Category Alumni
Author Karen Blum

MEHP graduating fellow Natasha Khursigara-Slattery, MD, and alumnus Michael Amendola, MD (MEHP ’19), were presented with MEHP Excellence Awards at this year’s Commencement. Amendola received the MEHP Alumni Award.

Khursigara-Slattery, a urology registrar at University Hospital Limerick in Ireland, was featured in a previous issue of the newsletter for her work as a clinical fellow for the Mid-West Intern Training Programme, one of six networks for PGY-1 trainees in Ireland. The work entails supervising learners’ clinical training and education as well as liaising with hospital management, training bodies, the Irish Medical Council, and the National Doctors Training and Planning (a branch of the country’s health care system). As part of her efforts, Khursigara-Slattery created a point-of-care ultrasound course.

In 2021, she also developed and presented at a national conference in Ireland in a program designed to inform, engage, and garner feedback for her proposed template in the “Be” pillar that addresses the competency of professionalism in a newer curricular framework called Know, Do, Be.

“Dr. Slattery has been one of the most engaged MEHP fellows,” according to a nomination letter by Sharon Park, PharmD (MEHP ’17). “Through a high level of engagement and curiosity with the MEHP course work even during the pandemic, she demonstrated the values and impact that she can contribute to the areas beyond her practice in Ireland. She represents the leadership and critical thinking that our MEHP program wishes to instill in every one of our fellows.”

Amendola is division chief of vascular surgery at the Central Virginia Veterans Affairs Health Care System and professor of surgery at Virginia Commonwealth University’s (VCU) School of Medicine. He is known for his groundbreaking work in 3D-printing applications for surgery and as a tool for residents’ surgical education and continuing medical education for other health professionals. During the coronavirus pandemic, he led the swift change from in-person to online learning for medical education at VCU as well as several other medical education programs. Amendola also was accepted into the American College of Surgeons’ Academy of Master Surgeon Educators.

“Since finishing the MEHP program, Michael has been a strong and dedicated advocate of MEHP program goals to advance health professions education,” MEHP Director Toni Ungaretti, PhD, wrote in his nomination letter. “He regularly recruits surgeons to the MEHP, he mentors several surgeons and fellows through the program, and he is an available and effective resource to fellows and alumni across the globe.”

Despite a busy surgical schedule, Amendola, an MEHP faculty member, always finds time to support MEHP initiatives, Ungaretti added. This includes serving on the biennial conference program planning committee, speaking with perspective fellows, and volunteering to serve on initiatives such as a current study of ChatGPT and its implications for health professions education. He also has been an advocate for the establishment of an MEHP scholarship to assist younger health professionals in their effort to develop their education, research, and leadership skills.

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