The Department of Surgery announces the 2020 recipients of the Dr. Massie and Dr. Pulito Awards

In this unique year in the history of the UK College of Medicine, the Department of Surgery is proud to announce the names of two exceptional senior medical students for the 2020 Dr. Andrew R. Pulito and Dr. Francis Massie awards.

Olivia Grothaus, who earned the Pulito Award in recognition of her excellence in academics, clinical care, and teaching in Surgery, led a distinguished career as a medical student and leader at UK. She served as President of the Orthopedic Surgery student interest group, mentored pre-med undergraduates in rural Kentucky, and volunteered in the Perry Initiative, a pipeline program for high school girls to consider careers in Engineering and Orthopedic Surgery.

“I have received incredible mentorship as a medical student here at UK. The faculty have inspired me with their dedication to…patient care, scientific curiosity, and an unfaltering dedication to passing it on to hopefuls like me. My goal is to pass their gift on to the next generation and become a teacher myself,” Grothaus wrote.

In addition to her medical degree, Grothaus earned her BA at the University of Kentucky. She successfully matched to the Orthopedic Surgery Residency program at University of Utah Health.

The award’s namesake, Dr. Andrew R. Pulito, is an emeritus faculty member of UK Pediatric Surgery and served many years as a surgery clerkship director for the College of Medicine.

Evan Lynch, who matched to the Plastic Surgery residency program at the University of Kentucky, is the recipient of the Dr. Francis Massie Award. The Massie Award honors a senior medical student who demonstrates outstanding potential as a physician.

Lynch received a BSE in Biomedical Engineering and an MS in Molecular and Integrative Physiology from the University of Michigan. He is a combined MD-PhD candidate with emphasis on Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics with an extensive research background and publication history.

In a personal statement, Lynch cited the influence of several Surgery faculty who informed his decision to pursue Plastic Surgery as his calling. During his third-year clerkship, Lynch participated in a free fibula mandibular reconstruction of a patient’s jaw. The experience, he wrote, engaged the full range of his clinical and research interests. He was also inspired through the mentorship of UK Surgical Oncologists Dr. Pat McGrath and Dr. Emily Marcinkowski.

Lynch gave particular credit to Dr. Henry Vasconez, a celebrated UK Plastic Surgeon.

“In the operating room, Dr. Vasconez always challenges his trainees to consider complex basic science and clinical medicine principles that guide standards of care,” Lynch wrote.

Signaling a rich future ahead in clinical care and research, Lynch said that he is participating in a research project, led by Dr. Vasconez, studying a rare, but deadly, lymphoma.

“It has been a tremendous honor,” he wrote.