Each year, the Internal Medicine Residency Program recognizes residents who embody the ideals of two highly esteemed faculty members, former Department of Medicine chair Dr. Ken Kaushansky, now at Stony Brook University, and the late Dr. Lee Rickman, associate clinical professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases, who died while training medical personnel in Lesotho in 2003.

Program director Elaine Muchmore, MD, presented the Kaushansky and Rickman awards on June 19 at the last session of Medicine Grand Rounds for academic year 2012-2013.

The awards followed Benjamin Hulley’s presentation, “Are Physicians Ethically Obligated to Utilize the Placebo Effect?”  |  Watch the video (UCSD only)

Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, MACP

Dr. Ken Kaushansky

Philipp Wiesner Receives Ken Kaushansky Award

Ken Kaushansky, MD, MACP, an esteemed physician-scientist, was Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Medicine at UC San Diego from 2002 until 2010. He is now dean of the School of Medicine and senior vice president of Health Sciences at Stony Brook University in New York.

Seeking to enhance the training of general internists at UC San Diego, Kaushansky established the residency program’s 2-month dedicated elective research block. On that rotation, a resident selects a faculty mentor, conducts a research project and presents the results.

The elective has steadily gained in popularity, with about half the residents now participating annually.

This year, the program directors chose four residents to present their research projects at Medicine Grand Rounds and selected one of them to receive the Kaushansky Award.


Dr. Philipp Wiesner

The winner was second-year resident Philipp Wiesner, MD, who presented his research project, “Oxidized Phospholipids in Inflammation and Atherosclerosis,” at the May 15 session of Grand Rounds.  |  More about Wiesner’s research  |  Watch the video (UCSD only)

Wiesner, who plans to be an academic physician-scientist, has pursued research in atherosclerosis since he was in medical school.

In accepting the award, he said, “A young scientist can never do well without a nurturing environment. I had great mentors, Joe Witztum, Yury Miller and Sam Tsimikas.

“I also want to thank the residency program for giving me the great opportunity both to do research here and also start my residency and do my clinical training here.”

Benjamin Hulley Receives the Lee Rickman Humanism in Medicine Award

The Lee Rickman Humanism in Medicine Award is given each year to a resident whose work recalls the energy and devotion of Lee Rickman, MD, a UC San Diego residency program graduate and Department of Medicine faculty member who practiced infectious disease medicine with singular passion until his death in 2003.

Rickman was acknowledged as the hands-down winner in the number of teaching awards given to a Department of Medicine faculty member.

In introducing the award, Muchmore said, “Lee didn’t just delve into topics — a wide variety of topics — but then, with passion, he taught them. It was not a joke that if we had a sudden cancellation of a Grand Rounds speaker or a noon conference speaker, somebody would turn to Lee and say, ‘Could you substitute tomorrow?’ And he would say, ‘Of course.'”

Drs. Elaine Muchmore and Ben Hulley

Drs. Elaine Muchmore and Ben Hulley

“The Rickman Award is a very high honor in the residency program,” she said. “It gives me great pleasure to award it to Ben Hulley.”

Hulley is one of the five incoming chief medical residents for 2013-2014. He received his undergraduate degree in biology and economics from UC San Diego and his MD degree from the UC San Diego School of Medicine.

In his remarks, Hulley credited his father, also a physician, who had come from northern California to be present in the audience.

“Thanks to my Dad for being a great role model and helping me get this far,” he said.

Stephen B. Hulley, MD, MPH, is professor in the Division of Clinical Epidemiology, Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics at UC San Francisco.

The four resident research presentations and the presentations from the five incoming chief medical residents will be available via on-demand video (UCSD only) all summer.

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