Class of 2021 Transitions to Major Clinical Year

The 153-member Class of 2021 marked its transition from the classroom to patient-centered training in hospital and ambulatory settings during the annual Steven Z. Miller Student Clinician’s Ceremony in January. 

“As you go through each rotation, see each one as a possible future career,” said Saundra Curry, MD, professor of anesthesiology at CUMC, who delivered remarks from the clinical faculty. “What you want is what I have: the ability to wake up every morning with a sense of possibility and the joy of going to work.”

Gregory Whittemore’21 received the Greg Grove Award, and several other members of the class earned Karl H. Perzin Excellence in Pathology Awards: Alexander Agopyan-Miu, Marco Barber Grossi, Casidhe-Nicole Bethancourt, Ayanna Jacobs, Anastasia Kahan, Barbara Magid, Benjamin Meyer, Trevor Nash, Latoya Stewart, and Lauren Suarez.

Teachers who were honored by the class:

  • Wendy Chung, MD, PhD, the Kennedy Family Professor of Pediatrics (in Medicine), received the Fundamentals Outstanding Teaching Award.
  • Elizabeth A. Scharle, MD, assistant professor of medicine at CUMC, received the Major Clinical Year Outstanding Teacher Award.
  • Dustin Carpenter, MD (Surgery, NYP); Jessica Li, MD (Obstetrics & Gynecology, Stamford Hospital); Alana Mendelsohn, MD (Psychiatry, NYP); Bianca Nguyen, MD (Psychiatry, NYP); Aaron Praiss, MD (Obstetrics & Gynecology, NYP); and Ethan Talbot, MD (Surgery, Bassett Healthcare) received resident teaching awards.


The ceremony is named for the late Steven Z. Miller’84, the Arnold P. Gold Associate Professor of Pediatrics at VP&S, who founded the first transition ceremony. Dr. Miller, a national leader in humanism in medicine, died in a plane crash in 2004 on his way to a workshop on compassionate care.