Awards Ceremony


The Department of Surgery presented the inaugural Awards Ceremony, which recognized our exceptional faculty and trainees for their outstanding educational achievements, patient care, and research. This year, we presented awards previously delivered at the annual graduation dinners. We instituted several new awards to recognize our residents' excellence in patient care, education,  professionalism, and leadership. We were honored to have Patrick O'Neill, M.D., Affiliate Associate Professor of Surgery, present our Awards Ceremony Lecture. Dr. O'Neill provided an insightful and inspiring talk "Heores and Anitheroes."    

Invited Lecturer: Patirck J. O'Neill, M.D.

Dr O'Neill Talk

The Department of Surgery is honored to have Dr. Patrick J. O'Neill, M.D., present our 2023 Awards Ceremony Lecture.  After finishing medical school at the Medical University of South Carolina, Dr. O’Neill completed general surgery and plastic surgery residencies, both at the Medical University of South Carolina, and a Hand and Microsurgery Fellowship at the Kleinert Institute for Hand and Microsurgery in Louisville, Kentucky. He maintains board certifications in both Surgery and Plastic Surgery and a sub-certification in Hand and Microsurgery. Upon completing training, Dr. O’Neill began working as an attending surgeon at the Medical University of South Carolina in 2000 which included time as the Chief of Plastic Surgery Division. He has been in private practice since 2008 where he continues to focus on aesthetic and reconstructive surgery. He continues to teach residents at the Medical University of South Carolina as an Affiliate Associate Professor of Surgery. 

Dr Talley Dr O'Neill and Dr Baliga

Vice Chair of Education Cindy Talley M.D., Patrick O'Neill, M.D. and Chair of Surgery Prabhakar Baliga, M.D.

Awards Ceremony

Future Surgical Leaders Certificates

Awarded to preliminary and graduating residents who have successfully completed the Future Surgical Leaders curriculum. Delivered by Cynthia Talley, M.D., Vice-Chair of Education

Awardees: Brianna McLaughlin, M.D. and Gina Lamb, M.D.

Student Teaching Awards 

Resident Award for Excellence in Student Teaching

Awarded to the resident whose teaching efforts are recognized by the MUSC College of Medicine third-year students as the most outstanding among all of the Department of Surgery house staff. The award is based on evaluations submitted by the third-year students at the end of their required surgery clerkship.

Dr. Sutton

Honoree: Daniel Akyeampong M.D. (with Jeffrey Sutton, M.D.)


Faculty Award for Excellence in Student Teaching

Awarded to a surgical mentor who not only challenges and educates students but who serves as a role model for future physicians. The recipient is nominated by medical students after their 3rd and 4th-year surgery rotation and selected based on the following criteria: mentorship, scholarship, integrity, and dedication. Delivered by Mathew Wooster, M.D. Medical Student Clerkship Associate Program Director and Kris Banks-Smalls, MBA, Undergraduate Medical Education Coordinator.

Dr. Sutton and Dr Leon

Honoree: Stuart Leon, M.D. (with Jeffrey Sutton, M.D.)


Plastic Surgery Awards

Plastic Surgery Motivational Leadership Award: 

This award recognizes the Plastic Surgery resident who has demonstrated the skills to lead, motivate and inspire their peers during the Academic Year 2022-23 Delivered by M. Lance Tavana, Plastic Surgery Integrated Residency Program Director 

Dr Tavana and Dr Mullner

Honoree: Donna Mullner M.D. (with M. Lance Tavana, M.D.)

Highest In-service Score Award: This award recognizes the resident who achieves the highest percentile correct score among their peers on the annual in-service exam. Delivered by M. Lance Tavana, Plastic Surgery Integrated Residency Program Director 

   Dr Tavana and Geoffrey Brown

Honoree: Geoffrey Brown, M.D. (pictured with M.Lance Tavana, M.D.)

Cardiothoracic Surgery Awards

The Carolyn Reed, M.D. Fellowship Award

This travel award is given to cardiothoracic surgery residents who have demonstrated an eagerness to learn and teach, a dedication to the specialty, and enthusiasm for making a difference. Delivered by Barry Gibney, D.O., Cardiothoracic Surgery Associate Program Director

Carolyn Elaine Reed, M.D. (1950-2012) dedicated 27 years to the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Reed was widely recognized as a superb clinical surgeon, an outstanding educator, and a leader in the field of thoracic surgery throughout the world.

Dr. Gibney

  Honoree Alex Ghannam, M.D.  pictured with Barry Gibney DO

Fred A. Crawford Jr. M.D. Award

This award is presented to the Cardiothoracic Resident who achieved the highest score on the annual TSDA In-Training Exam. Delivered by Marc R. Katz, M.D. MPH, Cardiothoracic Surgery Program Director

Fred A. Crawford Jr. M.D., Distinguished University Professor and Chair Emeritus of the MUSC  Department of Surgery has served MUSC since 1979. During Dr. Crawford's tenure, he transformed MUSC into one of the most prominent cardiothoracic surgery programs in the country.

  Honoree Maxwell Kilcoyne, DO

Vascular Surgery Awards

Tahlia Weis, M.D. Ph.D. Teaching Award

This award is given to the Vascular Surgery Resident who has best-demonstrated interest and commitment to Vascular education. By empowering others, the recipient embodies the values of our division and honors our first graduate, Dr. Tahlia Weiss. Delivered by Ravi Veeraswamy, M.D. Vascular Surgery Integrated Program Director

Honoree:  Alicia Stafford, M.D.


This award is given to the Vascular Surgery Resident who achieves the highest percentile correct among their peers on the annual in-service exam.

Delivered by Adam Tanious, M.D., MMSc, Vascular Surgery Integrated Associate Program Director

Dr Tanious

Honoree: Tyler Buckley, M.D. (pictured with Adam Tanious, M.D.)

Preliminary Surgery Recognitions

 Congratulations to our Preliminary General Surgery Residents. We wish you the best as you enter the next step of your career.

  • Matthew Bridges, M.D. PGY-1 IR/DR MUSC
  • Nicholas  Fiore, M.D. PGY-2  Urology MUSC
  • Andrew Gianos, M.D. PGY-1 Anesthesia MUSC
  • Mashtura Hasan, M.D. PGY-1 Urology Hofstra University / Northwell Health
  • Elliott Holbert, D.O. PGY-1 Emergency Medicine Lehigh Valley Health Network
  • Brian Jacobs, M.D. PGY-2  IR/DR MUSC
  • Sarah Jenkins, M.D. PGY-2 Orthopaedics MUSC
  • Jeannie Kontos, M.D. PGY-1  General Surgery Grand Strand Medical Center
  • Cassidy Muir, M.D. PGY-1 General Surgery MUSC 
  • Kyler Perry, D.O. PGY-1 Urology MUSC
  • Jesse Varkey, M.D. PGY-1 Diagnostic Radiology The University of Texas San Antonio
  • Peyton Vaughan, M.D. PGY-1 Urology MUSC
  • Swathi Venattu, M.D. PGY-2 Urology The University of Texas Medical Branch
  • David Winston, M.D. PGY-1 Surgery Prelim TidalHealth (Maryland) 

Max S. Rittenbury Intern of the Year

Awarded to an intern whose outstanding performance over the course of the year was recognized by faculty and peers. This person exemplifies excellence in patient care, teamwork, professionalism, and academic curiosity.

Awarded to one Categorical Resident and one Preliminary Resident annually. Delivered by Christian Streck, M.D.

Dr Streck With awardees

Cassidy Muir, M.D. & John Hallmark, M. D. (pictured with Christian Streck, M.D.

Faculty Teaching Awards

These awards recognize our dedicated faculty who guide our medical students and residents through their training. Delivered by Residents

  Faculty awardees

Pictured from left to right: Graham Mercier, M.D., Rana Pullatt, M.D., Christian Streck, M.D., Sharee Wright, M.D., Stuart Leon, M.D., Jared White, M.D., Ian Bostock, M.D., Gabriel Klein, M.D. Missing: David Countryman, M.D.


Rana Pullatt, M.D.: Best teacher amongst the ART surgery services

Christian Streck, M.D: Best teacher amongst the pediatric surgery services

Sharee Wright, M.D.: Best teacher amongst the ART Vascular Surgery Service

John Sonfield, M.D.: Best teacher amongst our community general surgery rotations ( Roper, Tidelands, Florence)

Stuart Leon, M.D.: Best teacher on the ACS/Trauma service and burn service

Jared White, M.D.: Best  teacher on the Transplant Surgery service

David Countryman, M.D.: Best teacher at the VA (VA General Surgery and VA Vascular Surgery). 

Ian Bostock, M.D.: Best teacher on the  cardiothoracic surgery service.

Gabriel Klein, M.D.: Best teacher on the plastic surgery service.

The Curtis P. Artz MUSC Surgical Society Award for Surgical Excellence

Awarded to two academically outstanding residents with the highest ABSITE scores. Presented by Prabhakar Baliga, M.D. for H. Biemann Othersen, Jr. M.D., Professor Emeritus and Chair of the Curtis P. Artz MUSC Surgical Society.

 Kevin Huang MD

Honoree : Kevin Huang, M.D. (pictured with Chair Prabhakar Baliga, M.D.)

Curtis P. Artz (1915-1977) was a renowned trauma and burn surgeon who joined the faculty at the Medical University of South Carolina in 1965. He served as professor and chairman of the Department of Surgery until his untimely death in 1977. The Curtis P. Artz MUSC Surgical Society established this award to honor Dr. Artz and his commitment to surgical excellence.

The Wendell M. Levi Jr. M.D. Award for Surgical Leadership 

Awarded to a resident recognized for exceptional leadership skills over the course of their surgical training. Presented by H. Biemann Othersen, Jr. M.D., Professor Emeritus and Chair of the Curtis P. Artz MUSC Surgical Society. This award was established through a generous endowment provided by the estate of Wendell M. Levi, Jr. M.D., MUSC General Surgery, Class of 1960.

Honorees: Briana McLaughlin M.D. and Ritchie Huettemann M.D.

Transplant Surgery Excellent Resident Award   

Delivered by Jared White, M.D., General Surgery Associate Program Director

Honoree: David Cole, M.D.

Burn Surgery Rotation Awards 

 Burn award winners

Burn Surgery Rotation Awards Eric Klipsch, M.D. and John Hallmark, M. D. (pictured with Steven Kahn, M.D.)

General Surgery Chiefs Awards to be presented at graduation

Paul H. O’Brien M.D. Resident Teaching Award: Awarded to the faculty member determined to be most committed to resident education. The graduating chief residents select the recipient based on five years of mentorship, advocacy, and guidance. The awardee is an integral component of the residency program and makes a palpable difference in the day to day lives of each resident.

David J. Cole M.D. Professionalism Award: Awarded each year to the resident determined to best uphold the ideals set by our former Chairman, Dr. Cole. These include respect for peers, colleagues, staff and self; grace and fortitude under pressure; and service before self. This resident is voted on by the graduating chief residents.

Dabney R. Yarbrough III M.D. Research Award to be presented during Surgery Research Recognition Day

Awarded to a resident recognized for excellence in research as determined by the MUSC Department of Surgery Research Council.