Lisa Vansaghi, MD

Medical Education: An Environment of Lifelong Learning

Medical Education

Lisa Vansaghi, MD, came to the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC) as a first-year medical student in 1996, and loved it so much that she’s played a prominent role ever since,  staying on to complete her residency in Internal Medicine and then transitioning to program leadership in 2004.

“During my residency, and especially while I was a chief resident, I became interested in remaining part of an academic medical center, with its environment of lifelong learning,” she says. “My mentors provided invaluable guidance, and I could think of nothing more rewarding than the opportunity to serve, in turn, as a mentor to new residents.” 

The program, which has grown consistently since Vansaghi was a resident, has made an intentional decision to keep class sizes in the mid-20s in an effort to enable more one-on-one mentoring.

One challenge Vansaghi has taken on as program director is to help overhaul KUMC’s Internal Medicine training curriculum to be in compliance with recent changes in how the American College of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) assesses and accredits training programs. The new accreditation requirements, in effect as of July 2013, are designed to enhance public accountability and ensure that programs are graduating residents who are competent to practice independently. The changes are necessary and welcome, but also require dedicated and focused faculty time for implementation. Vansaghi, Becky Lowry, MD, and Steven Stites, MD, have co-written an article for Academic Medicine detailing the steps taken toward restructuring curriculum to be in compliance with the ACGME’s next accreditation system.

In addition to ensuring compliance with ACGME requirements, the residency program has actively focused on outreach to the community in recent years. By affording residents with targeted experiences outside the walls of the medical center, the program enhances their preparation for independent practice and their ability to adapt to new settings. In July 2012, all residents began to serve one month at the Kansas City Care Clinic, where they treat underserved patients under the guidance of Dr. Craig Dietz, the clinic’s medical director and a volunteer faculty member in the department. 

Other highlights:

KUMC Internal Medicine residents have excelled on their Board exams, posting a pass rate 93 percent, which was above national average.

In 2012, a total of 23,955 residents across the country answered 340 multiple-choice questions covering a broad knowledge spectrum, from acute and chronic care to essential clinical skills. Eight young doctors at KUMC earned scores that ranked them above 90 percent of their fellow residents (in the same training year) nationwide:

Ranking / Percentile

Sonia M. Castillo-Vega, MD / 99

Ashraf Alhafez, MD / 96

Mitch Tener, MD / 96

Adam R. Merando, MD / 92

Faizan Shaikh, MBBS / 92

Sneha D. Phadke, DO / 91

Maykol R. Postigo Jasahui, MD / 90

Anjushree Kumar, MBBS / 90