Department of Surgery residents are winners in medical society’s essay contest


Dr. Amaka AgochukwuTwo residents from the UK Department of Surgery – Plastic Surgery Chief Resident Amaka Agochukwu, MD,  and Anh-Thu Le, MD, fourth year resident in General Surgery – won first and third prize, respectively, in the 2018 Lexington Medical Society’s (LMS) fourth annual essay contest.

The LMS will recognize and present awards to all essay contest winners at a dinner in the Hilary J. Boone Center on May 8.

The essay contest, open to residents and medical students in the Lexington area, asked for responses to the following question: “What prompted you at a young age to pursue practicing medicine?”

The LMS Editorial Board, made up of member physicians, and under the leadership of Kentucky Doc Magazine’s Editor-In-Chief, Robert Granacher, MD, reviewed all essays in blind submission format and selected the top three in resident and medical student categories. Each winner earns a modest monetary award and all the winning essays are published in the Spring 2018 edition of Kentucky Doc.

Dr. Agochukwu’s first place essay, How I Found My Rhythm When the Music Stopped, talks about how “medicine found her” at age 12 when she witnessed doctors, nurses, and staff render care to her brother in his fight against a form of brain cancer. In the midst of that struggle, Dr. Agochukwu discovered a personal calling to help others.

Dr. Anh-Thu Le

Dr. Le’s essay, Patient “Ownership,” describes her experiences in a medical research lab in which she observed the myriad ways in which physicians interacted and empathized with their patients. The interpersonal connection between physician and patient led Dr. Le to choose medicine over a career in pure research.

Coming in second in the resident essay contest is Priya S. Srivastava, MD, a second year Med-Peds resident at UK. Her essay, The Man in a Blue Sarong, describes being inspired by physicians who reach out to patients marginalized by their society because of a treatable disease.

Winners in the medical student category are Jonathan Hendrie, Kaylie Gouge, and Mackenzie Wyatt.

Christopher Hickey, Executive Vice President and CEO of the LMS, expressed appreciation to all those who took time to submit an essay for consideration in the annual contest and, on behalf of the society, applauds each person’s decision to pursue a career in medicine.

Those interested in reading the essays from all six award winners may download the Spring 2018 edition of Kentucky Doc magazine.