Researchers Present at 21st Academic Excellence Day

May 5, 2017

Health care professionals from seven Phoenix-area hospitals presented research designed to improve the quality of medical care at the 21st Academic Excellence Day at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix on Wednesday, May 3.

Academic Excellence Day is an opportunity to focus attention on the magnitude and variety of clinical and bench research done by residents, fellows, graduate students, clinical allied health staff and physician staff.

“Research is incredibly important and every physician in the 21st century has to know how to do research,” Michael Grossman, MD, said. “Physicians don’t need to be a researcher, but they must understand what the rigors of research are. This event is an avenue that allows physicians to compete in research and do presentations in a formal setting that is academic in nature. It gives them experience in a very benign atmosphere.”

Nearly 21 years ago, as former associate dean of graduate medical education in Tucson and Phoenix, Dr. Grossman was a driving force who brought Academic Excellence Day to the Phoenix campus.

“The quality and the depth of the research and the presentations have grown remarkably,” he said. “It’s really exceptional and gets better every year.”

Nearly 100 poster presentations were exhibited with over 20 oral presentations. Participating hospitals at this year’s event included Abrazo Central Campus, HonorHealth, Maricopa Integrated Health System, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center at Dignity Health, the College of Medicine – Phoenix, and the Phoenix VA Healthcare System.

The keynote presentation was delivered by Ashish Pershad, MD, program director of Interventional Cardiology Fellowship and clinical professor of medicine at the College of Medicine – Phoenix. Dr. Pershad discussed his own journey and the motivations behind a career in clinical research.

 “Clinical research creates an impact past the patient in your office,” Dr. Pershad said. “My job here is not to be inspired, but to inspire all of you.”

The daylong educational program concluded in awards for both oral and poster presentations. Among those awardees includes Christopher Hollweg, a first-year Clinical Informatics fellow at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix for his research with the Phoenix VA on using data analytics and geomapping to drive where a mobile medical unit would provide vaccinations for veterans.

“It feels great to be recognized for my research,” Dr. Hollweg said. “I’m happy to be a part of the research and educational pursuits of the College.

Academic Excellence Day was sponsored by the Mutual Insurance Company of Arizona.

About the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix

The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix admitted its inaugural class of first-year medical students in August 2007 and is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The College inspires and trains exemplary physicians, scientists and leaders to optimize health and health care in Arizona and beyond. The College is uniquely positioned to accelerate the biomedical and economic engines in Phoenix and the State by leveraging vital relationships with key clinical and community partners. For more, visit

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