“Action without vision is only passing time, vision without action is merely day dreaming, but vision with action can change the world” Nelson Mandela
Rein in Sarcoma is pleased to introduce the five new Jan Maudlin Sarcoma Scholars from the University of Minnesota Medical School and the Mayo Alix School of Medicine. Thanks to the generosity of Jan and Tim Maudlin, they become part of a larger group of 50 total awardees since the program’s inception in 2009-2010! The scholarships are granted to three University of Minnesota and two Mayo second or third year medical students with an interest in sarcoma cancer education and research.
During the year, the scholars participate in weekly sarcoma conferences, research projects, and clinical opportunities. Dr. Kathryn Dusenbery, Chair of the Department of Therapeutic Radiology-Radiation Oncology at the University of Minnesota, and Dr. Scott Okuno, head of sarcoma oncology at Mayo Clinic, generously give of their time and knowledge to mentor and supervise the scholars.
The scholars partner with the RIS Red Flags Education Committee and Medical Advisory Board to play an integral part in the educational effort of Rein in Sarcoma to raise awareness of sarcoma cancers. The scholars organize sarcoma lectures for fellow medical students, as well as becoming actively involved in educational activities geared toward the larger medical community and the general public.
Rein in Sarcoma welcomes the following 2020-2021 scholars:
University of Minnesota Medical School:
My name is Guy Guenthner and I am a third-year medical student at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Twin Cities. I grew up in Wayzata, MN before attending Boston College, where I graduated with a B.S. in Biology and minor concentration in Medical Humanities, Health, and Culture.
Since starting medical school, I have continued to focus on pursuing clinical research that directly impacts patient care. I spent last summer as an intern at the Orthopaedic Trauma Institute at Zuckerbeg San Francisco General Hospital. My research focused on evaluating surgical treatment of traumatic hip fractures, specifically in an underserved patient population. Meanwhile, I have worked with the UMN Department of Orthopaedics over the past year on a project focusing on operating room radiation safety during spinal surgery.
First introduced to orthopaedic oncology and sarcoma last fall, I was deeply impacted by the experience. I am drawn to a career that involves helping patients understand the complexities of a diagnosis and mitigating fears or misconceptions about treatment. I also value the possibility of playing an active role in treating patients through resection and aiding diagnosis via biopsy.
I am thrilled to be part of the Rein in Sarcoma community. It will be exciting to learn from patients and their families and I hope to become an informed advocate for them among my medical colleagues and the public.
I am a 2012 Carleton College graduate who took five years’ post-graduation to live, work and travel around the world. This time included work with a non-profit that took children receiving treatment at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center on free sailing trips around Lake Washington. I lived in Burkina Faso conducting a two-year research project on malnutrition in children while simultaneously serving as a biology teacher with the Peace Corps. In Africa, I realized that I wanted to pursue medicine and returned to the USA to work as a scribe and complete my graduate thesis.
I deferred medical school to work with Catholic Relief Services, first in Senegal on numerous development and disaster relief projects such as flooding relief in the Gambia, slavery eradication in Mauritania. Then, I went cross-continent to work on a maternal malnutrition project in Ethiopia.
The month before medical school started I was shocked by three cancer diagnoses in close family-members. The time that followed was spent bringing family members to appointments and studying in waiting rooms. This spurred my desire to understand the basic science of mutations that provoke disease.
In medical school I have organized lectures focusing on ways to be a physician-advocate as well as numerous educational lectures. I am interested in combining advocacy, research and patient-center clinical care to improve health outcomes and I am excited for the amazing opportunity to be a Jan Maudlin Sarcoma Scholar.
I am a third-year medical student at the University of Minnesota, having completed my first two years on the Duluth campus. I attended Concordia College in Moorhead where I ran on the track team and majored in Biology.
My interest in medicine has gradually grown with my education, and peaked with my own experience as a patient. I was spurred to not only investigate the medical field, but specifically that of surgery. I am drawn to its connection between understanding the anatomy and physiology of a patient’s condition and the technical skillset needed to perform the operation.
I have more recently become interested in the field of oncology through the Rein in Sarcoma program. It balances my passion for procedural specialization while remaining focused in longitudinal care, and a balanced patient-provider relationship.
I am so excited to join the Rein in Sarcoma team and to support patients and their families. Through this experience I also hope to become a resource for my fellow students and medical community, helping to raise awareness of Sarcoma cancers.
Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine:
I am a second-year medical student at Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine. Born in Toronto, I was raised near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and completed college at Temple University.
My interest in oncology began when I started in medical school and a close friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer. From there, I became fascinated with the physiology of cancer progression and the many different ways that we have to treat it. I also really liked seeing how specialists from many different disciplines work as a team to best treat each patient with cancer.
However, the aspect of oncology that drew me in the most was seeing how physicians interact with patients during the hardest times of their lives. The sheer level of compassion that I saw in every single physician I’ve shadowed, regardless of discipline, is one that I aspire to achieve as a physician. I hope to be able to support patients throughout their journey with cancer the best that I can.
I’m looking forward to joining Rein in Sarcoma as a Jan Maudlin Sarcoma Scholar and learning how to best support sarcoma patients, their families, and the medical teams working with these patients.
My name is Xander Schmidt and I’m a second year medical student at the Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine. I grew up mostly in Virginia, where I attended James Madison University and spent most weekends exploring the Appalachian Mountains.
After moving to Minnesota for medical school, I was diagnosed with a rare cancer that I’ve been fighting for most of my first year. After months of medications, radiation, and surgeries I am thankful to say I am finally cancer free.
My motivations to explore a career in oncology stem from this impactful experience and the resilient patients I met throughout my treatment. I look forward to working with and advocating for fellow cancer patients in my future medical practice.