Scholars Impact: Visiting Scholars Alumni Reflect on their Experience and Research

The supportive environment of the ABMS Visiting Scholars Program™ is enriching and equipping the next generation of health care specialists on both the professional and personal fronts. Here are a few reflections from ABMS Visiting Scholars on the impact of their experiences with the program and the continued value and resonance it is having in their lives.

Read more stories about ABMS Visiting Scholars activities and contributions.

Reflections on My Experience

Divya Srikumaran, MD | American Board of Ophthalmology
Specialty: Ophthalmology
2022–2023 ABMS Visiting Scholar

The “Reflections on My Experience” series follows an ABMS Visiting Scholar during her involvement with the program. Four episodes follow Divya Srikumaran, MD, a Visiting Scholar co-sponsored by the American Board of Ophthalmology (ABO) – from getting started and sharing preliminary research to meeting other scholars and future plans.

ABMS Visiting Scholars Program Helps Pediatrician Examine Diagnostic Uncertainty and Learn About the Board Certification Process

Trisha Marshall, MD, MSc | American Board of Pediatrics
Specialty: Pediatrics
Subspecialty: Pediatric Hospital Medicine

2019–2020 ABMS Visiting Scholar
Trisha Marshall, MD, MSc headshot

“The Visiting Scholars Program exposed me to areas of clinical assessment and education that I had not had the chance to engage with before. I highly recommend this experience.”

In March 2020, Trisha Marshall, MD, MSc was in Chicago with the members of her ABMS Visiting Scholars Program cohort when several people in the room received ominous email messages. Their institutions warned them that all travel was canceled due to the COVID-19 virus that was quickly spreading across the globe.

“It was pretty stressful as we just did not know what to expect,” said Dr. Marshall. “Little did we know that the world as we knew it was going to completely shut down and how big of an impact the pandemic was going to have on our families, communities, and healthcare systems.”

Read more of Dr. Marshall’s story

Family Physician Credits the ABMS Visiting Scholars Program with Enhancing Her Research and Clinical Careers

Alison Huffstetler, MD | American Board of Family Medicine
Specialty: Family Medicine
2020–2021 ABMS Visiting Scholar
Alison Huffstetler, MD headshot

“I received very thoughtful feedback on my research from my cohort and the various experts who were tapped to help us from inside and outside of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). Thanks to the ABMS Visiting Scholars Program, my professional network has grown exponentially, and I have many experts supporting me who are willing to collaborate or offer guidance.”

“Family medicine, with its incredible breadth and personal nature, really suits my personality,” said Alison Huffstetler, MD. “On any given clinic day, I could meet with patients for an annual physical, diabetes management, or even a rash. I also can connect with multiple members—even generations—of the same family, which can be extremely interesting and rewarding.”

Dr. Huffstetler’s ABMS Visiting Scholars research project, Family Medicine Certification Status and Quality of Care Provisioned in Virginia, examined how board certification in family medicine was associated with the quality of care offered to patients. This research led to Dr. Huffstetler serving on a panel at ABMS Conference 2022 focused on professional self-regulation and the impact of high-value care.

Read more of Dr. Huffstetler’s story

Visiting Scholars Program Inspired and Opened Doors for Physician on the COVID-19 Frontlines

Brian T. Garibaldi, MD, MEHP | American Board of Internal Medicine
Specialty: Internal Medicine
Subspecialties: Critical Care Medicine
Pulmonary Disease

2017–2018 ABMS Visiting Scholar
Brian T. Garibaldi, MD, MEHP headshot

When we checked in with Visiting Scholar alumnus Brian Garibaldi, MD, MHEP in January of 2021, we found him still very much on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Over the past two years, it’s been all COVID-19, all of the time, unfortunately,” said Dr. Garibaldi.

In late December 2019, the world health community first learned of a cluster of pneumonia cases in China. Dr. Garibaldi’s institution, Johns Hopkins Health System, began its response, including activating its incident command teams in early January 2020 and the Biocontainment Unit (BCU) for its first patient with COVID-19 on February 29.

Read more of Dr. Garibaldi’s story

Visiting Scholars Program Inspired Pediatrician to Pursue a Career in Medical Education

Victoria Wurster Ovalle, MD | American Board of Pediatrics
Specialty: Pediatrics
Subspecialty: Pediatric Emergency Medicine

2018–2019 ABMS Visiting Scholar
Victoria Wurster Ovalle, MD headshot

According to pediatrician Victoria Wurster Ovalle, MD, the ABMS Visiting Scholars Program has had far-reaching, positive effects on her career.

“By supporting my research and providing me with the scaffolding and mentorship to pursue a career in medical education, the ABMS Visiting Scholars Program exceeded my expectations,” said Dr. Wurster Ovalle. “Thanks to the program, I have connected with colleagues and professionals across many specialties that are experts in assessment, competency-based education, quality improvement, and patient safety.”

Read more of Dr. Wurster Ovalle’s story

Visiting Scholars Program Opened Her Eyes to the Possibilities in Improving Medical Education

Brenessa M. Lindeman, MD, MEHP | American Board of Surgery
Specialty: Surgery
2018–2019 ABMS Visiting Scholar
Brenessa M. Lindeman, MD, MEHP headshot

When Brenessa M. Lindeman, MD, MEHP wants to discuss tracking patient outcomes and resident engagement, she sends a group text to some of the members of her 2018-2019 ABMS Visiting Scholars Program cohort.

“Several of us regularly keep in touch because we made personal connections and we are all working on improving the education and experiences of medical students and residents in the U.S.,” said Dr. Lindeman. “These professionals are some of the most creative and thoughtful people on this topic, so their perspectives are incredibly valuable to me and my work.”

Read more of Dr. Lindeman’s story

Pediatrician Credits Visiting Scholars Program for Connections and Support that Helped Him Launch Program of Research

Daniel J. Schumacher, MD, PhD, MEd | American Board of Pediatrics
Specialty: Pediatrics
Subspecialty: Pediatric Emergency Medicine

2014–2015 ABMS Visiting Scholar
Daniel J. Schumacher, MD, PhD, MEd headshot

Breaking new ground is nothing new to board certified pediatrician and researcher Daniel J. Schumacher, MD, PhD, MEd.

Among his many “firsts,” Dr. Schumacher was his hospital’s first recipient of the prestigious and competitive Macy Faculty Scholar Award from the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation. He is also one of a select number of Americans who are members of the International Competency-based Medical Education Collaborators. It seems fitting that Dr. Schumacher was part of the inaugural class of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) Visiting Scholars Program in 2014–2015.

Read more of Dr. Schumacher’s story

Researcher and Surgeon Leverages Visiting Scholar Experience to Make an Impact in Health Equity

Regan W. Bergmark, MD | American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery
Specialty: Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery
2017–2018 ABMS Visiting Scholar
Regan W. Bergmark, MD headshot

When the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) Visiting Scholars named Regan Bergmark, MD to its 2017–2018 class, it could not have predicted just how wise and far-reaching its investment would be.

“Thanks to the financial support received from the ABMS Visiting Scholar Program, I was able to purchase de-identified health care utilization data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,” said Regan Bergmark, MD. “These state-level data sets were valuable for my original Visiting Scholars research project, but they have been absolutely priceless for follow-up projects that delve deeper into health care utilization and equity issues.”

Read more of Dr. Bergmark’s story

Researcher and Surgeon Has the “Best of All Worlds”

Caitlin W. Hicks, MD, MS | American Board of Surgery
Specialties: Surgery
Vascular Surgery

2018–2019 ABMS Visiting Scholar
Caitlin W. Hicks, MD, MS heashot

When she is not traveling the world to exotic locations like the Horn of South America, Caitlin W. Hicks, MD, MS is a world-class vascular surgeon. She also was a member of the 2018-2019 class of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) Visiting Scholars Program.

Read more of Dr. Hicks’ story

“Being a Visiting Scholar was an incredible opportunity to develop my research skills, including creating metrics for low-value care and generating physician expert panels,” said Dr. Hicks. “My Scholar research is the foundation for much of the work I do today.”