Image of medical student James Gallagher and Daniel Clinchot, MDThe Ohio State University College of Medicine hosted the 2019 Student Achievement Celebration fall dinner to honor those first-year students who have received the most competitive and prestigious scholarships for the 2019-20 academic year. The students were selected out of a pool of nearly 8,000 applicants for outstanding achievements in research, leadership, professionalism and academic performance, as well as for their strong credentials and academic accomplishments.

At the event, Daniel Clinchot, MD, vice dean for education, gave the opening address followed by the presentation of awards by Leon McDougle, MD, MPH, associate dean for diversity and inclusion; Demicha Rankin, MD, associate dean for admissions; Jennifer McCallister, MD, associate dean for medical education; and Joanne Lynn, MD, associate dean for student life. Guest speaker Judith Westman, MD, professor emeritus, also spoke at the event. Overall, 42 Ohio State medical students were recognized for their achievements. 

Fourth-year medical student Sarah Poland was selected for her outstanding achievements in research. Medical students receiving this award have exhibited a high capacity for research productivity measured in the number of publications in high-impact journals, national presentations and membership in National Honor Societies, and by receiving external awards to fund their research efforts.
Being one of six medical students to be given this award, Poland notes she is “incredibly honored to have been chosen for this award and congratulations to [her] fellow classmates who won as well.” Surrounded by fellow Ohio State medical students who are doing amazing research, Poland finds herself constantly inspired. “One of the best things about Ohio State is that there are so many physicians, residents and other medical students willing to help one another and collaborate on projects,” she says.

Poland is currently working on a research project with Somashekar Krishna, MD, MPH, a gastroenterologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. They are using artificial intelligence and endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) images to detect dysplasia and cancer in pancreatic cysts at earlier stages. Poland says she is “really excited to continue working on pancreatic cyst research with Dr. Krishna, as [she] thinks it has great potential to impact patient care.”

Second-year medical student James Gallagher was selected for his outstanding achievements in leadership. Recipients of this award have demonstrated the ability to lead an organization in innovative ways, propelling the organization to excellence. As the lead delegate of The Ohio State University College of Medicine’s Inter-Professional Council (IPC), Gallagher serves as a senator on the student government for all professional schools at Ohio State. One of Gallagher’s main goals through IPC is to make “mental health care more accessible at Ohio State through a peer-run support line” and to “eliminate food insecurity among Ohio state students through a student-run foodbank.”

Gallagher says he is humbled to win this highly selective award, and that it reminds him how lucky he is to serve as a senator on the IPC and represent the Ohio State College of Medicine. Reflecting on the future, Gallagher says he’s excited to “see other students being recognized for their incredible efforts and feats over the past year,” and that he is curious to see what the future brings. 

The Ohio State University is proud to recognize those who have made outstanding achievements, and encourage them to lead and inspire others.