuum of medical education that inspires learners to serve the public and promote health, and a sustainable health-care system in which academic medicine plays a unique role. OSR representatives, from each of the 141 U.S. LCME-accredited medical schools, serve as the student voice of the AAMC and connect students from their home institutions to the national organization.

The leadership of OSR consists of the Chair-Elect, Chair, and Immediate Past Chair; all three positions are served in succession over a three-year term. Over the next three years, Swienckowski will offer leadership to the OSR administrative board, guide efforts to advance national initiatives, and play a role in long-term planning for the AAMC. Swienckowski acts as a resource, too, for Geisel student groups and leaders, and provides leadership to student groups at the institutional level across the U.S.

In her Chair-Elect role, Swienckowski also serves as the student voice on the AAMC's Group on Educational Affairs Steering Committee. In addition, she will serve as a student liaison at AAMC leadership forum summits that will cover topics such as "how to prepare for a sustainable future in academic medicine," Swienckowski says.

"I am deeply honored to have been elected to this position," says Swienckowski. "I feel that the work of the AAMC is extremely important in that it motivates, shapes, and guides the future of academic medicine. I want to be someone that helps to lead my generation of physicians to rise to the occasion, face the enormous challenges ahead with grace, and heal our health-care system."


Laura Ostapenko (MED'13) was appointed to the Liaison Committee for Medical Eduction

Ostapenko is one of only two students in the nation appointed to a one-year term on the Liaison Committee for Medical Education. Ostapenko has been a leading voice in medical education improvements since her first year at Geisel. With other student members of the Geisel Medical Education Committee, she successfully advocated for changing the honors/pass/fail grading system used in the first and second years to pass/fail. Research shows, says Ostapenko, that changing the grading system does not affect test scores and it reduces stress levels among students.

She also is leading an eight-year longitudinal study of Geisel students named Critical Periods in Medical Student Well Being. Ostapenko is a member of the Geisel Curriculum Redesign Task Force. She also conducted research as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Medical Research Fellow, studying DNA repair mechanisms.

For Kristen Jogerst, being selected to the Education Committee of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health is "very exciting," she says. "I am hoping that with a lot of work, standards will be set to involve more students and universities in the field of global health, and that those involved gain the skills they need to be effective with the field."

CUGH is the leading organization for global health at the university level. Through its educational programs, it defines standards and competencies in global health education, and addresses the needs of students, educators, and trainees as they develop into global health leaders. The Education Committee recommends education-related priorities to the Board of CUGH and oversees CUGH's education programs. The Committee, newly formed in 2013, consists of 13 members including just two students from across the nation.

"How exciting to have one of our students be in on the groundbreaking work in this new field," says Lisa Adams, MD, an assistant professor of medicine and associate dean for global health. "I think it speaks to the kind of medical students that we get at Geisel who are recognized across a national application process for their capabilities, abilities, accomplishments, and their potential."

How exciting to have one of our students be in on the ground­breaking work in this new field. I think it speaks to the kind of medical students that we get at Geisel who are recognized across a national application process for their capabilities, abilities, accom­plishments, and their potential.

—Lisa Adams, MD, an assistant professor of medicine
and associate dean for global health

"I am very pleased that Geisel and the entire Dartmouth enterprise—the College and its graduate schools—are an institutional member of CUGH because that demonstrates an important commitment to global health," she says.

Jogerst has a longtime interest in global health. In Haiti, she was clinic manager for a volunteer medical team, and served as a volunteer translator for the Haiti Medical Education Project through the Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science. "My hope [with CUGH] is that our education standards are effectively implemented," she says. "I would love to see more universities and students involved in global health by the time I graduate from Geisel in 2017."

Jogerst plans to share insights from her work at CUGH through a series of forums with the broader Dartmouth community. "It will give us all at Geisel, and Dartmouth, a chance to hear about the cutting-edge thoughts on global health education," says Adams. "Global health interests expand across not just the Geisel students but across the entire campus—including sociology, anthropology, engineering."

The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, founded in 1797, strives to improve the lives of the communities it serves through excellence in learning, discovery, and healing. The nation's fourth-oldest medical school, the Geisel School of Medicine has been home to many firsts in medical education, research, and practice, including the discovery of the mechanism for how light resets biological clocks, the first multispecialty intensive care unit, the first comprehensive examination of U.S. health care cost variations (The Dartmouth Atlas), and helping establish the first Center for Health Care Delivery Science, which launched in 2010. As one of America's top medical schools, Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine is committed to training new generations of diverse health care leaders who will help solve our most vexing challenges in health care.

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