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Inspirational Physicians

The AMA-WPS Inspirational Physicians Program provides an opportunity for physicians to express appreciation to the special men and women who have offered their time, wisdom and support throughout their professional journeys.

AMA-WPS members were invited to tell us about a professional colleague or teacher who has served a special role in your life and career. The individual may have inspired you to greater heights, steered you into a specialty you love, helped you find balance in life and work, guided you through your professional society, challenged you to surprise yourself, or unknowingly been a role model for you and others.

2015's Inspirational Physician honorees include:

Rashi Aggarwal, MD

Rashi Aggarwal, MD"Dr. Aggarwal has been one of the most influential people in my career, from inspiring me to become a psychiatrist as a medical student to mentoring me now as a resident. Her wisdom is surpassed by the generosity of her time and the dedication she has to trainee mentorship and development. She is a role model for me and other trainees alike in her work ethic as well as her realistic outlook on managing family life and understanding its importance." —Cristina Montalvo, MD

Nominated by Cristina Montalvo, MD

Mary S. Carpenter, MD

Mary S. Carpenter, MD"Since she was a young physician representing the South Dakota State Medical Association (SDSMA) in the AMA's young physician section, to presently serving as SDSMA's AMA Delegate and on the Council on Legislation, Dr. Carpenter has worked tirelessly on behalf of her profession. The first woman president of the SDSMA, she has served in every officer position, led advocacy efforts, and mentored many students, residents and physicians for our organization. Dr. Carpenter currently also serves on the board of a medical liability carrier, the medical licensing board in our state, and as a consultant and employee for Medicaid and prison health. Truly a physician leader in every sense of the word - self-less, team-oriented and driven by results aimed at improving the lives of patients, and the physicians who provide their care. The SDSMA is a significantly better organization because of the leadership of Dr. Mary Carpenter." —South Dakota State Medical Association

Nominated by South Dakota State Medical Association

Nancy Church, MD

Nancy Church, MD"Always thinking of how to make a difference, Dr. Church has been active in many medical organizations, but not just as a member, she gets involved! She was instrumental in the development of the Women Physicians Congress (now Section) and has been the American Medical Women's Association representative in the AMA HOD for many years. She takes her position seriously and is present at every possible event, but more than that, she reaches back and gets others involved. When I took over for her as the AMWA Liaison to the WPS, Dr. Church carefully guided me and has encouraged my active participation. She believes strongly in the need to empower women physicians and as such is ever present at meetings and events. I believe her unconventional path to medicine has much to do with her passion. She remembers what it was like to be unsure and at a crossroad and takes special care to reach out to colleagues and students." —Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, MD

Nominated by Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, MD

Robert Factor, MD

Robert Factor, MD"Robert Factor, MD, has been my mentor since I started psychiatry residency 9 years ago. He has inspired me through his selfless and empathic care of patients and tireless dedication to mentoring the next generation of physicians. He generously gave (and continues to give) of his time to work with me as a resident and young physician in co-authoring papers and giving presentations ranging from the local to international levels. Even though I am no longer a resident, he continues to be imminently available to answer any sudden questions/curbsides I have about patient care or other professional issues. He has reviewed job contracts with/for me and has included me in interesting and meaningful moonlighting opportunities. Every time I talk with Dr. Factor, I am inspired to do more and be a better doctor." —Claudia Reardon, MD

Nominated by Claudia Reardon, MD

Eileen Garavente, MD

"An incredible obstetrician, surgeon, mentor and friend, Dr. Garavente is everything you could possibly want in a teaching attending. She not only takes time out of a busy service to teach physiology and management, but broaches topics such as mindfulness, work-life balance, and promoting women in healthcare. She runs her OR with a leadership style that inspires the other members of the team to put forth their best attitude and effort."—Kinnari Patel, medical student

Nominated by Kinnari Patel, medical student

Raghav Govindrajan, MD

Raghav Govindrajan, MD"Dr Govindarajan is an excellent mentor who has guided medical students and residents through tough times in both their personal lives as well as their career. He is a great role model for who provides compassionate care to his patients." —Syeda Alqadri, MD

"Dr. Govindrajan has always taken a personal interest in providing a great mentorship whether it is clinical education, doing research or writing case reports. He has always shown his willingness to share his knowledge and skills which made me a better physician every day" —Rachana Gandhi, MD

Nominated by Drs. Syeda Alqadri and Rachana Gandhi

Diane Mary Janowicz, MD

Diane Mary Janowicz, MD"Dr. Janowicz was one of the first physicians to respond to the HIV outbreak in Southern Indiana. Though based almost 4 hours away, she has been instrumental in creating a treatment and management program for patients with new onset HIV. This included not only treating them, but developing the social programs needed to support their care, including finding ways to obtain birth certificates. She does what is needed without worrying about whose job it is.  A remarkable person!" —Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, MD

Nominated by Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, MD

William James, MD

William James, MD"Dr William James has influenced the lives of all dermatologists. He has mentored and taught hundreds of medical students and residents, inspiring them to a higher level of academic achievement. Dr. James was my program director at University of Pennsylvania. He is the person that believed in me, instilled in me the love of teaching, and always pushed his residents to not only academic excellence but quality care for patients. Dr. James is well-renowned in the dermatology community, having mentored not only his residents but residents AND staff physicians across the country. He has motivated many dermatologists to pursue academia, having shown us the great impact one can in teaching and in patient care. He is most deserving of this award, as he continues to inspire all those around him to a higher level of achievement." —Josephine Nguyen, MD

Nominated by Josephine Nguyen, MD

Sean Javdan, MD

"Dr. Sean Javdan is an exemplary medical educator and physician. He actively teaches and mentors medical students and educates resident physicians to be the best doctors that they can be. He motivates and inspires today's learners to become tomorrow's great leaders. Dr. Javdan is a naturally inspirational leader with a unique ability to motivate others to succeed and achieve their dreams." —Joseph Javdan, DO

Nominated by Joseph Javdan, DO

Jane Grant-Kels, MD

Jane Grant-Kels, MD"A trailblazer among women in medicine, Dr. Grant-Kels established a dermatology division at the University of Connecticut 35 years ago and built it from scratch into a robust department that is indispensable to meeting the dermatologic health care needs of the state's residents. Along the way, she founded a dermatology residency, wrote or edited 7 books, authored over 200 peer-reviewed articles and over 75 books chapters, inspired a legion of residents and students, and touched the lives of countless patients with her devotion and beneficence. A mentor and model to emulate, Dr. Grant-Kels is universally beloved by colleagues, trainees, staff, and patients alike." —Lori Kels, MD

Nominated by Lori Kels, MD

Lorri Lee, MD

"A trailblazer among women in medicine, Dr. Grant-Kels established a dermatology division at the University of Connecticut 35 years ago and built it from scratch into a robust department that is indispensable to meeting the dermatologic health care needs of the state's residents. Along the way, she founded a dermatology residency, wrote or edited 7 books, authored over 200 peer-reviewed articles and over 75 books chapters, inspired a legion of residents and students, and touched the lives of countless patients with her devotion and beneficence. A mentor and model to emulate, Dr. Grant-Kels is universally beloved by colleagues, trainees, staff, and patients alike." —Jesse Ehrenfeld, MD

Nominated by Jesse Ehrenfeld, MD

Anne Mosenthal, MD

Anne Mosenthal, MD"Dr. Anne C. Mosenthal, is Professor and Chair of the Department of Surgery at Rutgers NJMS. She is one of 6 women chairs of surgery in the U.S. out of more than 150 and is an example of the changing face of this specialty. She is an exceptional women physician leader who exemplifies what women can achieve in medicine. She has balanced compassionate patient care with high quality research and provided team focused leadership. Not only does she provide inspiration by her example, she is also a strong advocate for other women physicians. She is a role model to all physicians!" —Rashi Aggrawal, MD

Nominated by Rashi Aggrawal, MD

Cherie-Ann Nathan, MD

Anne Mosenthal, MD"Dr. Cherie-Ann Nathan, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology/HNS at LSUHSC, is one of four women Chairs and a Surgeon-Scientist with a busy tertiary-care practice and consistent NCI-funded research. She has mentored more than 50 residents and 100 medical students. One of her students won the AMA Research Symposium and started the first American Medical Student Research Journal. She has recruited and successfully mentored more women faculty in her department. She is a role model for women in academic medicine by balancing work and family life. She won the Athena Award for community service and the Leonard Tow Humanism award." —James C. Denneny, MD

Nominated by James C. Denneny, MD

Kathleen O’Leary, DO

"Dr. Kathleen O'Leary, is an Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Chief of Surgical Anesthesia at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. She was the first female anesthesiologist from Buffalo, the second largest city in NY State, to become the president of NY State Society of Anesthesiologists. Her leadership skills and mentoring of young physicians is unparalleled. Because of her I became actively involved in the legislative affairs of NYSSA, American Society of Anesthesiologists and AMA. She is my role model, my mentor and supporter. Because of her I was able to advance to the position of the Vice President of NYSSA 2015 and a Presidential Candidate in 2017, among other positions and roles I was able to play within several organizations. Not only is she one of the top cancer surgery specialists, she is a devoted mother and a mentor to young women physicians." —Rose Berkun, MD

Nominated by Rose Berkun, MD

Dipti Pancholy, MD

Dipti Pancholy, MD"Dr. Dipti Pancholy's relentless effort to show her mentees and other aspiring physicians that it is possible to have a fulfilling career while maintaining a family and personal life.  She has worked as an internist in Northeastern Pennsylvania for twenty years, and she has held many roles. She has been part of a group practice, built her own solo practice, and now serves as a curriculum administrator at The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education. While she always excelled in the workplace, she also raised four children, two of whom are currently in medical school themselves, and spends ample time with her family. She continues to amaze all of her mentees with her ability to showcase both the wonders of a career in medicine and the gratification of raising a family." —Neha Pancholy, MD

Nominated by Neha Pancholy, MD

Sandra Parker, MD

Sandra Parker, MD"Dr. Parker recruited me to a field of medicine that I initially didn't set out to practice. Under her tutelage, I was able to establish a new career while still maintaining the family oriented lifestyle I wanted. She has been a wonderful role model in both my professional and personal life. She is always willing to listen and give inspirational advice to be the best woman physician I can be." —Christina Talerico, MD

Nominated by Christina Talerico, MD

Diana Ramos, MD

Diana Ramos, MD"Dr. Diana Ramos is a role model for me as a female, Filipino physician in the field of OB/GYN, a specialty I am highly considering. As the chair of CMA, she motivates me to strive for leadership and advocacy." —Stacy Songco, MD

Nominated by Stacy Songco, MD

Jack Resneck, MD

Jack Resneck, MD"For the past two years, Dr. Resneck has served as my mentor as I tried to find my place as a leader in the military and in dermatology.  As a female officer and physician in the military, I was still unsure of how I wanted to rise in the ranks as a leader, knowing that I would be more scrutinized because of my gender. Dr. Resneck helped encourage me, gave me sage advice, pushed me in the right direction, and most importantly believed in me, especially during an important time in my career when I took on the role as Chairman of the WPS. He serves as a mentor to many young residents and physicians, and inspires us to believe that it's never too early to make an impact. His servant attitude, humility, kindness, and great intelligence serves as an example to us all and inspires us to a high level of excellence." —Josephine Nguyen, MD

Nominated by Josephine Nguygen, MD

Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, MD

Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, MD"Dr. Rohr-Kirchgraber, provides mentorship to over 100 students. She provided me one on one mentoring and group services. With her busy schedule and numerous other responsibilities such as serving as the national AMWA president and advisor of our local group. She set up an assistance programs for students to join AMWA. She gives of herself, her time, and even her home to provide an open forum for students who need guidance and support." —Jendayi Olabisi, medical student

Nominated by Jendayi Olabisi, medical student

Grace Rozycki, MD

Grace Rozycki, MD"Dr. Rozycki inspires me by her mentoring. She nurtures young physicians by letting them see their hopes and aspirations are not only desirable, but are also possible. She is able to share her passion for our profession, and she is worshipped by our medical students for this. Many come onto the service wondering if a career in Medicine was really the right choice, and after spending time with Dr. Rozycki leave believing instead they could not have possibly made a better decision. Dr. Rozycki demonstrates humility rather than pride. She acts with purpose for the benefit of others." —Timothy Pohlman, MD

Nominated by Timothy Pohlman, MD

Fatima Cody Stanford, MD

Fatima Cody Stanford, MD"Dr. Stanford has been a monumental force in my life from day one. "Mentor" is an understatement and does not fully encompass her role. Our common interests connected us and she was a fantastic role model. She helped build my resume and encouraged applying to numerous scholarships and opportunities. Then, she steered me into becoming a holistic healthy person. We exercised together and she encourages good diet and sleep habits, mainly by her example.

"She made the biggest difference during 3rd year when my father and grandmother died. She was extremely supportive and helped me stay on track and devise a plan to return to school. Because of her I successfully completed 3rd year and am on track to complete my MD/MPH ." —Gricelda Gomez, medical student

Nominated by Gricelda Gomez, medical student

Chemen Tate, MD

Chemen Tate, MD"Dr. Tate's journey to medicine was never in straight line. Being of mixed race and being moved from one family to another due to family tragedy, she persevered when others thought she would fail. She sees good in everyone she meets and strives to give to her residents and students the support that gives the confidence to be successful. She has become very active in mentoring and lives the value of "paying it forward." —Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, MD

Nominated by Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, MD

Carol Warfield, MD

Carol Warfield, MD"Dr. Warfield has touched many lives and her determination to do what was right will continue to be a beacon to other women physicians who battle discrimination. Her decision to sue her employer over sexual harassment and discrimination must have been a difficult one and took many years of hard work and difficult working environment, but her willingness to see it through paves the way for others. She spoke at a medical conference and I was inspired listening to her story. Afterwards, many of those at the meeting came to the microphone to share their experiences. Opening up about her struggles encouraged others to as well and made us appreciate the work of those that have gone before us." —Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, MD

Nominated by Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, MD

Kusum Viswanathan, MD

Kusum Viswanathan, MD"Dr. Viswanathan, a pediatric hematologist/oncologist and a pediatric chair at Brookdale University Hospital and Medical center has been running an excellent sickle cell program for the underserved kids in Brooklyn. She has been a role model to her staff and continues to be an excellent physician who has mentored many pediatricians like me. As an administrator, she has played a major role in reviving the hospital and the pediatric residency program during the economic crisis. Overall, she has been an inspiration to all of us at Brookdale!" —Praveen Chandrasekharan, MD

Nominated by Praveen Chandrasekharan, MD

Our Featured Inspirational Physician

Rashi Aggarwal, MD

Rashi Aggarwal, MD

Nominated by Cristina Montalvo, MD

"Dr. Aggarwal has been one of the most influential people in my career, from inspiring me to become a psychiatrist as a medical student to mentoring me now as a resident. Her wisdom is surpassed by the generosity of her time and the dedication she has to trainee mentorship and development. She is a role model for me and other trainees alike in her work ethic as well as her realistic outlook on managing family life and understanding its importance." —Cristina Montalvo, MD

"I like to think of each area of life - family, work, myself - as having accounts in which you make deposits and withdrawals. It is difficult to have all the bank accounts perfectly balanced all of the time. But if you make deposits in each account regularly, you can get through periods of life where you draw more heavily from one than from another. There have been times when I have focused more on my relationships, other times, on my career. As long as I am clear on my values and stay true to them, I don't have to keep all the accounts equally balanced all of the time. This model also helps me remember that you cannot ignore any aspect of your life for a long time." —Rashi Aggarwal, MD, 2015 Inspirational Physicians Honoree