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June 2009 Issue
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Leah Bauer participating in the 2009 Ride for World Health
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Commencement Profile: Med Student Leaves Legacy

By Angela Koenig
Published June 2009

Leaving a legacy at UC can mean many things. For some, it’s a name on a building or endowing a scholarship. For Leah Bauer, 2009 College of Medicine graduate, her legacy is the development of a new medical school elective course.

“It means a lot to be able to create something that will continue on here,” says Bauer, who soon begins her residency in psychiatry at Massachusetts General and the McLean Hospital in Boston.

The course she created, Project in Medical Education, is intended to help fourth-year medical students become better physicians—and teachers. It allows students to focus in depth on a personal area of medical interest, whether it’s anatomy or clinical practice. 

Adding a course into a medical school curriculum is no easy task, says Tom DeWitt, MD, associate chair for education in the department of pediatrics. 

“She had to create the modules, evaluate the effectiveness and get the approval—and she did it all almost single-handedly in a matter of months, which is almost unheard of,” says DeWitt, whom Bauer cites as her mentor. 

But Bauer is no stranger to taking on—and accomplishing—great challenges.

As director of education for Ride for World Health, a national, nonprofit organization which advocates for improvements in the quality and accessibility of global health care, Bauer, along with 24 other medical students from across the country, recently bicycled 3,700 miles—from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C.—to raise funds for global health care.

On the lighter academic side, she is competing in ReachMD.com’s “Next Top Doc” competition on XM Radio Channel 160. “Next Top Doc” is a question-and-answer competition among medical students from across the country. The winner will receive a $5,000 Grand Prize ReachMD Educational Scholarship.   The contest is 16 weeks long and airs every Monday.

Bauer, like a “Survivor” contestant, could only divulge that she “advanced.”  Listen to the contest on ReachMD.com.

“She was one of the brightest students in the class but modest about it, and has a real passion for patients and health care. The inspiration is that she has the bigger picture of what it means to be a doctor and the impact it has on patient populations,” says DeWitt.


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