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Awards Recognize Outstanding Fellows, Residents in Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education

Mayo Brothers statue outside Mayo Clinic building

April 15, 2021

By Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science staff


Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education has announced the 2020 recipients of the Mayo Brothers Distinguished Fellowship Award and the Barbara Bush Distinguished Fellowship Award.

Mayo Brothers Distinguished Fellowship Award

The Mayo Brothers Distinguished Fellowship Award recipients are selected based on their clinical performance, scholarly activities, and humanitarian features. 

Alessandra (Ali) J. Ainsworth, M.D.

Alessandra Ainsworth, M.D.

Reproductive Endocrinology

Share your experience at Mayo Clinic and why you chose to come here for your education.

I am completing my Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Fellowship (Minnesota) and previously completed the Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency (Minnesota) for a total of seven years as a trainee at Mayo Clinic. I chose Mayo Clinic for the OB/GYN residency based on the strength of the clinical and surgical training that accompanied opportunities for research and mentorship by leaders in the field. I chose to stay at Mayo Clinic for a fellowship based again on the balanced training in clinical care, surgery, and research. The opportunities for engagement and growth as a trainee have far exceeded my expectations and are a testament to the support and resources unique to Mayo Clinic.

What was your reaction to receiving this award?

I was surprised and excited to learn of this award. The award, to me, represents not only my own hard work and dedication but importantly the support of many members within OB/GYN who have been instrumental in my training and success.

Don (Chamil) C. Codipilly, M.D.

Don Codipilly, M.D.

Gastroenterology

Share your experience at Mayo Clinic and why you chose to come here for your education.

I’ve been at Mayo Clinic since 2015, when I started as a resident in internal medicine, and was fortunate enough to stay on for further training for my Gastroenterology Fellowship. Our fellowship program is truly top notch ― the ability to work with preeminent leaders in the field, see challenging clinical cases, and have truly supportive program leadership has made training here an invaluable experience.

Mayo Clinic’s commitment to education is what really attracted me here in the first place. The resources available here are unmatched compared to other programs. Our fellowship program has done a wonderful job of providing engaging lectures as well as clinical and web-based resources to further enhance our learning. Lastly, it is a privilege to learn from our experienced staff who are true world leaders yet willing to spend time with us fellows to further our education.

What was your reaction to receiving this award?

I actually think my first reaction was ― “no, this can’t be right.” It took a few minutes to really settle in and then I was honestly so humbled and honored to receive this award. I was further humbled because it meant someone had taken time out of their busy day to nominate me, which means a lot to me and I truly am appreciative of that.

Kassem Faraj, M.D.

Kassem Faraj, M.D.

Urology

Share your experience at Mayo Clinic and why you chose to come here for your education.

I am a PGY-4 in the Urology Residency (Arizona). The residency experience involves second to none surgical training and excellent mentorship. There is a wonderful culture within the department that influences the way all staff and trainees interact. Mayo Clinic stood out to me as an exceptional institution to complete my residency due to its reputation of having excellent surgical training, research opportunities, and mentorship. I have been fortunate to be able to work with some of the national leaders in various subspecialities of urology at Mayo Clinic.

What was your reaction to receiving this award?

When I learned that I received this award I was ecstatic. I felt honored to have been selected to receive such a prestigious award and was proud to represent the urology department as a recipient.

Christopher S. Graffeo, M.D., M.S.

Christopher Graffeo, M.D., M.S.

Neurologic Surgery

Share your experience at Mayo Clinic and why you chose to come here for your education.

I'm a PGY-7 in the Neurologic Surgery Residency (Minnesota), which is my final year of training here, focused on skull base neuro-oncology. In my view, ours is the most empowering training program for neurosurgeons in the world, and it has been an absolute privilege to spend my formative years learning and working in this environment. Like any department, part of what makes neurosurgery special here is the "Mayo Magic," so to speak ― deep history, extraordinary talent, driven and compassionate people, and a resounding commitment to the needs of our patients ― which we see lived out daily. Even beyond that, I think there is something particularly special about the neurosurgery training program, in that we have an incredible foundation focused on clinical and technical excellence, on top of which our leadership has built an open-minded approach toward developing our individual strengths as academicians, and tailoring aspects of the experience to position us way ahead of our peers at other institutions. For me, that meant having the encouragement and autonomy to build a research team and write more than 150 papers, finish a master's degree during my PGY-5 research year, contribute to organized neurosurgery, and rearrange aspects of my curriculum to better prepare me for post-graduate fellowship and practice. It's a very enlightened approach to training, particularly when combined with one of the busiest clinical neurosurgery practices in North America and a mentorship model that promotes early autonomy and technical excellence.

What was your reaction to receiving this award?

In terms of the Mayo Brothers Award, I have to say I was initially very surprised, and then filled with a sense of humility. On the one hand, I'm proud of everything I've been able to contribute to patient care, research, and education as a member of the Mayo Clinic neurosurgery team these past 7 years; still, I know that there are many other brilliant residents and fellows who are working just as hard, and it's quite an honor to have been recognized among such company. 

Timothy D. Malouff, M.D.

Timothy Malouff, M.D.

Radiation Oncology

Share your experience at Mayo Clinic and why you chose to come here for your education.

I am currently a PGY-4 in the Radiation Oncology Residency (Florida). Our program is small by residency standards and we have a strong culture of mentorship, where every attending serves as a mentor and is personally invested in our development. Through this mentorship, we have placed a strong emphasis on education and research, and enjoy being able to participate in a variety of different research and non-research activities. I chose Mayo Clinic for residency for the same reasons many of my co-residents did ― excellence in education, patient care, and research. All of our attendings have an “open-door” policy, and are always willing to interrupt their activities to help us with clinical or research questions. Unlike at other institutions, we have extensive multidisciplinary conferences and clinics that help us get to know our colleagues in other specialties. We also have access to amazing staff, such as our nurses and schedulers, that help us take excellent care of patients. Mayo Clinic, as an organization, places a high emphasis on development of new technologies, something that greatly impacts our education and helps us gain exposure to the “cutting edge” of our respective fields.

What was your reaction to receiving this award?

Initially, I was in disbelief that I received the award! It is an honor to simply be nominated, so I didn’t think that I actually had a chance at receiving the award. Overall, I am very thankful to be awarded the Mayo Brothers Distinguished Fellowship Award. Though I am the one to receive the award, the award truly belongs to my mentors and the Department of Radiation Oncology, who have supported me every step of the way. It is not an understatement to say that I would not be anywhere near where I am today without their tireless mentorship and dedication to my development as both a physician and individual.

Andrew P. Norgan, M.D., Ph.D.

Andrew Norgan, M.D., Ph.D.

Anatomic Pathology

Share your experience at Mayo Clinic and why you chose to come here for your education.

I am a resident in Anatomic Pathology in the Anatomic and Clinical Pathology Residency (Minnesota). Our residency program trains pathologists, physicians that specialize in tissue-based diagnosis and lead the laboratories that perform medical laboratory testing for patients. My path at Mayo Clinic started in 2004 when I joined the Mayo Clinic Medical Scientist Training Program. After graduating from medical and graduate school in 2013, I completed an internship in Internal Medicine, residency in Clinical Pathology, and fellowship in Clinical Microbiology  all at Mayo Clinic. I subsequently joined the Anatomic Pathology residency program in 2019 and will complete training in June 2021.

I was originally drawn to Mayo Clinic by the small medical school class size and opportunity to engage in patient-oriented translational research.  As I have transitioned into my clinical training, what has impressed me the most about Mayo Clinic is its enduring core values and relentless focus on the care of the patient with the pursuit of clinical excellence not only through practice, but in combination with research and education.

What was your reaction to receiving this award?

I feel humbled and deeply honored to have been selected for this award. I feel privileged to have been trained and mentored by physicians and scientists who model Mayo Clinic values and are also wonderful people whom I profoundly respect on both a professional and personal level.

Barbara Bush Fellowship Award

The Barbara Bush Distinguished Fellowship Award recognizes similar qualities, with a particular emphasis on humanitarianism.

Linda X. Yin, M.D.

Linda Yin, M.D.

Otolaryngology ― Head and Neck Surgery

Share your experience at Mayo Clinic and why you chose to come here for your education.

I am a PGY-4, soon to be Chief Resident, in the Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery Residency (Minnesota). I think this is the best ENT training program in the country. We have incredible clinical and surgical autonomy, with graduated responsibility throughout residency. The department supports us no matter how big we dream. If we have a great idea for research, education, or volunteer work  they will make it happen. My mentors and co-residents are not only some of the most talented surgeons in the country, but also some of the best physicians. Seeing the hard work and dedication they put into patient care every day constantly inspires me to be better.

Thanks to the apprenticeship model in our surgical program, Mayo Clinic offers an unique opportunity to learn one-on-one from the world leaders in the field. This gives us a greater opportunity to interact with patients longitudinally, spend more time with patients to give them the best quality care, and a better hands-on experience in the operating room operating directly with our teachers. More than any other residency training paradigm in the country, I believe that Mayo Clinic prepares us to be the best physicians and surgeons we can be.

What was your reaction to receiving this award?

I was shocked to hear I had received this award, as my program director had not even told me that she nominated me! She wanted it to be a surprise, and it definitely was. When the shock settled I just felt incredibly grateful and lucky. To be honest, I don’t think I deserve this award any more than my co-residents. They are an amazing and inspirational group of people. I’m lucky to call them my colleagues and teammates. They push me to be better everyday and deserve this as much as me.