(May 13, 2014)

Alumna receives American Medical Association Leadership Award

SHREVEPORT, LA — Centenary alumna and LSU Health Shreveport medical student Nadine Kaskas '11 was named a recipient of the American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation 2014 Leadership Award.

Nadine Kaskas
Nadine Kaskas '11

The third-year medical student and former biology and philosophy double-major is among a select group of physicians and medical students who will be honored this June at the AMA's annual meeting in Chicago for exemplifying commitment to service, community involvement, altruism, leadership, and dedication to patient care.

She has been active in starting the American Medical Student Research Journal, one of the first medical student peer-reviewed publications in the country, and currently serves as its editor-in-chief. Nadine helped to create the Research Distinction Track, a research honors program for Shreveport medical students, and serves as a representative on the institution's Quality Enhancement Plan Committee for accreditation. She also has been instrumental in starting the Empathy in Medicine elective for first-year medical students.

"The Empathy in Medicine: The Good Doctor elective is an optional program instituted for the first time this year," said Kaskas. "This program was developed with integral feedback and participation from LSU Health Shreveport's Dr. Jay Marion and Centenary's Dr. Christopher Ciocchetti. The creation of this program was inspired by the lively discussions I enjoyed in Centenary Philosophy courses and Philosophy Discussion Group meetings, and involves reviewing academic literature promoting empathy in medical education, empathic communication patient encounters, and group discussions."

Nadine has conducted research with LSU Health Shreveport faculty members Dr. Cherie-Ann Nathan and Dr. John Vanchiere and was awarded 1st place in the Cancer Biology division at the AMA's Research Symposium in November. She also received the James A. Cardelli Excellence in Cancer Research Award at the 2013 Ray A. Barlow Symposium at LSU Health Shreveport.

"My education at Centenary College promoted the development of critical thinking skills essential to prepare for the challenges of medical school," said Kaskas.