Follies Brings Big Laughs, Appreciation for Faculty

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Several GW medical students perform on-stage in the comedic 'Follies' tradition

Students at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) took a night off from their studies to get silly during Follies, an annual tradition where MD, physical therapy (PT), and physician assistant (PA) studies students share funny skits and videos about school with their classmates.

Several groups took the stage, including first-year MD students who performed a parody of the song “Thank U, Next” by Ariana Grande called “Space Bar, Next” about using Anki decks as a study tool to prepare for their U.S. Medical Licensing Step exams. The PTs shared a video documenting the day of a physical therapist for superheroes, such as Batman, Thor, and Spiderman. PA students produced a wildlife video observing PAs in their natural habitats: the classroom and Himmelfarb Library.

In addition to the laughs, each MD, PA, and PT class presented Golden Apple Awards to select SMHS faculty members who have shown exceptional teaching and mentoring. The awards are determined by voting in each class.

This year, students added a new Golden Apple Award, which they presented to a resident in recognition of the important role that residents play in medical education. This year’s recipient of the award was Gregor Werba, PGY-III in surgery.

“You may just survive the Socratic Method knowing that he is on your side,” said Scott Barber, MSIII, vice president of events for the Medical Center Student Council. “His seemingly boundless energy and patience give even the most hesitant students the confidence to take on an active role.”

Other Golden Apple recipients included Juliet Lee, MD, assistant professor of surgery, who was selected by the MD Class of 2019; Charles Samenow, MD, MPH, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, was voted for by the MD Class of 2020; Kathryn DeVeau, PhD, assistant professor of anatomy and cell biology, was chosen by the MD Class of 2021; and Kirsten Brown, MD, assistant professor of anatomy and cell biology, who was picked by the MD Class of 2022.

The PT Class of 2020 presented its award to Elizabeth Ruckert, DPT, assistant professor of health, human function, and rehabilitation sciences and Margaret Plack, DPT, EdD, professor of health, human function, and rehabilitations sciences, was chosen by the PT Class of 2021. The PA program students presented their Golden Apple Award to Marianne Vail, DHSc, PA-C, assistant professor of physician assistant studies.

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