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Communication Associate: Public Relations | Lori Melton | | (218) 726-8830

October 22, 2004
Susan Beasy Latto, Director, UMD Public Relations (218) 726-8830,
Dr. James Boulger, Associate Professor, UMD Behavioral Sciences (218) 726-7144,

School of Medicine, Duluth Students Receive
Top Honors at National Scientific Conference

Two School of Medicine, Duluth (SOMD) students received national recognition and top research honors at the Annual Scientific Assembly of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) held in mid-October. Nine medical students were selected to present summaries of their research at the national conference. Of the nine, four were Duluth medical students.

The two Duluth medical students receiving top honors were:

Paul Tonkin, third-year medical student at UMD, received the first place national award for medical student research for his presentation on the "Effects of Rising Medical School Debt on Residency Specialty Selection at the University of Minnesota."

Ms. D. Maggie McEvoy received third place national honors for her work on "Physician Attitudes and Behaviors Regarding Patient Weight."

Both students received summer stipend support from the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians. Both Mr. Tonkin and Ms. McEvoy were mentored by Dr. Ruth Westra, Head, SOMD Department of Family Medicine. Dr. Jim Boulger, Associate Professor, SOMD Department of Behavioral Sciences, also assisted on these projects.

The additional two SOMD students selected to present their research at the AAFP conference were Dr. Gus Mellgren, first-year resident at the Duluth Family Practice Center, who presented his study on the alteration of stroke risk factors in an office setting and Ms. Danielle Baker, second-year medical student in Duluth, who presented her study of cultural factors impacting severe nausea in Somali women in the United States.

This is the sixth time in the past decade that SOMD students have been selected for the AAFP's top medical student research honors. An additional six students from Duluth have received second or third place awards in the last 10 years.

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